Monday, January 11, 2016

January 11, 2016--Hi Ho Cheerios

We were working our way up and down the aisles in Publix to stock up for our stay in Delray.

Our shopping cart was overflowing with dairy products, vegetables, beverages, paper goods, and cleaning products.

"Let's get some cereal."

"Cereal? You actually want cereal?" I said to Rona who is cutting back on her intake of sugar. "Aren't they all loaded with sugar? I thought you're trying to eat healthier."

"I am, but every once in awhile I get a desire for Cheerios. And rather than deny myself and get all frustrated by not having some around and therefore winding up eating something that's even more garbagey, I prefer to satisfy myself with what I actually want. In this case Cheerios. In fact, they even have some nutritional value." She paused then acknowledged, "At least a little."

"I know what you mean. That's why I like to have some ice cream in the freezer. I try not to eat any but if occasionally I crave some, it's there and I get the carving over with."

"I find that this is the best way to eat, and if necessary diet--don't struggle unsuccessfully to avoid things you want even if they're not good for you because if you wind up with food frustrations you'll only eat lots of stuff that's actively bad for you. I say, eat a little less, but eat what you want."


"Thus, my wanting to have some Cheerios around the house. Right over there--aisle number 5--Cereals." Rona swung the shopping cart sharply to the left, almost crashing into someone who had what looked like a two-foot tall box of corn flakes piled into her shopping cart.

As in all Florida supermarkets, the aisles are about 100 feet long and one side of number 5 was totally devoted to cereal.

"I haven't thought about or looked at cereals for decades," I said, amazed at the extent of the displays. "The last time I remember looking there was Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Puffed Wheat, Raisin Bran--my favorite--Rice Krispies, Shredded Wheat,  and good-old Wheaties."

"Breakfast of Champions."

"That  was pretty much it. But, of course, there were also your Cheerios. When I was a kid, they were the Lone Ranger radio show sponsor."

We passed by the Post cereals and Rona said, "Keep walking. We're only halfway there."

"I con't believe how many are so obviously full of sugar. Half the cereals feel little different than candy."

"That's why they're so popular and there are so many brands and varieties."

"Not of Cheerios, I'm sure," I said. "There's no way they'd mess with that iconic brand. What would the Cheerios Kid say?"

How wrong I turned out to be. These days there are more than a dozen varieties.

"This I really can't believe," I said, "Look at all the different kinds of your Cheerios."

"It's the 21st century," Rona reminded me. "Get used to it. You're living in a world of nostalgia."

"Sad, but true," I confessed.

And there, for 20 feet or more of shelf space, was a full array of Cheerios--

There was Honey Nut, Multi Grain, and Ancient Grains.

 "Ancient grains? What's that?" I asked.

"Flour made from classic grains of the past such as Kamut wheat and spelt."


"Just small amounts."

Also, Honey Nut Medley Crunch and Frosted.

"Frosted with what?"

"I'm afraid sugar."

Then Apple Cinnamon, Fruity, Banana Nut, Multi Grain Peanut Butter, and Dulce de Leche.

"For nursing women? You know from the La Leche League."

"You're being silly."

Next, Cinnamon Burst, Protein Cinnamon Almond, and Chocolate.

"Chocolate Cheerios? You should forgive me."

"What can I say?"

And finally, Multi Grain Dark Chocolate Crunch.

"It's not enough to have Chocolate Cheerios? Really?"

Ignoring me, Rona kept pushing the shopping cart.

Finally, we got to the classic Cheerios and she slipped a medium-size box into the cart.

Heading to the checkout line, I asked, "Speaking of nostalgia, do you remember Cheerios' original tag line?" Rona continued to avert her eyes. "The Big G Stands for Goodness."

"The Big G," Rona said, "was really for General Foods, which makes Cheerios."

I was glad she wasn't really angry with me and so I couldn't resist one last jab--"Nowadays the Big C stands for Chocolate."

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