Every morning the alarm on my cell phone goes off and I swat at it with a minimum of fine motor control. Which means it's a really good idea that I keep a glass of water right next to the phone. But that is not my point. Each morning I go through these motions loosely related to waking up, right up until I make the coffee. After that, I actually have an idea of what is happening around me. This means it is time to make breakfast. As I work at 9 am on weekdays, my first meal is usually not some kind of lavish affair. I typically find myself sipping the day's first cup of sweet, sweet life-giving nectar over a bowl of hot oatmeal. Why oatmeal? Two reasons:
1) It's good preparation for when I'm older and have no teeth. While the rest of you will be struggling to gnaw your Crunchberries™, their sharp edges cutting into your porous, toothless gums, I will be slurping down my oatmeal like only someone with years of practice eating it can.
2) I'm relieved by the writing on the side of the box reassuring me that I have made a choice that is part of a heart-healthy diet.
This used to confuse me. Considering that oatmeal is basically grain served in hot water, the fact that it could actually contain health benefits was slightly beyond my comprehension. Then it hit me: Oatmeal is a breakfast food. Therefore, its health benefits are being compared to those of bacon. Now don't get me wrong. I love bacon. But I could drink a cup of pure mercury and it would still be healthy when compared to a breakfast featuring slabbed pig (Let us only hope that the all-powerful Hg (THAT MEANS MERCURY) Lobbying Industry does not get word of this idea). But beyond just the miraculous, cure-all oatmeal panacea, my breakfast also contains brown sugar (Dried cranberries too. They taste nice). Which, if you read the slogan on the box, you will learn is "Sugar: The natural sweetener".
I'll pause here to let that sink in. Reread it if you want. I certainly did.
What exactly do you suppose they rejected for slogans before settling on that one? "Sugar: It'll rot your teeth". Or maybe "Sugar: The stuff that isn't bitter". Or "Sugar: It kind of looks like cocaine if you squint". But the natural sweetener? Really? Were people getting it confused with Nutrasweet™? Or are there people out there who believe sugar was concocted in a lab during a thunderstorm? And why does sugar even need a slogan? Is there really someone out there thinking "Hmmmmmmm........ I could use an indeterminate sweetener of some kind. Let's look at the box. Whoa! Just nutrition facts?!? Forget this one."? No. No there is not (It was a rhetorical question). The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous. Which really leaves us with only one possible conclusion: With how much I can get worked up over this, it's probably good that I start the day with a bowl of heart-healthy oatmeal.