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Not Breakfast of Champions; Breakfast for Champions?

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I was channel-flipping this afternoon and I saw an Eggo waffles ad — some animated dad trying to steal a waffle from his own adorable daughter in various Tom-and-Jerry-ish ways. Apparently, the only way dad gets waffles in that household is through burglary. He can’t just wait his turn for the waffle-box and toast his own waffle. No, he has to commit Grand Theft Waffle.

As I remember it, breakfast used to be about family togetherness and unity before the stresses of the day. Not anymore, though. Breakfast isn’t just breakfast anymore. Breakfast is an every-man-for-himself, free-for-all of a contest. It’s Breakfast Melee!

I started thinking about it and I realized there’s a definite trend. Cookie Crisp? Chip the Wolf goes to insane lengths to try to steal cereal from kids. Trix? Silly Rabbit goes to insane lengths to try to steal cereal from kids. Lucky Charms? Lucky the Leprechaun goes to insane lengths to try to stop kids from stealing his cereal.

Personally, I always watched that poor, sad Trix rabbit and wondered why he didn’t get a job as the Easter Bunny and buy himself his own box of fruity corn puffs.

What a strange phenomenon is the daily breakfast deathmatch. This morning, in the Kitch-Arena (rena-rena-ena) it’s Mom v. Dad (dad-ad-ad) for a plate of bacon and eggs (eggs-ggs-ggs)! Loser has to eat oatmeal (oatmeal-atmeal-atmeal).

I don’t know about everyone else out there, but breakfast was never such an end-all, be-all meal for me. In the morning I’m more likely to make a sandwich or re-heat lasagna than pour a bowl of cereal. My whole family is the same way. We made normal breakfast foods on holidays or special occasions, and that’s about it. Maybe that’s why I don’t get this phenomenon. The daily bacon-and-eggs death match wasn’t a part of my childhood.

Perhaps this trend is a result of the fixation America tends to have with food. Breakfast isn’t just a meal anymore – it’s a goal! Breakfast is the ultimate reward! Breakfast is worth stealing for! Oppressing rabbits for! Endlessly stalking tiny green men for!

If breakfast is not a contest, then it is the result of an epic quest. A Cheerios box is placed golden-idol style at the end of a booby-trapped tomb that would make Indiana Jones call in sick. Toucan Sam and his little bird companions sail the high seas endlessly seeking cereal. It’s breakfast as Holy Grail.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people who truly love breakfast food and who tend to make pancakes for dinner are willing to run gauntlets, sail seas, and harass leprechauns all for the love of cereal. I certainly wouldn’t, and I doubt I’d do it for a hamburger either or a slice of pizza. Leprechauns deserve their privacy too, you know.

I can’t wait to see how this trend continues to evolve and play out over the years. In the future, Olympic game winners won’t get their face on a box of Wheaties anymore. Instead, they’ll get a box of Wheaties. Huzzah!

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