Cereal is fascistic. Its reign of terror begins with pseudo-scientific propaganda about breakfast being the ‘most important meal of the day’. Its regime is strengthened by complimentary toys (the Nazi’s had a free car and radio in every home), more sugar than Flo Rida can swallow, and the tyrannical concept that it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. And once you’re clasped within its iron fist, its dictatorship grimly results in a four-box-a-week addiction, bloating and teeth made of glass. Despotic.


In case it isn’t clear, I have a problem. If there were a Cereal-o-holics Anonymous, I would gladly attend weekly meetings, surrounded by cracked-out seven year old’s bouncing off the walls, and talking in Esperanto to the Lucky Charms leprechaun. Yes, my name is Stephen and I am a cereal addict.  Admitting this is the first step.

I can’t get enough of the junk. It is my one true vice, bypassing all others, be they drink, drugs or sex. I love it more than Guardian journalists love The Wire. Yes, THAT much, although unlike said sycophants, I don’t believe it is beyond criticism. While muesli, Special K and porridge are not to be underestimated, they skirt too close to the ‘healthy’ line to be true life-wrecking addiction material. The real tormentors are those brands that attempt to turn breakfast into a dessert and with it, your life into ruins. Sometimes they don’t even require milk. You can idly pick at the various quasi-cakes and biscuits from the box until your fingers are greased with a translucent slime and your pupils are as wide as innocence itself. But cereal is not innocent. It is evil. Beautiful, heavenly evil.

Like any alcoholic, I’m a strangely loyal creature with a preferred poison, so I generally like to stick to the same brand all of the time (currently: Kellogg’s Fruit and Fibre). But for the sake of Platform, the time has come to spread my bloody wings and indulge the dark-souled rainbow matter of children’s cereal. Those poor kids. Sadly, I actually discovered that kids now don’t have quite the same wide choice as I did as a youngster (where have you gone Ricicles, Lucky Charms, Froot Loops and Start?)  But there are still some intriguing (and very expensive) breakfast products on the market.


This was formerly called Cinnamon Grahams. I don’t understand the name change. Calling anything Graham is a mistake (remember that future parents), but to realise the mistake and then change the name to be suggestive of sexual ambiguity is frying-pan-to-fire territory. Especially when the thing you’re naming is a food. At least personifying a cereal is playful, wacky at worst. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s much better to be a bit wacky then plain stupid. Because calling anything Curiously Cinnamon when you know for a fact you’ve put cinnamon in it is so dumb it makes The Apprentice seem smart. If you’ve put cinnamon in the ingredients then it’s hardly surprising it tastes of cinnamon. If it was made out of everything other than cinnamon, and then you tasted it, and cinnamon was the prevalent flavour - that would be curious. The name change makes no sense because when you buy a cereal called Cinnamon Grahams, you expect it to taste of cinnamon. No one was feeling misled. No one was demanding a name change that explained that the taste they were experiencing would be a surprise. There’s no surprise. The name has already revealed the flavour. Something more suitable would have been Curiously Nauseating, because after I ate two bowls of this, I felt sick for 3 days. I wasn’t expecting that, but they did taste nice enough for me to consider eating a third. And I don’t even want to think what Curious Grahams would taste like (spunk?)…


I think this kind of cereal might be the most evil. The name is an obvious attempt to cash in on the kudos of the organic health food market and the design of the packaging is all pretty like The Darling Buds of May. But Jesus, this stuff is intense. I think this is marketed as adult cereal too, because it comes in a bag and the promotions are for hot air balloon holidays and money off coupons in B&Q. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it might be OK to eat. My teeth felt like a war zone during and afterward, and my blood turned to caramel. I was feeling slightly edgy after my first bowl and the jagged clusters were so dense they tore chunks from my gums. My mouth looked like the inside of a Mars bar, but drenched in creamy milk. A bit like a Mars bar party actually.


These remind me of Corn Pops. Maybe they’re the same thing under a different name? I remember Corn Pops sponsored an entire Take That tour, with free boxes given out to all that attended. I’m sure it was the chemicals in those crispy little balls of syrup that helped whip the crowd into such fun and frenzy. You do not want to know the kind of fervent terror unleashed by a fanatical 11 year old when a topless Mark Owen is combined with the smacked up high of Corn Pops. Eardrums broke like hymens on the backs of horses. Golden Nuggets have the same sickly quality, although I think they’d be more suited to advertising child abuse than pop concerts. For something so yellow, they have a strange capacity to turn milk into a thick, almost grey paste. Eating no more than a spoonful of these makes me sure children have iron solid constitutions. After my second bowl, I was in need of a vat of Ritalin, the firm hand of Supernanny to rule over me, and a precautionary ASBO just in case things got really out of hand. To lead me away from temptation, I had my taller housemate store the box on the highest shelf in the kitchen. It wasn’t high enough. I’d already floated to the ceiling.


This is probably my favourite. Not only does it combine my two favourite things (breakfast and biscuits), but the wolf on the front looks exactly how I do when I’m presented with a bowl of my favourite cereal. I understand the emotion. Cereal addiction is not speciest. After four bowls of this (it’s REALLY nice), I started feeling a little weird(er than usual). I wouldn’t be surprised if this came with a free unicorn inside, because its sugar content is perspective changing. The milk turned to chocolate and my overall feeling was that I needed to get stoned so I could justify finishing off the box. But I could hardly move and carb crashed so hard I thought I’d eaten something from McDonalds. But the reality was worse still. I’d eaten Nestle. Globalisation affects everybody.