Thursday, November 11, 2004

Know What's Funny?

Cornflakes are funny. I mean, I'm sitting at the bar, eating my bowl of cornflakes with a little bran sprinkled on top because I have this notion that bran is healthy and so despite the fact that it tastes like cardboard, on it goes. And then I am hit by an epiphany: cornflakes aren't good either. To be good, you have to have some sort of flavour that is appealing to you, and cornflakes cannot be said to have any flavour at all, they're just bland. Bleck really. So why do I eat them? When did I give up on Count Chocula and Lucky Charms? True, my stomach is too delicate to eat crap like that in the morning now, but still. Maybe if I kept it up I would have built up a resistance to it. Now I'm eating cardboard for breakfast. What gives?

A few years ago, in a psych class called sexology, we learned that Mr. Kellog and Mr. Graham (as in Graham cracker) made their products, the crackers and the cornflakes, to discourage people from having too much sex. Well basically in that era of repression, everyone of moral standing was trying to discourage sex...even the table legs became boring because a curvy table leg with decorative embellishments was said to remind men of a woman's leg and drive them mad with desire! So these food products were made, according to my professor and some other scholars, because they made you spend more time in the bathroom, and therefore less time in the bedroom both directly (because you were occupied) and indirectly (because the two ideas were completely incompatible to such refined creatures). Other scholars say that bland foods were pushed because spicy foods boosted your libido and people were unable to control themselves. Either way, the consensus seems to be that a cornflake is supposed to squash desire. So, do I feel less sexy during breakfast?

The shameful truth is, most days I skip breakfast. I really don't like most breakfast foods...Jason drools over bacon and eggs and stuff (and I won't even mention sausage, because he'll start climbing the walls) and I think that's cool, as long as it's for supper. I just can't have that load of stuff sitting in my stomach all day long. Ugh. So if I wake up starving, cornflakes are basically what I resort to due to lack of options. I like Cheerios too, but Jason always eats those up. I know I can count on him not to eat the cornflakes, because cornflakes are gross. So if something is gross, it can't really be sexy, right? Especially not with bran sprinkled on top.

Everyone knows that bran is most definitely not sexy, although my Nanny is always trying to "sex it up" (not her expression) by smearing her bran muffins with chocolate icing...I may have been tricked by that when I was 6, but not any longer!
So we agree that the cereal is not sexy, and that's fine because the market for sexy foods seems to be dominated by chocolate and whipped cream and stuff like that, stuff that makes sense because it's spreadable and lickable and tastes indulgent.

Cornflakes, used in such a context, would roll right off and crumble, and once your mind is on the crumbs in your sheets, it's not on sex. And no, I'm not speaking from experience, so get your dirty mind out of the gutter.

So Mr. Kellogg was successful in making a product that could not be marketed as sexy. Lovers may break out the strawberries and champagne as a prelude to sex, but never cereal and milk. It's soggy, and sloppy, and a little milk dribbling down your hunny's chin may seem awwww but it's not grrrrroooowwwwrrr. So, it won't jump start your lust, but will it prevent it?

My unscientific answer is: I highly doubt it. If it were even remotely true, those boxes would remain on the shelves of the grocery stores everywhere, collecting dust. We live in the age of viagra, where nothing stands in the way of sex anymore. People are willing to pop pills, or have surgeries, or use pumps and other demeaning devices just to have sex....if there was an answer as simple as cutting out the cornflakes, we would know it. So for now, I'll just keep thinking that cornflakes are a funny, funny food.

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