August 28th, 2008

krazy koati

It's a honey of an O

If you're wondering who's responsible for the recent catastrophic rise in Honey Nut Cheerios prices I have to advise you that it's pretty much my father's doing. He didn't intend it, of course, it's just one of those things which happens in our family with alarming reliability. You see, one of the supermarkets around here -- not the one we usually go to, but one that my mother likes for its cold cuts and its built-in Starbucks -- was trying to have a sale on boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. My father likes the cereal since it's just sweet enough without falling into the category of candy cereals, and my mother doesn't care about it.

My father also believes that I like it, although I don't actually eat breakfast cereal except when I'm desperately hungry for a snack and we haven't got anything like potato chips or corn chips or such. It's not that I don't like the taste; it's just that I don't feel any less hungry after I've eaten a bowl of cereal. So my choices are to eat a useless breakfast or else to keep eating until about two-thirds of the box is gone, at which point I may not feel any less hungry but the force of reason prohibits my eating any more. I have a similar problem with eating eggs, except when they're in the form of egg salad sandwiches.

Anyway, the store was having a sale in which they meant to sell four boxes for seven dollars. The cashier, unfortunately, looked at my father's food purchase and rang up his four boxes of Cheerios at seven dollars each. While he didn't notice this initially he did realize the whole purchase was considerably over his estimated cost. He stopped and told the cashier that no, he did not buy $28 worth of Cheerios, and the cashier explained she was just ringing it up by what the scanner said. He went to the Customer Service desk, where explaining the problem went catastrophically bad. They wanted him to understand that it was four boxes for seven dollars, and he wanted them to understand he wasn't paying seven dollars each for four boxes.

The result: my father did not pay $28 for an awful lot of Honey Nut Cheerios to augment the two and a half boxes already in the pantry. He did spend about three times as long as he was actually interested in talking about this with Customer Service since they wouldn't let him go when he decided he wanted to be done with this more than get his $21 overcharge back. The pint box of Haagen-Dasz melted less than you might have guessed for the time spent on this. And we had enough Honey Nut Cheerios to feed me for days.

Trivia: In 1913 Lord Northcliffe and the London Daily Mail offered £10,000 for the first non-stop aerial crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, in either direction, with takeoff and landing somewhere in the United States, Canada, or Newfoundland on one side, and the British Isles on the other. source: Famous First Flights That Changed History: Sixteen Dramatic Adventures, Lowell Thomas, Lowell Thomas Jr.

Currently Reading: How The States Got Their Shapes, Mark Stein. OK, this book has great intentions. But it's also badly flawed in that many of the details of state borders were decided by the quirks of the people involved in drawing a line here and not there. But Stein writes very little about the personalities of those involved, so that vague impersonal forces are responsible for South Carolina having that shape (which makes some sense when you get each edge explained), or for giving us two nearly but not identical Dakotas, or for making Maryland so thoroughly a failure in all its border disputes. Granted, some of the people involved are hard to track down any information about, but that makes it more refreshing when Stein does include the personal touch, like about why Idaho is so tiny up top or why there is a Delaware.