Sunday, September 03, 2006

End Of An Era

Cereal rarely comes with a toy in the box anymore, but here's the weird part: When it does, the toy bag is separate from the cereal bag. You open up the box and Pow! There's your toy, ready and waiting, perched on top of the bag of cereal.

This means the days of kids arriving home from the supermarket, tearing open a cereal box and shoving their clammy little hands elbow-deep into the bag, smashing and contaminating cereal, spilling it all over the floor and all but destroying the box in order to get their hands on the toy that motivated the purchase are behind us. Nowadays, it's instant gratification.

But wait! Why were toys ever inside the cereal bag, at the bottom of the box? Doesn't that seem kind of stupid? It's no great leap in technology that's brought us to our current state. It was always just as easy, if not easier, to not put the toy in the same bag as the cereal, and it's more convenient for all concerned. The kid gets the toy as advertised, and the parents are spared the mess. Why did cereal companies force us to suffer for so long?

Answer: Because they were wise.

Cereal at the bottom of the box taught a lesson: Hard work is rewarded. Or, for kids like me, who preferred not to destroy their Rice Krispies, it taught that patience is rewarded. In either case, it was that nothing good comes easy. Children today are simultaneously spoiled and hopelessly overscheduled. They haven't the time to wait for a cereal prize, nor the time to dig mercilessly for it.

Enjoy that easily accessible toy, Children of Today. It comes at the price of your innocence.


Tommaso Sciortino said...

You're well on your way to becoming a sucessful curmudgeon.

lyan! said...

Thats funny Tom, I was called a curmudgeon this past weekend!
Beyond that, I agree with Kenny for once. Little shits. When I get kids and they eat sugar cereal, I'm going to put the seperately-wrapped toy back in the bottom of the box for them. Weiner-children mine will not be.

Tommaso Sciortino said...

Before I let them use the internet, I'm going to make my kids learn how to use gopher with the original mozilla client on a windows 3.1 machine. Just so they know what I had to go through. Then, I'll punch them in the gut.