Breakfast of Champions

[Jer's cereal shelf]

“I like the idea of eating and drinking with one hand without looking.”
– Jerry Seinfeld on his favorite food.

Cereal occupies a special place in my family’s history: it was the cause of one of my parents first arguments. After pouring a bowl of Cheerios, mom bunched up the inner bag, and closed the cardboard box. However, my dad is very particular about his cereal storage, and yelled at her for not folding and refolding the opening of the bag. Apparently it wasn’t a deal breaker (on either side), and mom learned how to properly keep the Cheerios fresh.

Truth be told, despite the historical significance, I am not particularly careful about folding the cereal’s inner bag. But I manage to go through it faster than the rate of oxidation. Typically I have a bowl of two different cereals every morning. I like to start off with something a little healthier, not too sweet. Lately it’s been Rice Krispies, but some sort of flakes, Wheaties, or Chex are also good openers. Then I move on to a sweeter taste. Honey Nut Cheerios is a classic choice here, but I’ve since become a bit more exotic. I started eating Life when Albertson’s was selling it buy-one-get-one-free for a month straight. The only thing that kicked my addition to Life was Honey Graham Life. My shopping patterns then changed, and I tried Shredded Spoonfuls from Trader Joe’s. They’re very similar to Life, but not quite as sugary and less corporate.

One more thing then. The habit of eating two bowls started in college, where South Dining Hall offered a democratically elected variety of cereals. Every semester, the dining staff would take a survey of the students to decide what cereals to provide. Generally, this method worked well, but one semester there was an incident when the Wheaties disappeared. Distraught, fellow breakfast lover Walle left the following comment for the staff: “Wheaties is the cereal of the ‘family.’ What would you rather see in that cereal bin? Wheaties or a head?” signed Vito Corleone (Walle was on a bit of a Godfather kick at the time). Apparently it wasn’t an offer they couldn’t refuse, as we had to wait until the next semester for Wheaties to return.

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