Saturday, August 4, 2007

Trix Are For Kids... And Whores

This was the first time I've been grocery shopping in years, so can someone please tell me: When did breakfast cereals all become either horse feed or sugar bombs that could fuel the space shuttle? I usually wind up eating the horse feed, just so I can start the day without Mom's tired lecture on how sugar — like everything else that used to be edible — will send me to an early grave. There's really nothing better than waking up, thankful to be alive, and then slogging through a bowl of oat flakes or bran chunks or, if I can't decide between the two, multi-grain puffs. I guess a major force in the breakfast cereal market is overweight, constipated people.

But Mom's not here this week and there's no one to complain. I can eat Fruit Loops in chocolate milk and vodka, with maple syrup on top if I want. Not that I would, because I can see the morning commute where the train arrives two minutes late and I punch out the conductor. It will probably be another twenty-five years before Mom leaves me alone in the cereal aisle again — God, I hope not — so I've got to make this decision count.

And what a damn huge decision it is, all the marshmallow chocolate candy cereal I was never allowed to have. Can anyone explain how the advertising for Trix and Lucky Charms and Flintstones' Pebbles is supposed to work? I understand Frosted Flakes: "Eat this cereal, kids, and you'll magically become a basketball star." I'm sure that's totally true, as long as your Frosted Flakes are part of a healthy breakfast. But those commercials where the theme is little punk kids denying cereal from the mascot... What kind of lesson is that? "Eat this cereal, and you can be a hyperactive selfish jerk too!" It's a warning to parents: if you insist on feeding your brats breakfast, make it Grape-Nuts.

Do I get the corn puffs that promise to reduce my cholesterol, or the flakes that'll help me lose ten pounds? Or the ones with fifteen vitamins and minerals, and a hundred percent of my recommended daily allowance of riboflavin or something? The cereal with the smiling bear on the box, or the one with the smiling squirrel? Captain Crunch or Count Chocula? (Actually, we get the store brand knock-offs, so it's more like Admiral Munch versus Duke Choco-Puffs.) And aren't Cocoa Puffs and Cocoa Pebbles and Count Chocula exactly the same? Stop it already, Battle Creek! My life is complicated enough without having to suffer through your ridiculous cereal monopoly!

Hey, you know what's always good for breakfast: leftover General Tso's chicken.