Monday, July 27, 2015

Breakfast: Story of A Cereal Killer

The other night I was hit, nay slapped across my psyche, with a craving for cereal.

For the past couple of years I've contended myself with that oh-so-grownup oatmeal. Flavor? Save that for the kids. Cereal is serious business. None of that "magically delicious" with leprecahuans would do. No sir. Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods you can shovel down your gullet. Want flavor? Slice up a banana, Jerry. We're talking hardcore fiber here.

I've been on a diet for the past fifteen months, and you can tell it's tough on me because I'm counting by the month, as though that sounds like more of an accomplishment than a year and three months.

It was with that in mind that my mind began to wander while I trudged up the grocery side of the behemoth retail store. Walking past the pizza, cracker, and candy aisles (it's best to leave past love interests in the past), I began first to ruminate, and then to rationalize, about happier times. "Why shouldn't I enjoy the occasional sweet flavor of Cap'n Crunch?" echoed through the predominant prefrontal cortex of my cerebrum as I recalled spooning through two bowls of that marvelous cereal (part of a complete breakfast, if diabetes and heart murmurs count) while watching the latest goings-on with Scooby Doo before Dad admonished me to go rinse out the bowl and mow the lawn. "And clean up after the dogs" invariably followed while my ten year old version of me was at work digesting high fructose corn syrup, vitamins B6 and B12, and, for all I know, formaldehyde 97%.

It was almost a homecoming, looking at the Cap'n's mug itself spread over Quaker Oat's most colorful breakfast carton. I remember the early commercials -the Cap'n had a nervous laugh, as though he feared a mutiny occurring on his ship and his crew sailing the commander up Battle Creek to Kellogg for interrogation. Those commercials somehow made me crave the product that I'd yell upstairs. "Mooomm! If you're going to the grocery store, can you get me some Cap'n Crunch?" It was as if I had hit the jackpot when she returned, triumphantly, not only with the Crunch, with Crunch Berries.

Admittedly it was an impulse purchase. I craved the comfort of something sweet, though I felt like an idiot watching Scooby Doo reruns on YouTube while articulating the spoon around the Crunch Berries, saving them for last. For that matter, I felt like an idiot letting my OCD lead me to eat first the red berries, then the dark blue (Black?) berries, and finally the red ones. Should it take forty-five minutes to consume a bowl of cereal?

I'm still on a diet. I diverted from the course to take a mini vacation along memory lane. The cereal wasn't the healthiest thing I've eaten for the past, well, more than a year. It did serve as a "cheat" day on my diet. Considering that most of the contents are still in the box, I have a choice: I can eat another bowl in a couple of days and stretch out the elapsed time necessary to finish the box until August 6, or I can toss it out for the birds with the hope that they don't grow too fat to fly. The last thing I need is for birds to give me the evil eye for making them so obese that they have to walk.

I can't do that to the birds, even though I should considering what they did to my newly-washed car last Tuesday. No, I think I'll eat another bowl tomorrow.

Even if they don't stay crunchy even in milk these days.


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