Unexpected New Cheerios Flavor

[Headline in The Huffington Post, 12/27/11]

The unexpected can be a good thing or a bad thing. A flavor can be pleasant, unpleasant, or just plain strange.

I remember putting something in my mouth once – I had to think about it first. I had to decide, is this something I want to do? Is this something that I’m going to regret? So forth. – and the flavor was, like, whoa, what the…?  Is that…?

I couldn’t put my finger on it. The flavor, I mean. This could be a metaphor for life. You think? Suddenly you’re doing something you never figured you’d do. You’re encountering new sensations, but your mind is preoccupied. That’s the variety of life and the confusion of past and present. You’re doing it, but it might not work out the way you expect.

Take Cheerios. You go into Trader Joe’s and there they are, but now they’re Trader Joe O’s. It’s a metaphor for life again. There are twenty-six letters, but one company picks the O and do you see other companies going with As or Bs or what have you? No. It’s all Os. And that’s just in English. The situation in China is much more complex, because you’re not turning a letter into breakfast cereal, you’re doing it to a whole word. It’s like when you pick a major in college, and are then confronted with its corpus, instead of just goofing off watching movies in your dorm room.

So to continue the metaphor, you can savor the taste or you can spew it from without your mouth onto the barren ground. I don’t recommend or not recommend this. Take the ground into account. Take into account the proximity of others and whether you’re at a funeral or a wedding or watching a pole dancer. Like that.

So to continue the metaphor some more, to buy in or not to buy in? You’ve encountered the flavor. Was it a one-off, so to speak? Do you revisit? Do you tweak the situation to change the flavor a little bit, this way or that, but preserve its basic nuances?

Rely on your gut. That’s what I do. Remember, if you pinch your nose shut, it affects your taste.

Ten-Second Game Summaries

[My 65 entries in a “Worth1000” contest]

Cootie – I was going to play Cootie but my sister messed with my game and got her cooties on it.

Dreidel – I had a little dreidel. I made it out of clay. God made me out of clay. Therefore I am a dreidel.

Skeeball – Practice hard at this game of skill and in a year or two you’ll be able to win all the kewpie dolls you could possibly desire.

Blind Man’s Bluff – We had a deaf kid in the neighborhood and when the blindfold went on, he couldn’t tag anybody!

Belling the Cat – You would sneak up behind this big lout in school and stick a Kick Me Hard sign on his back. It would take him a few times to catch on and we would always make this little scaredy cat go last. He would get caught every time, and thrashed. We loved this game!

Scavenger Hunt – Prehistoric version: (1) Find wheel (hard to do!), (2) Find cute babe from other tribe and drag her home by hair (also hard to do!), (3) Bring home mammoth leg for dinner (make sure mammoth leg not still on mammoth).

Chicken – Not so popular in these wimpy times. Teens races their cars at each other and see who swerves first. We had a million laughs with this until one really crazy dude got killed.

Cardboard Box – Ultimate game for three- and four-year olds? Put down a large, empty cardboard box in the living room. Have pillows, flashlights, costume clothes, whatever, handy. Let the kids play in, on, and around the box.

Horseshoes – First, take the shoes off the horse. Then clean up after the horse. Now you’re ready to play!

Croquet – Living on a steep hill, we’ve given up the game. All our balls roll away.

Twenty Questions – Are the New York Yankees animal, vegetable, or mineral?

Marbles – Losing all your marbles used to mean something.

Tinker Toys – Kids should tinker.

Caber Toss – An Irish game that uses a virtual telephone pole. It’s not how far you toss it, but how straight. Good luck picking the thing up in the first place.

Donkey Kong – The repetition feels good at first, but if you never take it to the next level – add some variety – it eventually becomes boring.(metaphor)

Paint Ball – Get ready to start. Wear old pants and shirt. Play with much heart. Then the balls start to hurt. (metaphor)

Russian Roulette – Sadly, our family tradition regarding this game died out recently.

Mumblety-peg – A kids game played with knives, so yeah, a little old-fashioned.

Jacks – Bounce the ball and snatch up those little three-dimensional asterisks. In my house, the best place to play is the kitchen floor.

Lionel Trains – Ideal setup is two big trains and a figure-eight track.

Red Light Green Light – Every time you go Red Light and turn around, they’re closer. Creepy… Green Light… Red Light! Shriek!

Chess – The computer will beat you unless you cheat, but if you do cheat, the computer won’t get mad and usually won’t tell on you. So go ahead.

Mother May I – Ok, now you go… Oops! You forgot to say Mother, may I!

Leap Frog – Play it today. Frogs are going extinct and so is this game.

Ping Pong – At camp, remove leaves from warped table. In dorm basement, remove empty beer cans and bottles from dinged table. At home, remove old magazines, Christmas ornaments, and cat from dusty table. Search for missing net.

Madden Football – Madden tried it once. He couldn’t get the center to snap the ball.

Red Rover – A kid will run across and try to bust through your line. Your team is pretty good except when you call over that big lout on the other team who has been held back several years, and he scatters you like ten pins.

The Olympic Games – A lot of games but nobody playing them seems to be having much fun.

I Spy with My Little Eye – Best not played alone outside the girls dorm.

Sack Race – Picnic managers report that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find serviceable sacks.

Three-legged Race – No team of three one-legged people has ever won.

Spin the Bottle -The good thing is you get to kiss three girls, say. The bad thing is, if you really like one of them, you have to watch a couple of other guys kiss her too.

Spin the Bottle – Early training for throwing your keys into the bowl.

Tug of War – How we settle disputes in the neighborhood. Mud pit at the community park. Some families are awesomely buffed up.

Dodgeball – Don’t play this game with a bully. He could put your eye out!

The Most Dangerous Game – Hunting humans. Don’t try this at home.

Solitaire – Playing this game in traffic – even in boring stop-and-go traffic –  is illegal in 49 states.

Playing House -One of you is Daddy, the other is Mommy. Not to be confused with “playing doctor.”

Cowboys and Indians – If you’re an Indian, no casinos! You’re here to take scalps.

Double Dutch – Girls are way better than boys at this. Braids seem to help.

Games of Chance – Luck never be’d a lady tonight for me.

War – Card game which, like real war, doesn’t always produce a winner but does pass the time.

The Great Game – Russia/Britain, 1813-1907. Central Asia. No one won.

Go – Common question when beginners play each other: “Did I win?”

Hide and Seek – I played this with my date the other night. She couldn’t find me, so I guess she went home.

Kick the Can – You kick it down the road. That’s the whole point.

Craps – Baby needs a new pair of shoes. I lost the other ones last week.

Mousetrap – No mouse need worry.

Pong – Coolest video game of the year. 1972.

Bridge – A bid of three diamonds means my wife expects me to ruff her voided suit, or no, was it to finesse her spades and clubs, or…?

Canasta – You meld, but not like Spock.

Chutes and Ladders – At a certain age, your child will play both sides, and you can sit back for a well-deserved, one-minute rest.

Scrabble – You make words out of letters and some wise guy tells you  that aa means lava.

Old Maid – If one card is sticking way up, your four-year-old wants you to pick  it.

Dominos – Fitting numbers together, but forget that. Set up a few hundred and tip over the one at the end.

Poker – Fun card game until you bet your wife or girlfriend.

Parcheesi – Don’t know the rules but do know the name rules.

Legos – You can build a city or a rocket ship but most likely you will build a little square house or a very short wall.

Chinese Checkers – Watch out or you’ll be picking marbles out of your toddler’s diapers.

Monopoly – The houses and hotels used to be made of wood but now they’re made of plastic.

Chess – A game where you take my pieces one by one with a smirk on your puss.

Checkers – Old men down used to play checkers next to the stove, but now they all have their angry birds.

Pick Up Stix – My six year old can beat me but my Mac can’t.