Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

Nothing can make me laugh harder (and simultaneously cringe) than a well thought out commercial. Their metropolitan antics coupled with raucous recitation of dubious statistics always incite sadistic glee on my part. But I’m reminded that I probably enjoy not so much the truth of as I do their megaphone style presentation of such startling facts as: Did you know that pregnant mothers who smoke cause complications for their babies in the womb? 6 out of 10 people who smoke die younger than they wanted to! Their horrific demonstrations have escalated to the height of artistic pretentiousness. Ice sculptures of pregnant mothers melting in the sun eventually fall to pieces and expose their unprotected unborn. Très tragique. The avant-garde demonstrations only cement the fact that there’s a future in activism for vocationally stymied students with liberal arts degrees. The exploits have reinforced the notion that you can scare someone into caring for themselves, when the truth alone isn’t sufficient. The crowds of asterisk-faced onlookers are more likely to acquiesce to cessation in the hopes that these hippies will stop interrupting traffic with their sidewalk sit-ins.

Though not a smoker, I’m not the best at maintaining this vessel of inner light. My latest foot in the grave is a complete and utter abandonment of morning nutrition. I don’t have anything against breakfast, but I grow weary of its enthusiasts. Anytime that I mention that I’m not a breakfast person in a relatively crowded setting, there’s always at least one helpful dietician who has to chime in that it’s the most important meal of the day. Thank you, ma’am, for your fervent elucidation on searing hot, obvious truth and your abiding endorsement of our nation’s dairy farmers. What’s that you say? Cigarettes are bad too? What do you mean MSG can encourage heart disease?

It’s not that I don’t like breakfast food. Quite the contrary. I’d like to thank IHOP, Perkin’s and Cracker Barrel for giving America all the fried eggs it can handle after 10:30 AM. But even the eggs of free range chickens aren’t immune from the disdain of breakfast train bandits. I’m sure that not even buying the nauseating milk carton full of de-shelled, magically cholesterol free “yechs” will assuage their wrath. Cereal is no longer fun or colorful and is hardly palatable these days, having entered the arena of equine cuisine. I’m convinced that Kashi should be sold not so much in a box as it should a feedbag. I maintain that people generally have to be tricked into willingly betraying their taste buds to eat healthy. The once incorruptible Quaker has had to be sexed up with artificial flavoring and coloring to make oatmeal even remotely appealing to children.

My lack of interest in AM dining, I fear, is far less attributable to the decline in food choices. From 6 to 10 o’clock every morning, my level of consciousness is slightly above that of PVS patients. Beyond the chore of self-grooming, the additional task of heating a pan and cracking an egg is unthinkable. I’m just too lazy and I love sleep too much, which is probably why energy drinks will be the final nail in my coffin. I had originally thought Taurine was a gasoline additive, supported by the fact that it’s currently in 75% of beverages purchased at gas stations. And being that there’s a convenience store halfway between home and work, my breakfasts as of late have become quite a shameful display of malnutrition. There was a time when moon pies, trail mix and iced honey buns would have been inconceivable as road trip rations, let alone breakfast.

My disgraceful regiment would not be complete without the purchase of an additional energy shot at the register. Housed in travel shampoo bottles, these overly marketed whores promise 5-6 hours of energy by way of 8,333% recommended daily value of vitamin B12. Admittedly, my consumption of these marvels is not due to a personal energy crisis as much as it is a raw curiosity as to how someone can legally purchase liquid crack, ingest it and not die. If anything, I’d think that they’d bestow me with superhuman powers. But absent the ability to fly, I'll settle for their ability to jar me out of a coma and usher me into the drone of a productive 9 to 5.