Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sowing My Wild Oats

This has been a rough couple of weeks for me on the cereal front.

First, as I’m sure you’re all aware, the FDA has classified Cheerios as a dangerous narcotic that needs to be closely regulated. As I’ve related in a previous post, I do so love my Cheerios in the morning. More than once I’ve lost a potential soulmate/life-partner/bitchin’ sweetie by serving up a romantic breakfast of champagne over Cheerios. Try as I might to explain that, as orange juice and Cheerios are both breakfast fare and therefore essentially interchangeable, she should really just consider it a Cheermosa and maybe try to be a little open-minded for once in her life, or at least for once in the most recent 12 hours, there always seems to be a hasty departure with mumblings of “oh my god oh my god why do I always find the freaks?”

I guess I should have known. Anything that good, that also has measurements in grams on the side of the box, has to be illegal. Plus it’s sold by General Mills, and a General is obviously a major player in the drug wars. I just hope I’m not in too deep to get myself out with my knees intact.

When the word came down from the Feds, I immediately thought about my options. I knew I had to quit – I lived life in the shadows, you know, off the grid, back in the 70s, and it’s no picnic. I’ve worked hard to put that behind me, and I’m not going back. Cold turkey wasn’t really viable, either – once was enough, and it almost killed me back in the day, and that was when I was a young man. [Personal note to Spider and The Professor – thanks again for hangin’ with me that night, my brothers … you guys are true friends, and Spider, tell your mom I haven’t forgotten that I owe her for the azaleas.]

So I was left with weaning myself slowly off the Devil’s Rings. I figured I’d go with something similar to the Os, just taking baby steps back to the clean life. I remembered enjoying Froot Loops as a kid – and while it occurred to me that maybe it was that cereal that first started me down this road, I also thought that maybe it could bring me back. Same shape, similar texture, but multiple colors … yeah. Yeah. I would ride the Loop back home.

I went shopping, making sure I had plenty of milk and a clean bowl, and woke up the next morning after a fitful, sweat drenched night, nervous and shaking, but ready for my first day back in the world. Red-eyed and barely able to see, I poured the cereal and milk and sat down.

What happened next shocking.

Rather than a spoonful of loops, there was a collection of heretofore unknown configurations of what I can only assume was the same material as what I had previously known as Froot Loops. There were some loops; I won’t deny that. But at least half of the shapes could not be defined as “loopy” even by the most forgiving topologist. I was shattered, to say the least. It was too different, too much change too early. I couldn’t finish, I couldn’t get up … I couldn’t really do anything but sit and weep. I had put my trust in Kellogg's, and Kellogg’s had stabbed me in the back.

As I type this, I haven’t had Cheerios for 3 days. Maybe I’ll make it. Who knows? Then again, if "making it" means life without them, maybe the question is really “Who cares?”

I don't actually have to become a Quaker to eat oatmeal, do I?

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