4.12.2004

When I was a teenager living at my parents' house, I used to eat massive, heaping bowls of cereal in the morning - if you've ever watched The Beverly Hillbillies and seen the size of Jethro's bowl, that's what I'm talking about. I'd pour the bowl 3/4ths of the way to the top with cereal, top it with milk, and wolf it down. Captain Crunch, Cookie Crisp, Fruity Pebbles - all of my victims disappeared nearly instantly in a vortex of my inhalation of my part of a complete breakfast.

One day, my dad came home with a box of Grape Nuts he had purchased during that day's grocery shopping extravaganza. Up until that time, I had never tried Grape Nuts and had seen the marketing propaganda claiming its nutty goodness and wholesomeness and yatta yatta - I knew I had to try them.

My father tried to warn me. "Don't pour too big a bowl, because I WILL make you eat all that you take." Having been raised during the Great Depression, my father had a great amount of disdain for wasting food, and would not allow anyone to leave the table unless they cleaned thier plates. Being that I was a young buck, foolhearty and hungry, I ignored my father's sage advice and went ahead with the pouring of a standard Joe-sized bowl. I sat down to eat my Grape Nuts at 6:00 AM that morning.

At 7:00 AM, I was STILL eating that same bowl of Grape Nuts.

I begged my father to let me go dump them out. He refused.

At 8:00 AM, I had barely made a dent into the bowl full of brick mortar sitting before me. I PLEADED with my father - "Dad, this is disgusting, PLEASE let me throw it out."

"Not a chance," he replied, sitting in his place at the head of the table. He explained to me that we were both going to sit at that table as long as it took for me to eat every single spoonful of Grape Nuts.

10:00 AM rolled on by. The bowl had grown in size, no kidding. "Dad!" I exclaimed. "Look - I'll BUY a new box of Grape Nuts to replace this one. A whole box - NO! TWO whole boxes! Just PLEASE, for the love of God, let me throw this crap out!"

He just sat there and read his funnies.

By the time noon had arrived, my face was pressed into the crook of my elbow, resting on the table. My stomach felt as if it would explode violently, sending the substance that was neither Grapes nor Nuts all over the place. The bowl stood at 75% of it's original volume.

I sat at that table until 9 PM. No shit - NINE O' FUCKING CLOCK AT NIGHT.

I spooned the last spongy glop into my mouth. I had already vomited twice and was well on my way to my third trip to the Isle of Bile when my father chimed up, "Ok, I hope you've learned your lesson."

"Oh, yes," I replied, a note of sickness hanging on my syllables. "I will listen to your advice from now on."

"Oh, I'm not talking about that," He replied plainly. "I was talking about eating Grape Nuts. They're disgusting."

My face conveyed shock and amazement. "Then why the HELL did you buy them?"

He shrugged. "Your sister is making a macaroni collage. She needed something to be 'sand' so I picked up some Grape Nuts." He shook his head, ruffled my hair, and marched out of the room. "Time for bed. see you in the morning."