Some things are rather hard to portray effectively using visuals. So, no comic for this one.
A long time ago, I used to be a child of 7 years. I was attending 2nd grade (I think) in Madison School in Skokie. Our class was learning about shopping for foods, and we were designing our menu for a class breakfast. I was a rather outspoken individual back then, which during childhood unfortunately translates to troublemaker.
There was a good chunk of time devoted to the whole process, starting with making placemats for our desks, choosing and picking food to eat, a field trip to the Jewel, followed by a “breakfast” in class. When we were planning what food to eat, we needed to vote on our cereal of choice, yogurt, and jam for our toast. There were also going to be scrambled eggs available with milk and juice. It was going to be one of those “wholesome breakfasts” you see on TV during cereal commercials.
The teacher had decided that we would whittle the choices down to 2, and then we would get to pick which one we wanted. Now, at the time I was 7 years old, of which only 4 were in America. My understanding of the English language was superb but did not provide me a grasp of common American staples, like the types of cereal available and how they taste. At the time, I was only familiar with 3 types of cereal, those being Frosted Flakes, Corn Flakes, and the occasional Honey Smacks. Corns flakes I knew to be adult only, as they were tasteless, meaning they were most likely healthy. Frosted Flakes were crunchy and sweet, and therefore had satisfied the child cereal requirements.
The choices we were presented with were: Frosted Flakes, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cheerios, Trix, Pops, Kix, Apple Jacks, Rice Crispies, and a couple others. Frosted flakes! Sweet, I guess I’ll pic- WAIT WHAT THE HECK? RICE KRISPIES? With my dealings in the underground lunchroom black market, I had been able to eat many a rice krispie. I did not know they were a cereal as well, and I thought they were simply the oh-so-gooey-yet-so-tasty amalgamation of toasted rice and marshmallows. But if they also came in cereal form… Surely the cereal must be delicious as well, right? And that’s what I thought. We weren’t going to vote immediately but instead we were to chat amongst ourselves to reach a consensus before committing to any decision.
I immediately began my campaign of getting supporters for my Rice Krispies. Through feverish spouting of false facts and promises of taste unparalleled, I was gaining majority interest within our class. Even though many other kids had tasted the cereal before, they were convinced that this time would be different. (Did I mention I was awesome?) Others tried to tell me that the cereal was not as tasty, but I brushed these concerns aside and massed more followers.
At the same time, there was a rogue movement being pushed by Rashard Mendenhall. Yes, Rashard, the current Pittsburgh Steelers runningback. He and his cohorts were pushing for Honey Nut Cheerios. Those bastards. I could not push Rashard to change his loyalties despite my vernacular charms. His group tried to usurp supporters from my majority team, but I was able to keep my flock steady. I told everyone that Cheerios are disgusting, and since many others had tried it as well, supported my claims. By some odd child logic, I claimed that the addition of nuts and honey (which I had at this point never tasted) would never fix the disgusting taste of Cheerios. And so, while I was unable to take over completely, my campaign of misinformation had succeed and we were the majority of the class, save maybe 6 or 7 people going for Honey Nut Cheerios and the 1 odd kid for Trix.
We voted, and as expected, Rice Krispies and Honey Nut Cheerios were chosen to be our cereals for the breakfast on Friday. We had to then write our names for the cereal we wanted to eat. This was to determine how much cereal would need to be purchased. In the yogurt section, Lemon won out (also my doing), followed by strawberry. For juice, we were getting orange and apple. Jam…. I forget.
And so, the fated day came. When we were in class, there was another individual with a skillet for preparing eggs and the other food on another table. Everyone was excited. The teacher came by, and poured cereal into our foam bowls. The other food looked tasty too, and we were all going to eat together. But of course, I couldn’t wait. I grabbed a couple bits of dry cereal out of my bowl and popped them into my mouth.
Oh, they were so crunchy and savory and sw- Wait. What the. These aren’t tasty at all. Oh no. I waited for the milk. Milk would solve everything. The teacher came over to our desks and poured milk into our bowls. We heard the snap, crackle, and pops. I ate a bit more. It was still terrible. I walked over to Rashard’s desk and had a bit of his cereal. It was amazing and mine was angry. I failed. I had let everyone down, and I knew I was going to hear about it.
I waited for the sounds of dissatisfaction aimed at me, but none came. Almost no one ate significant amounts of rice krispies and left them to sog. The others had forgotten who had spurred them on to eat such a tasteless cereal. The weak memory of children. Yay!
So, as I look back on this moment now, I’m quite proud of the fact that I managed to get a group of my peers and convince them to eat something many already know to taste bad, and accept my word as truth. A small milestone. Sorry if this sorry was incredibly boring. And long. Yes.