economic pep talk
(Originally posted 1/13/2013. I thought, given our current situation, that another pep talk was in order. Or at least an old one.)
I knew times were getting tight with the economy and all but I had no idea that things had become generic cereal bad. As soon as I swung open the back of the station wagon I saw it. Occupying the space that should have been taken by my Lucky Charms was a alien box. I couldn’t quite make out what it was until I picked it up out of the bag that was partially concealing it.
What in the name of Christ is this? What the fuck is Magic Stars? I want something that is magically delicious and I get this? And what the fuck is that on the front of the box? An alligator floating in space with an astronaut helmet on?
My head was spinning.
I felt all the strength draining out of me at precisely the wrong moment. I’m not sure how many other guys do this but bringing in the groceries is my weekly manly litmus test. It’s where I make sure that I am still a man. I will look at the back of the station wagon, see 17 bags of groceries and say “2 trips”.
I am the Magnus Ver Magnusson of bringing in groceries. For those that don’t follow the World’s Strongest Man competition, Magnus is an Icelander who won the competition four times. Neighbor’s have noted similarities in how we both move when carrying large weights… him with 130kg anvils and me with meat, vegetables and soda. Shuffling up the driveway to the front door.
So now I sat with at least fifteen bags of groceries before me and my arms hung weakly, dare I say limply, at my side. Not even Jon Pall Sigmarsson could handle that many bags knowing the next morning he would be sitting down at his training table to a bowl brimming with Magic Stars.
I remember when I was a wee lad, the accent on account of my current fixation with Lucky Charms, times got tight and generic food started to creep into the pantry. Back then it at least had the integrity not to try and pass itself off as a ‘real’ product. When money was in short supply my Mom would march in with a box that said Cereal on it. That was it. Cereal. And a green and black stripe on the top. Everything generic had this green and black stripe. There wasn’t a lame attempt to disguise it as something other than cereal and there certainly wasn’t a space-going alligator trying to pass himself off as a real marketable character.
But now there is no shame. The artwork is horrible, it looks like the cover art was done by the winner of an elementary school contest. Even the expression of the alligator is baffled. Like he’s wondering why he is floating in space, how he got the helmet on in the first place and who on the distant planet beneath him would buy a box of cereal emblazoned with his picture. The alligator doesn’t even have a name.
Seven trips. It took me seven trips to get in all the groceries. I didn’t even dare peek in to the other bags to see what horrors they contained. If the Lucky Charms weren’t sacred I can’t even imagine what else I was bringing into my home. When I see those old pictures of people from the Great Depression staring ahead with that sad glazed look I can start to understand what they were going through.
This is America! We’re better than Magic Stars! We should be shipping that shit to Africa or something. How can I get my Mariusz Pudzianowski on fueled by the thought of some B-grade nameless-reptilian-pimped whole grain oats with marshmallows? I can’t! Come on economy! We must rebound. We must recover and rebuild.
We must always be after our Lucky Charms.