Cap’n Crunch and I are men ahead of our time. Or behind it. I’m not sure which.
When I was a bachelor, I ate breakfast cereal for supper most nights. It was fruity or crunchy or sugary delicious, involved very little preparation time, and was an easy-chair-ready meal.
Last year, I got married. Suppers of cereal have ceased. My bride says balanced diets of Alpha-Bits, Super Crisp or Strawberry Frosted Shredded Wheat are so, well, bachelor-like.
Now instead of Corn Pops, supper consists of things like actual corn, salads and liver.
Once again, she failed to realize my sheer brilliance, my superior insight and my knack for avoiding unnecessary work. Cereal IS for supper in these days of economic recession.
Despite the tough times, General Mills Inc. just posted a 50 percent second-quarter profit, according to The Associated Press. The reasons are simple. The cost of ingredients is plunging due to a poorer market, and families facing cash crunches find that Raisin Bran Crunch is a cheaper yet nutritious meal.
Cereal is flying off the shelves faster than Sonny goes coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs, and food banks are having trouble keeping the stuff in stock.
“See,” I said to my wife while asking for Apple Jacks instead of asparagus, “it’s the right thing to do.”
“No,” she said. “And don’t think I didn’t see that box of Reese’s Puffs you stashed under the bed.”
“Well, at least consider Frosted Flakes. They’re gr-r-r-reat, you know.”
“In our wedding vows, I promised to care for you. Well, buster, that means I’m making sure you are eating healthy meals now.”
“Hah!” I said. “Look, right here on this box of Fruity Pebbles: ‘Good source of fiber; 10 essential vitamins and minerals.’ See, health, and it tastes a whole lot better than that zucchini and cauliflower medley.”
“Why are you being so obstinate about your health? And you won’t be feeling very healthy if I catch you throwing away the bags of lima beans from the freezer again.”
“I’m just trying to do my patriotic duty in this recession.”
“Uh-huh. And how about when recessions make families cut back on paper towels and other paper products? Particularly the others.”
“Um … well, we could, but stores put out fewer catalogs these days. We have to stick to paper products.”
“And you can drink water instead of Coke.”
“Water has no nutritional value.”
“Nor calories, sugars and sodium. And don’t tell me about diet drinks and all those chemicals.”
“But,” I started, “a bottle of water costs…”
“We’re in a recession,” she interrupted. “Take this bottle to work and fill it at the water fountain. How’s that for cost savings so we can afford carrots and broccoli? The water’s free and it won’t hurt you.”
“Yeah, but I’ll probably break a tooth chomping on raw vegetable stalks. I’ve never heard of anyone breaking a tooth on Honey Combs.”
“Processed foods like cereal have all the health processed right out of them.”
“Yeah, well my Rice Krispies are fortified. It says so on the box, which tastes better than unprocessed broccoli, by the way. Plus, they Snap, Crackle and Pop so I can have at least some intelligent conversation around here.”
Yeah. I knew it before the words finished flying out of my mouth. I had just made a tactical error, one that would keep me from performing my patriotic duty for a long, long time.
So to my friends Toucan Sam, Lucky the Leprechaun and the Trix rabbit, if you’re reading this, I’d like to invite you all over to supper. We’ll be having chicken breast, raw spinach and chopped mushrooms.
It would be best not to ask for Honey Smacks for dessert, even if there is a recession on.