Earlier this week there were signs posted everywhere in the hallways of my workplace announcing the first annual Peep Eating Contest. There would be prizes and bragging rights awarded to whoever eats the most Peeps in three minutes. As I read the sign, I could only shake my head in disbelief. Doesn’t anyone know what happens when you eat too many Peeps?
Today was the day of the contest. As I walked past the break room on my way in, I cringed at the sight of several tables lined up side by side and covered with a colorful Easter-themed tablecloth. There were even some helium-filled balloons taped to the walls to give the break room the festive mood needed for the contest that was set to begin just an hour later. I walked on, clocked in and went to work as usual. No way did I want to be around for people to learn the hard way what happens when you eat too many Peeps.
I walked to my desk and began a normal workday. Occasionally I glanced at my computer’s clock to observe the relation between the current time and the start of the eating contest. I kept busy to try keeping my mind occupied but it was never long before I started thinking about what was about to happen. Slowly the time drifted towards the start of the contest and it would only be a matter of time before everyone present would realize the consequences of eating too many Peeps.
Then I saw several people get up and leave the room. Immediately my eyes went to the clock and sure enough, it was time for the contest. I continued working, trying to concentrate on the task at hand but my mind still managed to wander and follow those people to a contest that would soon yield to disaster. I felt like warning the would-be participants of what was about to happen, but who am I to intervene with something planned by the management ostensibly to make the staff happy and excited about coming to work each day. If only the managers knew what happens when you eat too many Peeps.
A few tense minutes passed and I could hear the faint sound of cheering coming from the break room. The contest was clearly underway, and I could see other people in the office get up and walk to the hallway so they could get a better view of the action. I definitely didn’t want to leave my desk and instead immersed myself deeper into my projects, not even wanting to consider that everyone watching the contest would witness firsthand what happens when you eat too many Peeps.
Then I heard loud cheering. 20 minutes after the contest began, it was over and there was a winner. Suddenly above the cheering emerged a long, shrill scream and a deafening explosion that shook the office. I could hear pure commotion coming from the break room and heard panicked yells and footsteps running frantically down the hallway in a desperate attempt to flee the disaster that had just fallen upon the break room. Apparently the fun and games were interrupted by someone having exploded from eating too many Peeps.
Later in the afternoon, long after calm and order were restored in the building, there was plenty of talk about the contest and how to prevent another fatality during company time. Someone proposed the idea of changing the time limit of the contest from three minutes to two minutes, and someone else suggested using jelly beans instead of Peeps to keep with the Easter theme. Everyone nodded enthusiastically, already making plans for next year’s contest. I can only hope everyone at least learned the lesson of what happens when you eat too many Peeps.