The Cereal Gauntlet

One of my most vivid memories from my childhood is visiting my grandparents back when my uncle Tom was still in high school and living at home. To my eyes as a young child, Tom was terrifying – a huge, muscular teenager with athletic trophies littered throughout his room and often sporting a football jersey. I would always keep my distance from Tom, cautiously eyeing him, and hoping not to arouse his wrath. I never saw anything that would make a reasonable person assume that he was an angry or violent person, but I didn’t want to take any chances. At the time, it seemed that he might viciously slug me in the gut at any moment.

One particular thing about Tom sticks out in my mind, and this image has stuck with me through the years, shaping my dreams and desires as a man. You see, Tom ate cereal out of a Cool Whip bowl. Not the shallow little Cool Whip bowls, mind you, but the huge 32oz ones. So there was Tom with a massive basin of Alpha-Bits, eating with a spoon so big that it might have been better characterized as a ladle. This was the ultimate image of masculinity to my young eyes. I began to look forward to the day when I would be big enough for Mom to let me eat my food out of a Cool Whip bowl.

Sadly I still don’t feel ready to pick up the gauntlet laid down by Tom. I sit here a 25-year old college graduate, yet I don’t believe that I possess the smoldering masculinity and virility needed to pour my Golden Crisp into an empty dessert vat and begin shoveling the deliciously sweet puffed oats into my mouth with a spoon the size of my palm. Maybe someday the good Lord will allow me to reach the point that Tom did so long ago. On that day, I will know that at last I am truly a man.

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13 Responses to The Cereal Gauntlet

  1. Geof says:

    I now know what my weekend plans are:

    1. Find 32oz vat of Cool Whip.

    2. Consume Cool Whip.

    3. Rinse out vat.

    4. Eat cereal.

    I’m on the road to diabetes. Peter, thanks for setting me free from the bonds of insulin.

  2. alisa says:

    Why a Cool Whip bowl?

  3. *tami* says:

    puffed wheat reminds me of a particular “caroline in the city” episode. does anyone know the one to which i refer?

  4. peter says:

    Alisa, I don’t know why the Cool Whip bowl was chosen, but there’s something incredibly awesome about it.

  5. trey says:

    I witnessed one of my uncle’s.. eat sunday dinner lying flat on his back on the couch one time… if thats what it takes to cross the threshold of man-hood… I prefer to remain in the unchoking.. proper food digestive state of infancy…

  6. KG says:

    Funny. I guess my hubby is a *real* man since he does eat (at least in his single years) flat on his back on the couch, spooning up the food while lying down.

    As WELL as eating cereal out of HUGE bowls– we don’t have cool whip bowls, but he has eaten cereal out of an ice cream pail before. I’m not kidding.

  7. little miss says:

    Wow- men are so cool. KG- why can I hear your husband enjoying anything that he eats? He is a football guy too.

    Maybe this type of eating is only for sports related men. Peter, I didn’t know which catagory you fell in Jock or Brain, but I think that you inability to eat out of Cool Whip bowls definately rolls you iputs you on the cerebral team. That whole foot ball thing was a sham.

    Karl is my only former Co-leader who wasn’t captain of the football team, that I know of. I wonder if he can eat out of Cool Whip bowls?

  8. karlquick says:

    Kim, for the record I have never eaten out of a Cool Whip bowl, but I believe we may have one at my house. Perhaps I will eat out of it to prove my manliness.

    BTW, what makes you think that my 5’8″, 160 lbs soakin’ wet, chiselled body frame was never captain of a football team?

  9. Jamie says:

    Its true. I’ve seen KGs husband eat out of MIXING bowls. He and matt used to make Hot dish and eat gallons of Tuna and Mac and cheese at a time. yuck. and TG can eat some serious cereal.

    he is such a real man

  10. dave says:

    He ate cereal for breakfast when there were perfectly good slabs of raw meat around? What a pansy.

  11. lauren says:

    tami, i know which one you mean, they were a phallic (sp?) shape…

  12. *tami* says:

    yeah yeah yeah! that was awesome!!!

    Episode 121: “Caroline and the Cereal”

    Caroline’s agent (Taylor) likes the idea of featuring her comic-strip character on a cereal box, but the artist flakes out after a closer look at the product, which she feels has an unfortunate resemblance to a certain part of the female anatomy. A chaotic focus group sessions does little to allay her misgivings.

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