.

 

Beware Cereal Addiction

Save our children from this encroaching horror.

Oren, Utah.The Combined Effect Center for Treatment of Compulsive Disorders today announced a new program for breakfast foods addiction, meeting a growing concern over what United States Secretary of Health Don Winelgrad recently called "the cereal problem."

"Quite honestly, this is something we should have done many years ago," said Edward Bayliss, director at the Oren, Utah-based center. "We haven't had the resources to treat this properly, and this new center provides us with those resources."

At a press conference, Tony the Tiger, who lobbied for legal recognition of Exaggerated Sugar and Starch Response Syndrome (ESSRS) as a medical condition as early as eight years ago, read a prepared statement via satellite from his home outside of Bombay: "For about sixteen years, to feel the confidence I needed, I ate the cereal I was paid to promote. In the late 1980's, on the set for commercial shoots, I'd eat sixty to seventy bowls before tape rolled. My self-reliance and pride disappeared. The message we sent to America's children is horrifying to contemplate. I want to congratulate the Combined Effect Center for its revolutionary work in treating this condition."

Mr. Tiger has since left his lucrative commercial career and returned to his prior occupation, savagely attacking villagers in India.

Other workers in the industry tell similar stories. "I wouldn't trade my new life for anything," said the Trix Rabbit, interviewed for this article at his home in Neptune, New Jersey. From 1975 to 1994, he was one of the most highly paid commercial talents in food promotions.

"Money! Amazing money! But how do you think they got me into that frenzy for every commercial? Every day I got a regular payola injection of Trix cereal, and before shooting they'd take me off the injections for a week. By the time the cameras rolled I was crazy for the cereal, absolutely off my gourd to get some. And they'd pay those bastard kids to keep it from me. 'Trix is for kids. Trix is for kids. Trix is for kids.' A living hell, with cameras rolling."

Mr. Rabbit, whose real name is Dwayne Schlaussenberg, is currently suing the General Foods corporation for emotional and physical distress; the trial will begin next October. "The day I filed my lawsuit, Ellis Martin died of an overdose. I took it as a sign that I narrowly missed my own death," said Mr. Schlaussenberg. "That was a wake-up call for the entire industry." Martin, considered one of the most talented performers in breakfast cereal commercials, was better known for going "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" than for his short-lived Broadway stage career, in which, for a run of six months during 1967, he concurrently played Oliver Twist in Oliver! at the Imperion theater, and Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank across the street at the Royal.

"But the payoff for commercials was too great," related Mr. Schlaussenberg, "and Ellis figured the chances on Broadway were limited for a bird, so he went over to Kelloggs. At first, it's exciting, meeting all the big names, like the Corn Flakes Rooster, but once you're trapped. You're getting in on the ground floor with a big name like Cocoa Puffs, but you might as well be in prison."

While fondly remembered by many, Mr. Martin lived a life of excess "that put the members of [rock group] the Who to shame," said Count Chocula, at home on Fire Island, NY with his companion, Frankenberry. Chocula, who retired from General Mills last year, related that Mr. Martin would "show up with cartoon characters from Ralph Bakshi movies and beat up the Sugar Smacks Frog. It was worse than anything in Midnight Cowboy. He would just go crazy, eat six boxes of those goddamned puffs and lose control."

The Combined Effect center will "address the underlying issues that lead to this extreme behavior," said Dr. Bayliss. Awareness is raising in other quarters, as well. A two hour drama about ESSRS aired last June on ABC. "Purple Horseshoes," starring Matthew Broderick, followed the life of Donald O'Leary, the Lucky Charms Leprachaun, from the slums of Ireland to the commercial animation studios of Los Angeles, to a sad downfall in which Mr. O'Leary allowed perverted thrill seekers to urinate on him in exchange for the brightly colored marshmallows on which he was dependent.

On another front, ESSRS testing is making its way into medical textbooks, a sign that, despite the propaganda efforts of the cereal cartel, the medical community sees this condition as genuine. "Admitting the problem takes one closer to a solution," said Mr. O'Leary, now a social worker for the Combined Effect center. "It's the only way to resolve the issues. My own story proves the dangers of a life of addiction, but it also proves that there's a way out. The Combined Effect center should show many suffering individuals a glimmer of hope at the end of that dark and winding tunnel of dependence."

More information on ESSRS can be received by sending email to Combined Effect Center for Treatment of Compulsive Disorders.


[Top]

Ftrain.com

PEEK

Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.

FACEBOOK

There is a Facebook group.

TWITTER

You will regret following me on Twitter here.

EMAIL

Enter your email address:

A TinyLetter Email Newsletter

About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.

POKE


Syndicate: RSS1.0, RSS2.0
Links: RSS1.0, RSS2.0

Contact

© 1974-2011 Paul Ford

Recent

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar. (1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie. (May 4)

More...
Tables of Contents