Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fuck You, Mr. Miniwheat

Is this what it has come to?

I'm angry. Oh, yes, I'm angry. But not just angry. More than anything else, I feel betrayed.

I have never trusted cereal mascots. They always seemed just a little too enthusiastic about what is, and let's be honest here, the dullest part of the most important meal of the day. I mean, toast is more exciting. A bowl of freaking cereal was never worth a single one of those early-morning song-and-dance routines, never mind the obsession verging on addiction that some mascots brought to the breakfast table.

But then I met you. You weren't singing or dancing or going to ridiculous lengths to steal something that you could buy for a couple of bucks in any grocery store.

There you were, your tiny, vulnerable body lying on the psychiatrist's couch. Desperate, confused, but so determined to confront your troubled psyche head-on.

You weren't some catchphrase-spouting pitchman. You suffered. You were a mascot driven into the depths of neurosis, almost to insanity. You were a food divided against himself: One side sweet frosting, the other nutritious wheat. Your identity was riven in twain, but you railed against it, fought for understanding, for integration. For wholeness.

And oh, Mr. Miniwheat, I loved you then.

Because I understood. In the depths of my soul, I too have known pain. I too have felt the incredible stress, the pull and tear, the inner turmoil between seemingly irreconcilable parts of my own nature.

I felt not just for you, but with you. I related. We were like brothers, Mr. Miniwheat, although you are wheaten and I am fleshen.

But now, our kinship lies in tatters. You have destroyed it, and in destroying it, you have come close to destroying me. And for what?

For strawberry, Mr. Miniwheat. For vanilla. And for coochie.

The new commercial for strawberry miniwheats was bad enough. There you were, my friend -- no, my cereal self -- telling us, selling us the joys of the new strawberry flavour. Singing and dancing with a bevy of hot mod girlies and a harem of backup singers. You weren't like me any more, a schmuck just trying to make it. You were way past "making it".

I had to wonder, when did you become one of the beautiful people? Was strawberry really the only flavour you had tasted on set? Were you living it up while I can't even live it down?

Were you trading on my fellow-feeling for you as someone who had been there, man, and partying like a small, wheaty Lindsay Lohan behind my back?

Of course, I felt guilty for doubting you. I felt shame. For you were sweet, yes, but also healthy. How could I lose my faith in you? How could I not trust the one cereal that spoke to my heart even as you nourished my body?

But then came vanilla.

I stared as I saw you, Mr. Miniwheat, on that tropical island paradise, being anointed with sweet vanilla flavour by a winsome miniwheat-groupie. You sang. You danced. Then you bounced out of the cabana like a cereal without a care in the world.

And I knew that it was true. You had no cares. You didn't care anymore.

Do I really need to describe the denouement? You, partying on the beach with those singing moai, and those welcoming hula girls wiggling their grass-skirted hips, jiggling their lei-garlanded chests in my face, then pulling away, as though to say, "No, no. We are only here for the rich and powerful Mr. Miniwheat. You can look, chump, but don't touch."

Well, aloha to you too.

You've changed, Mr. Miniwheat. You aren't the cereal I fell in love with any more. You're not some confused grain-based guy trying to find his way in the world. You're not the lovable schlub I identified with so keenly. You're a fucking rock star. I don't even know you.

I thought we were finding our way out of our pain and our self-doubts together. Now, you've plunged me back into the depths of despair. My God, what does it say about my life when a frosted wheat square is getting laid more than me?

Was it always a lie? Were you laughing at having hoodwinked us even then, those of us who felt that, in you, we had at last found a cereal mascot who spoke for us, the sad, the lonely, the confused?

Or did the years of celebrity, with the money and the parties and of course the sex -- did all that change you? Do you have a fragment of your true, sweet but also nutritious soul left?

Or did you sell that too, when you sold out everything else, including my heart?

I don't know. I'll never know. And even if there is a tiny part of your already miniature self looking out from behind your eyes and hating what you're doing to yourself and me, I don't care. Because it's too late.

It's too late.

You broke our bond. It's over. You were part of me, my high-fibre former friend. But you abused my trust. You lost my respect. We're done.

Fuck you, Mr. Miniwheat. Fuck you.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah! You really ARE back!
-DH

Stephen said...

Yes indeed. For what it's worth. :)

Dave Whelen said...

Sweet Hell man. That's a truly insane rant that actually got funnier upon the second reading. If an audio recording of that made it into circulation, Andy Rooney would be out of a job in a heartbeat.

That would be awesome.

Stephen said...

Thanks, Dave - I'm going to take ALL of that as a compliment. :)