Some days ago, Slim to None was low on food and short on money and started paying attention to the food prices on items before purchasing them.
Breakfast is certainly the most important meal of the day. Without it, lunch and dinner would be bit players and may lose out to the forces of “brunch” and “siesta.” I considered my options: fruits, cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise, raw eggs, laundry detergent, etc. In the end, I decided on cereal.
I have a deep history with cereals. My first food was Quaker Oats which proved to be a gateway cereal to Life then Captain Crunch and then Wheaties. My parents enrolled me in a rehab program before I could get a hit of Special-Meth.
A few years after I got out, I met Cheerios while I was captain of the pee-wee football squad. It cheered on the sidelines while I threw touchdown after touchdown and led my team to consecutive championships against the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Royals. A few months later, it found out that I was cheating on it with its sister, Multi-Grain Cheerios who is way more nutritional, causes less deadly gas, and is 10 times hotter.
Things got worse recently. The box of Multi-Grain Cheerios I found in the store was so skinny it looked like it needed to eat more than I did, and it cost $4. STN recently traveled to England where at Tesco (the translation from English into American is “grocery store”), a filled-out box of Multi-Grain Cheerios costs about œ2 (“two pounds”). Now, the exchange rate between the dollar and the pound is about two to one. Which, based on my third-grade math skills, means I need to invest my first-born son in a high interest hedge fund for 10 years to buy one box.
If we lived in England, though, earning œ7 pounds an hour (minimum wage there) we could buy more boxes of cereal than if we earned minimum wage here. STN knew Christopher Columbus would cause more problems than he solved!
Why the discrepancy? It is clear that Multi-Grain cheerios are bred and captured on the plains of Europe and packaged in a secret facility. Thus the lower price. The United States must respond by causing jealousy. It should be top priority for an expert to bio-genetically create a species of cereal that can only be cheaply raised in the USA. Sounds like a good idea for a senior project if someone is looking for a topic. I will ask for a royalty fee: tickets to see Hannah Montana.
Not sensing that this development would happen before tomorrow’s breakfast, STN looked for its second favorite cereal: Fruit Loops. Not finding any trace of Fruit Loops, I settled on Froot Loops which is a styrofoam-based cereal harvested from recycled packing peanuts. Random fact on the side of the box: Froot Loops are the only cereal licensed by the FDA to act as a flotation device in the event of a water emergency. Surprising, this cereal was cheaper and there was more of it per dollar.
This just proves what STN has believed all along. Economics is wrong and voodoo economics is right! STN will resume its practice of sticking pins in a doll of Adam Smith hoping that he returns to life and leads us to the place of his family treasure a la “Weekend at Bernie’s II”.
Another explanation was at hand. In the other aisle, licorice can be found at absurdly cheap prices. Nearly 30 cents a twizzle. The important thing is that licorice is high in a food group called “happiness” which is most commonly found in cauldrons at the end of rainbows. Taking a quick look back at the Froot Loops, it has high concentrations of happiness while the higher-priced cereals do not. In fact, these boxes contained happiness’ opposing ingredient: sadness. That is to say, if you added the two together, they would produce melancholy or a coma. I can’t remember which from organic chemistry class. Sadness is commonly found in regular exercise, emo-music, and every Friday’s poker game with the guys. Celery, a food with high concentrations of sadness, actually has a Surgeon General’s warning label etched into each stalk stating, “Do not mix with amphetamines or ‘The Notebook.’”
Americans obesity rates are on the rise, but I was amazed that they could not figure out why. Inside the grocery store this was discussed. They have begun showing shorts on how to make dishes in the vegetable aisle. The shorts are so well-made that STN hurriedly rushes to the grocery store every afternoon to view the 40-minute loop. Such fascinating cooking tips are given out, and they keep their audience updated on current events. Did you know winter is coming, and ants have known this for longer than our best weathermen? They are prepared for its terrible frosty arrival by stashing food in their lush underground palaces. One troubling fact was stated, though. People must not be getting their daily happiness amounts from foods. This further does not make economic sense because the foods with higher amounts of happiness are cheaply priced. STN predicted that doing away with the old food pyramid would have disastrous consequences.
The government must place a tax on these foods that are full of sadness, or invade ant colonies. These ants must have been intercepting some shipments of Cheerios and hiding them which complicates our current problems. We must recover these supplies and lower the grocery store prices. Further, these ants are living under a monarchy, and we must export our democracy and liberate them before they get us with their incredible powers of prediction. Wait, they probably already see us coming!
Next week: inside counseling with Multi-Grain Cheerios. She doesn’t brighten my mornings as much anymore. I might just go and see what Jenny Craig has to offer.
Tom Baker is the new Mustang Daily humor columnist and a physics senior. Slim to None will be appearing in the opinion section every Friday. Readers can reach the columnist via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.