Before Cheerios, After Departure

I hate Cheerios and always have. When I was a kid I disliked the absence of purple, green, and yellow marshmallows such as were featured in Kaboom! and Lucky Charms and other healthful, sugar-infused breakfast choices for growing bodies and developing teeth. Cheerios were boring.

As an adolescent I despised the name. What the hell was cheery about getting up the morning and having to eat something soaked in a bowl of cold milk?

Now that I’m a really grouchy old man there is no food more detestable than Cheerios, or at least that was true in the month of May, in the year of Before Cheerios, or B.C. In May, B.C., we had Cheerios up on the shelf because my youngest son, who turns 18 shortly, eats them for breakfast.

Since all families engage in various forms of food poaching, especially when there’s only one bar of chocolate left, or only enough ice cream for one bowl, my youngest never had to worry about anyone poaching his Cheerios. But that was the B.C. era.

Several days ago Mrs. WM left with Junior for a months-long trip to the Far East. Now we are in the month of June, After Departure, or A.D, and one thing I can tell you is this: I’m really hungry.

In years 1-29 B.C., our fridge was always full to bursting. After less than a week into the year 1 A.D., it looks like this:

Slim pickins.
Slim pickins.
Feeling hungry?
Feeling hungry?

Now the first thing this picture should make you think is, “How does a family exist with a $325 refrigerator?” The second, of course, is that getting up in the middle of the night with hunger pangs, staggering to the fridge only to be faced with a pint of heavy cream, some vinegar, a few onions, a head of lettuce,some eggs, last night’s spaghetti, some condiments, and a jug of milk is cause for an immediate trip to the all-night supermarket. (The big plastic thing on the right is some kind of fermenting Japanese vegetable that I had to swear not to touch, i.e. toss, in Mrs. WM’s absence. I swore, but then again I’m a notorious liar.)

However, the need for food is balanced by an almost superhuman cheapness on my part and a commitment to eating everything before I buy anything. In addition to having a somewhat reduced grocery bill since 1 A.D. (daily grocery bill dropped from $25/day to $7 over 7 days), the other big difference between the B.C. era and the A.D. era is that I’ve lost five pounds and become giddy if I have to stand more than five minutes at a time.

People who claim that they cannot lose weight should come spend a few days here and try to fatten up on a raw onion dabbed with Stubbs Barbecue Sauce and nori sprinkles.

Most of all, they should try to fatten up on Cheerios. That’s what I’ve been reduced to eating in the morning, a single measured cup of Honey Nut Cheerios with a quarter-cup of almonds and a cup of milk. That was until three days ago, when we temporarily ran out of milk and I had to eat the Cheerios dry, the most loathsome food in the world, with salty almonds for breakfast.

My eldest son and I made a shopping list yesterday. It looked like this:

  1. Milk, 2%, gallon

Then we went to the store after dinner and made our grocery purchase for the week. It was a cool evening, and it’s a ten-minute walk to the store. I had to lie down three times before we got there. On the way back home he put his big arm around my shoulders.

“Love you, Dad,” he said.

“Love you too, son,” I answered.

Cheerios or not, the year 1 A.D. isn’t turning out so bad after all.



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20 thoughts on “Before Cheerios, After Departure”

  1. Do they let you eat cheerios and salted almonds in norcal?
    Great read this morning.

    1. Yes, provided you don’t sign up for any of the sweepstakes that come inside the box. Those are for Norcal residents (of the state) only…

      1. Sorry, NorCal isn’t a state. It’s the State of Northern California. NorCal is a district, which is like a state, only different, in that their clothing says “State Champion” but it means “Elite Districts Champion of the State of Northern California and Nevada.”

        The State of Northern Nevada is yet another political subdivision and pending star on Old Glory.

    1. Actually, it’s the 2012 Worst Buy Double Discounted 2-Door Ding Special, with the special All White Paneling So You Don’t Look Like A Fake Top Chef With A $40,000 Kitchen To Boil Water In.

  2. My first thought at looking at those pictures WAS “How does a family exist with a $325 refrigerator?”!!! And then I was surprised your older son was there too living on an empty $325 fridge! Any of my kids would have gone to the store and duly filled the fridge with ice cream and a collection of packaged foods that I couldn’t eat.

    1. Yes, they would have unless they were forced to purchase said comestibles out of their own hard-earned paycheck, in which case they would have wisely just bought a keg of beer instead.

  3. I will admit that when I saw your fridge I thought that is a city (i.e. apartment) fridge as opposed to a suburbs (McMansion) fridge.

    I like and eat Cheerios a few times a week because they make me feel a connection with my 7 year old son who loves them.

    Question for you – is your eldest son on the cycling diet too? Surprised there isnt more “normal” stuff in the fridge for him.

  4. I haven’t seen an ice cube tray since 19 and 78. That fridge has got to be a collectors item worthy of Antiques Roadshow.

    1. My kids have no idea how to use an ice dispenser. The only bad thing is that I can’t ever lecture them by saying, “When I was a kid … ” because things haven’t changed at all.

  5. When I was a kid, we used to get generic grocery store house-brand fake corn flakes. They weren’t all that good. Kind of bland. Cheerios was something to look forward to.

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