Breakfast is safe from any desire I have to live an adventurous life. I eat and drink the same things most mornings. Cup of English Breakfast tea. Piece of La Brea Whole Grain bread, toasted, with a little butter, whipped. I don’t like to scrape hard butter across a tender surface. Another cup of tea. Some Australian yogurt with Cheerios and walnuts. Or when I’m wild, pecans.
This morning I was looking at the Cheerios box. Cheerios boxes have looked pretty much like this for a long time:
Not because it had honey issues. I don’t do Honey Nut Cheerios unless my son is home. This is just the only photo I could find that has the scary announcement. “WIN CASH!!!” it said. I had thought I was buying Cheerios but apparently I bought a lottery ticket. That was not my intent. I generally don’t want to think about the possibility of winning a fortune early in the morning, if only because it might prompt me to think about how I don’t have one any more. “WIN CASH!!!” It seems so abrupt. So direct. Remember how High WASPs don’t like to talk about money. Well we don’t like to see it on our breakfast cereals either.
Then, in hunting for information about how to “WIN CASH!!!,” (while I may not talk about money I do like to have it) I discovered something even more unsettling. To me at least. Cheerios has a home page. Cognitively this is not a problem. I work with web designers. I look at the web all day long and then some. I have said the word “brand” repeatedly during my career. But I hadn’t taken the final step of understanding that Cheerios had a home page. And I did not realize that the happy family of various Cheerios configurations (in my heart always inextricably tied to comfort) had become sub-navigation elements on the web.
But enough already. We have already witnessed weapons of mass destruction cut-outs in Cheerios.
I know this particular moment of dislocation has been trival. I have no doubt that others, more serious, will follow. Things that are ostensibly normal can seem weird. Things that are in fact weird can seem normal. That’s how life works.