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Again, I am hungry.
First, the supplies must be gathered. After all, how can you have a proper meal if there is nothing to put it in? The awaiting bowl, keen spoon, glowing box, and fresh carton are collected: all eager for the big event. As the crinkled bag of cereal emerges from its lonely cardboard cage, a sort of excitement grows in my stomach. It is almost as if there is a wild beast clawing and roaring and fighting to get out. My tongue licks my lips in preparation for the gift it will soon receive. The specific construction is a delicate process that must be executed perfectly.
I must first suppress the overwhelming urge to dig in early, because it must be completely assembled. The plastic bag rips and a fine, minute cloud of cereal dust furrows from the top. They are slowly dumped into the bowl and as the pieces cascade down, the bowl slowly fills up. The clanging of hard cereal against a plastic bowl is muffled as the layers grow deeper and it is replaced with cereal-on-cereal noises.
It is just about time for the milk: the second, and final ingredient in this masterpiece of a meal. Carefully, the milk carton pops open, and I think to myself, “Steady, very steady,” as the creamy substance emerges from the lip. The creamy white waterfall streams to the peaks of the pieces of frosted O’s. It splashes and dollops, slowly finding the cracks between the different pieces where finally it finds itself at the bottom of the bowl. This is not its final destination however.
Ah finally, the spoon: the gorgeous instrument that will accompany the perfection into my mouth. It dunks its head down into the bowl and scoops up the beautiful item that is my breakfast. I eat it, the first bite, the initial relief from my hunger. The crunch combined with the refreshing morsel of milk, provides the perfect morning pick-me-up for the day ahead. As the second, third, and fourth bites reach my mouth, I feel satisfied seeing their numbers dwindling and the remaining pieces floating to the top.
The next milestone in this feast is the most fun. It usually depends on the morning and my imagination level at the time, but during this stage the cereal can create pictures. Instead of swirling around as blobs of nothingness, constellations begin to take shape. Except instead of stars and the vast universe, they form from cereal and milk. Sometimes I see horses, or maybe even a dinosaur or two. As I approach to scoop them up, the dinosaur breaks to twenty different pieces and the horse scatters around the bowl. But have no fear! I will get them all. There is no escape from my unforgiving hunger.
I wonder if Cheerios believe there is strength in numbers? Like that herding and clinging together keeps them safe from my spoon and growling stomach. No cereal. You are trapped. And to the contrary, the more you clump and connect to one another, the easier it is for me to catch and trap you. Ha! Joke’s on you cereal…In all actuality, it is usually the lonely stragglers hanging for dear life to the edge of the bowl that are left for last. But make no mistake breakfast. You are mine. And I will not rest until every single piece of you, soggy included, is in my belly.
Mission accomplished.
Oh… they are now all gone, and I am left with two options. Either refill the bowl with more O’s to soak up the remaining milk? Or drink it up. Personally I enjoy the second option; the last morsel of milk provides the perfect refreshment after all that work.
It is the best part of the most important meal of the day.
T.G.I.C. – Thank Goodness it’s Cereal.





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