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.

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2 Responses

  1. Eventually, it all tastes like cardboard. Though I suppose connoisseurs can tell one cardboard vintage from another.

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one wondering about the preferential treatment of the O.

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