Monday, October 12, 2015

"Cereal Killers"


I was finishing up reading the morning paper yesterday when I came across a letter to the editor from a teacher lamenting the difficulty she had getting her kids to pay attention in class. The kids seemed to tack between being overly rambunctious to being comatose during the first couple of class periods. 
Well, while I sympathized with that teacher I had better things to do, so I tossed the paper and jumped in the car and drove down to my local Fry's grocery to pick up a bag of frozen chicken wings.
While cruising the store I came upon the "breakfast aisle". And, remembering that teacher's lament I began to deduce something that might be creating that teacher's horrors.
That "breakfast aisle" was fifty feet long. The first two feet were dedicated to oatmeal, cream of wheat, Maltomeal and granola.
The other 48 feet of store shelves were dedicated to boxes of cereals! 
I felt a wave of nostalgia as I wandered down the aisle. I still recognized the Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, and Post Toasties. But I was amazed to see that there were no less than eight different flavors of Cheerios! Cheerios! When I was a kid Cheerios was one flavor! And if you ate them you were "feeling your cheerios, cheerios, cheerios! Now there were eight flavors! In fact, that whole 48 feet of cereal on display must be a nightmare for the modern mother to navigate! Can you imagine having a four year old in the cart and trying to get through that aisle without a major tantrum? These cereal boxes are surely "porn for kiddies" as they lusted after Count Chocula and Sugar Smacks and Quisp, and Corn Crackos and Sir Grapefellow, and Coco Puffs and Franken Berry! 
As I wandered further down the aisle I came upon another familiar childhood cereal; Lucky Charms. I can remember when they first came out with Lucky Charms. To me, seeing that first box of Lucky Charms was the adult equivalent of seeing Deep Throat for the first time. I could not believe that our 50's era mothers would have sanctioned the production of a cereal chock full of colorful little candies! 
Oh, my mom didn't buy those Lucky Charms....we ate Cream of Wheat, dreary oatmeal, and if we were especially good we might get a bowl of Maltomeal, but I don't believe a box of Lucky Charms ever crossed the threshold of our youthful abode. Still, as a kid, it was fun to imagine growing into adulthood and having the freedom to pick up a box of Lucky Charms for a morning breakfast.
So, yesterday, just for fun, I picked up a box of Lucky Charms and began to read the ingredients. The second through fifth on the list of ingredients were some form of sugar, dextrose, corn syrup.
And suddenly I understood that poor teacher's lament. She's got 30 kids doped out on a sugar high, only to have them go comatose on her when the sugar surge ebbs.
"Cereal Killers".

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