Of all the perfectly good reasons I’ve given myself to doubt my own sanity, here’s the thing that finally convinced me that my mind does not work correctly: Froot Loops don’t have different flavors. I could have sworn I tasted cherry in the red ones and lime or a hint of asparagus in the green ones, but they’re all the exact same thing. Apparently, if you squirt blue dye on a pork rind, a human brain will automatically make it taste like a blueberry.
I know this because a friend of a friend went to the Froot Loops factory. A tour guide showed him the spot where a zillion white Froot Loops go by on a conveyor belt, and are then diverted to separate areas, where, as the tour guide informed my friend’s friend, the colors are added to the Froot Loops.
“You mean that’s where the colors and flavors are added,” said my friend’s friend.
“No, just the colors,” said the tour guide. “There aren’t any different flavors.”
So there you have it: indisputable fourth-hand proof that what I’m telling you is true. I hate to use anonymous sources, but I’m afraid that my friend’s friend’s identity must remain a secret, because I forgot his name. Ron or something like that.
The Froot Loop flavor revelation doesn’t blow my mind as much as the first time I Googled the word “Liger,” but it’s up there. It’s also quite possible that my source is unreliable, and everything I’ve just told you is completely untrue. Should that be the case, I can only hope that Toucan Sam doesn’t follow his nose to his lawyer and slap me with a lawsoot.
Perhaps I’ve already put too much thought into this matter, but I am very interested in all things pertaining to cereal, because that’s what I eat for dinner most nights, due primarily to my wife Kara and I being afflicted with severe culinary impairment. We both have two left spatulas. Even if we did know how to cook, we’d have a hard time rousting up enough motivation to do anything about it. By the time we both get home from work, even pouring a bowl of cereal seems like an extraordinary hassle. Around our house, “gourmet” means Honey Nut instead of plain.
Kara’s favorite thing to watch while we eat our cereal is, of all things, cooking shows. To me, that’s like prisoners on death row watching the Travel Channel.
“Don’t be afraid to put too much butter on the lobster tails. You can always drip the extra into your garlic mashed potatoes like so,” chirps the TV, as my Oat-y Wheat Blossom falls off the spoon to meet my drool on the coffee table.
My favorite thing about those shows is the claim that you can prepare the featured meals in thirty minutes. I know from Kara’s personal experience that this is a highly dubious assertion; Kara has actually attempted to follow some of the recipes. She will be sautéing in three pans at once, and the clanking in the kitchen sounds like she’s smelting steel in there.
“Where’s our dill weed?” she’ll call to me.
“He’s in here ordering pizza,” I’ll reply.
I’m not being entirely truthful — Kara has discovered that it is indeed possible to cook Thirty Minute Meals in thirty minutes, just like the show claims. The trick is to have your production assistants go grocery shopping several hours ahead of time, picking up things like tarragon pellets, papyrus chips and evaporated marjoram. When they get back, have them measure out all the ingredients, lining them up in little glass bowls in the fridge. That way, you’ll be all ready to cook when the hair and makeup people are done with you.