Friday, June 8, 2007

Yes, I know, like Seinfeld

Ants love Corn Pops.

I have seen a line of ants walk across a yard, up a tree, down one of the tree's branches, into a house, and then around other open boxes of cereal just to reach Corn Pops. It's like crack for ants.

I love Corn Pops too, which is why this time two years ago I spent an afternoon putting new caulk around all my kitchen windows. Stupid ants.

So recently, I was telling a friend about those ants and what they enjoyed as "part of a complete breakfast", and he joked about how I must have learned that ants love Corn Pops "the same night you learned why you shouldn't sleep in a bathtub full of cereal."

And that made me think.

If you had to sleep in a bathtub of dry cereal.

I mean if you HAD to.

What kind of cereal would you chose?

My first answer was Rice Krispies, it seems like they'd be soft, like sitting in a bean bag chair. But then I realized that they'd never hold up, even a little pressure is enough to crush Rice Krispies to powder, which is why you can't eat the last little bit in the box or you'll just wind up making brown paste in a bowl. I can't sleep in that. They'd have to vacuum the dust out of my lungs the next morning.

Honey Comb seems like it would be good and stable, and since it's basically made of Styrofoam anyway, you'd think it would cushion well. (that capital "S" is intentional, apparently Styrofoam is a registered trademark) But Honey Comb doesn't work either:
Too sticky.

It was a conundrum.

It made almost no sense.

I had to talk about it with everyone I knew.

I wrote the problem up in a Facbook post, and asked my friends for responses. The responses came, and they were amazing.

First of all, a significant portion of the respondents assumed I was talking about giant pieces of cereal. I have no idea why.

Second, the reasonings my friends came up with were fascinating, many of them aspects of the problem I hadn't even considered. No cereal would be comfortable if it's surface is too scratchy, period. It doesn't matter how many Frosted Mini-Wheats you put in there, it would still feel like sandpaper.

And what about smell? You're going to be smelling that cereal all night. You'll be smelling like that cereal the next day, too. You can't wash it off because you can't take a shower, your bathtub is full of cereal! Wouldn't you want it to be a good smell? That's a big selling point for Froot Loops camp. (Did you know it was spelled "Froot"? All these years I never noticed. What if it's secretly a subliminal thing where your subconscious gets stuck on the misspelling so some part of your brain is always thinking about Froot Loops. Wouldn't that be weird?)

There were a lot of good responses, but this is a case where the simplest answer is the best. Cheerios. Not sugary or sticky, strong enough to hold up under pressure, and each one with a fairly smooth surface. Like thousands of tiny beads.

Discussing a topic like this, one that's completely ridiculous, is an oddly intimate experience. With strangers, you talk about the mundane, the simple, the literal. You can only talk about meaningless things with good friends. So I never miss an opportunity to talk about nothing. It's a reminder that these are the people I let my guard down with, these are the people I trust.*

*Some of them made reference to the idea of eating the cereal they were sleeping in. That's gross. I'm not sure if I trust those people anymore.

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