I need to say a few words to the breakfast cereal companies of this country…
Part of me wants to take a baseball bat to your knees, drag you helplessly into a bowl of spoiled milk, and then watch you drown in soggy misery—all for insulting my intelligence.
But since that might come across as a bit harsh, perhaps I’ll just settle for asking you one question: Really?
I mean, really…must your cereal boxes inform me that the cereal in the photograph has been “Enlarged to show texture”? Do you think I’m going to file some sort of class-action lawsuit for false representation of the true-to-life smaller size cereal inside the box? And why print the disclaimer with a font whose letters are no bigger than dust mites? If you want to say it, then say it…”ATTENTION CONSUMERS!!! THE CEREAL FLAKES IN THIS PHOTOGRAPH ARE FIFTY TIMES THEIR ORIGINAL SIZE. OUR ONLY INTENTION IS TO SHOW TEXTURE. WE DEBATED MAKING IT LARGER, BUT THAT WOULD’VE MADE THE FLAKES LOOK LIKE COW PATTIES…AND ANYTHING RESEMBLING DRIED POOP WOULD CERTAINLY GET US IN DEEP DOO-DOO.”
If they’re not showing texture, then it’s “detail.” And if neither of those suits their liking, then companies like organic-conscious Kashi have taken their disclaimer not just a step further, but in an obscure direction. In fact, it’s hard to discern whether they’re serious about their word choice or are just flat out playing with us…
Extremely hungry, I was shoveling in spoonfuls of Kashi’s Cinnamon Harvest. I repeatedly plunged my spoon into my bowl at such a voracious pace, I nearly bypassed the chewing phase and went straight to swallowing. Slurping the milk. Smacking my lips. I can eat with the best of toddlers. And then, staring at the cereal box, I saw it: Kashi’s disclaimer…”Enlarged to show taste.”
Since when can you see taste? That’s like biting into an apple and saying, “Boy, this sounds red.” Just doesn’t make sense. I truly appreciate Kashi’s attempt to wrap my brain around the unthinkable, but entering any kind of fourth dimensional thinking goes way beyond the simplicity I prefer when looking at a cereal box. When I try to comprehend a picture showing taste, all I can manage is a monstrous migraine headache. Multiply my pain and suffering times…let’s say…one million people who eat Kashi cereals, and you’re not only looking at pharmacies that can’t keep up with the demand for headache drugs, but a class-action lawsuit demanding justice served through compensation. Personally, I don’t think Kashi’s disclaimer has a prayer in a court of law.
But Kashi is not the company I’d have my crosshairs on. It’d be Kellogg’s. That’s right, the mother of all breakfast cereal companies. I, of course, would elect to represent myself. After all, I know cereal. It’s been the staple food for my entire life. At any time of the day, I can engulf a bowl of cereal like taking in a nice breath of fresh air. Move aside you unqualified attorneys…I got this!…
Supreme Court of the United States
Ros Hill v. Kellogg’s
Elena Kagan, Associate Justice, presiding
Justice Kagan: “Mr. Hill, you are representing yourself in the case, is this not true?”
Me: “Trick question, your Honor?”
JK: “Mr. Hill do you know where you are?”
Me: “Thirty feet from you? Thirty-five? Your Honor, I’m not trying to be funny, but just answering the question. I could’ve said third rock from the sun and that, too, would’ve been a correct answer.”
JK: “Mr. Hill, it’s now going on thirty seconds into this hearing, and you already have two strikes against you. One more strike and I shall have you escorted out for contempt of court. Am I being clear, Mr. Hill?”
Me: “Yes, ma’am—I mean, your Honor! Sorry, sorry, sorry! Please don’t strike me on that one. An honest mistake, your Honor.”
JK: “Let us begin…Mr. Hill, I see that you are suing the Kellogg’s Corporation for the amount of $329 million for ‘bafflingly fraudulent advertising’ showing taste. Bafflingly? Is that even a word? Mr. Hill, I must ask you…Is this a typo in what I’m reading? Just how can you show taste? And how did you ever come up with that highly exorbitant amount?”
Me: “Good questions, your Honor. $329 million is derived from my birthday…March 29. I figure if you’re gonna get a gift, then make it a birthday gift! Moving on…Kellogg’s has a subsidiary company called Kashi, and on the front of the box of Cinnamon Harvest it states: ‘Enlarged to show taste.’ And I’m like, enlarged to show taste? Like what the F? I mean, like really? Your Honor, I sense we’re on the same page here. Quite a bafflingly mess, isn’t it?”
JK: “Mr. Hill, I need to say something. And I’ll be blunt. Just how the hell did this case make it to the Supreme Court?”
Me: “Your Honor, I’ll be happy to answer that, but first I must ask one thing: are you allowed to say ‘hell’ in court? Cuz I almost dropped the F bomb a minute ago. And I’m thinkin’, if you can say hell, then I can maybe get away with f—.”
The last thing I remember was Justice Kagan putting three fingers in the air, just before some burly Marine-like dude put me in a choke hold and dragged me out of the room. I wasn’t sure if the applause was for my great oratory or my strike-out at home plate. I can only presume the former.
Miraculously, justice did prevail. Well, sort of.
Though Justice Kagan denied my request of monetary compensation, she did acknowledge and reward my pain and suffering in her Opinion:
“It is with a strange unfolding of my Opinion regarding Ros Hill v. Kellogg’s that I have found an unfortunate understanding for a need to compensate Mr. Hill. I say unfortunate, because I plain just don’t like the guy. However, Justice never favors on the merits of likes or dislikes of personality. Mr. Hill not-so-eloquently stated that ‘a million other poor souls whose minds are bent and harmed from trying to figure out Kashi’s fourth dimensional brain-fart, taste-enigma” should receive equal distribution for the amount of $329 million. I have denied that request. However, as difficult as this is for me to say, I must agree that Kashi’s taste disclaimer is…god forgive me here…bafflingly bizarre. It is with sound mind that I do hereby order Kellogg’s to compensate Mr. Hill’s mental anguish with 329 boxes of Cinnamon Harvest, all to have the exclusive disclaimer that will say: ‘Enlarged because it is.’ Happy Birthday, Mr. Hill. This case is over!”
Copyright Ros Hill 2017