…and a little bit of dark chocolate at 3:00 pm.
My name is Jamey Stegmaier, and I am a survivor. This is my story.
Today was a clear, crisp, warm fall day in St. Louis. Sunlight streamed through my office window as I productively did work on the work machine. Spirits were high among my coworkers as we blissfully went through the motions of the day, unaware that our candy supply had dwindled to next to nothing.
We were all so young and naive. Little did we know of the horror that awaited us.
Historians have tried to pinpoint the exact moment that the final piece of candy was eaten. Some say it was devoured by a hungry student. Others insist that it was a nameless drifter in need of a sugary rush. No one really knows.
All that we know for sure is that when I went to the candy bag to select a piece of dark chocolate at 3:00 pm, it was empty.
Immediately I threw back my head and let out a primal scream of anguish.
“Hey Jamey,” my nearby coworker said, “Everything okay?”
I turned to him. “Well, we’re out of dark chocolate.”
“That’s not good. Why are you wearing a loincloth made out of jolly rancher wrappers?”
I darted from office to office in search of candy, my plastic loincloth (you’d be surprised at how little coverage you get from two jolly rancher wrappers) flapping in my tailwind. I quickly reached the point where any chocolate would to–dark or milk–and then I lowered my expectations to any kind of candy.
“Here!” a coworker said, pulling a brown wrapper from her purse. “I found a Tootsie Roll.”
I swatted it onto the floor and stopped upon it with the strength of at least three small children. “You fool!” I said. “You have betrayed me for the last time.” (I’ve found that calling employees “fools” is a great management tactic that gets fantastic results.)
Other employees joined in the hunt, overturning everything in our path in search of candy. We thought we were saved when we discovered a stash of Hershey’s bars, but upon opening them we discovered that they were dusty and brown, long since expired.
At this point–3:07–I could feel my vital organs failing. Someone suggested that we do a candy run to the nearby grocery store, but I knew there wasn’t time. This was my last gasp, Stegmaier’s last stand.
With my last ounce of energy, I stumbled out of the front door of our building and put my hands to my mouth in the shape of a horn. With that legendary horn I called to my two cats, Biddy and Walter, with a sound that shook the heavens.
“Meow MEOW! Meow MEOW!”
Like Archimedes’ Reindeer stampeding across the tundra, my cats came galloping from my condo, each with a different kind of chocolate in their mouths. Biddy came bearing a peppermint patty; Walter a Dove chocolate.
When they reached my work, I barely had the strength to lift my hand to my mouth. But the cats had lost interest by that point and were occupying themselves with leaves and crickets, so I dragged myself over to where they had left the candy. (Note to Future Self: Don’t drag yourself across concrete while wearing only a loincloth made of jolly ranchers.)
With one last burst of adrenaline I managed to eat both pieces of chocolate. For a few seconds I thought it was too late. The candy wasn’t dissolving into my blood stream fast enough.
And then, thankfully, I had my Neo moment. You know, that moment in The Matrix when Trinity tells Neo that she loves him, and he comes back to life? Doctors use that all the time instead of defibrillators these days. It’s much more cost effective for a nurse to whisper, “I love you” in a patient’s ear than to jolt them with electricity.
In my case, it was the chocolate that whispered sweet nothings into my system. Slowly I felt my body come back to life. First the endocrine system, then my nervous system, then my digestive tract. Finally my feet system and smile system jolted back to reality, and I pulled myself up by the seat of my loincloth.
I looked around the bright autumn day. Despite all the pain and suffering I had endured over the last 10 minutes, the sun was still shining and the wind was still blowing. Chocolate or no chocolate, life goes on.
I hope you never find yourselves in such a dangerous situation. To prevent this from happening to you, stash candy everywhere. In your closet, your desk, your ceiling tiles. Dig a hole outside and bury some backup candy. Hire a drug mule and replace the drugs with candy. You need constant access to candy.
Good luck, my fellow readers. Just as I survived, I know you can too. Share your related stories below.