My mom never bought me frosted cereal – willingly at least. As much as I begged her for Tony the Tiger and his sugary flakes of corn, she rarely gave in to my childhood sugar fixation. Situated at perfect eye-level for my pint-size height, I’d walk the cereal aisle fascinated by the bountiful boxes I wasn’t allowed to toss into the cart. I didn’t figure it out at the time, but gawking at life’s sweetest fix has eventually led to my habitual inclination to salivate at the sight of pretty much anything coated in frosting.
Let’s take last weekend’s gigantic purple nug. I could have carved through the crystals like they were fresh Kirkwood powder. I stared at it. The snowstorm had dumped about six inches overnight, I figured. I had my purps pocketed and my board sported with a fresh coat of wax: Time to fly down the mountain.
I didn’t want to break it up though. Staring at it in wonder like I was still witnessing that giant orange tiger on that big blue box, bragging about how his shit was bomb, I just couldn’t come to terms with wrecking the spectacle.
My hat goes off to Tony. Kellogg Company has burned his image forever in the recesses of my retinas and while I still manage to grab a box every now and then, Tony just reminds me of the sugary perfection I can never get enough of.
But that bastard couldn’t get me out here, not amidst Mother Nature’s prime real estate in the freshly coated Sierra Mountains. Here the frosting was pure. Sure, my buddies and I would cut it up all afternoon, but the slopes had just opened and we were staring wide-eyed at a freshly shimmering bowl of sugar.
It was the first run of the day. Sitting on the lift chair, I figured it was a perfect time to roll a quick one. So, I pulled some supplies from my jacket pocket. Then Tony showed his evil mug – the purple I couldn’t bring myself to purge plummeted forty feet to the ground below. Grrreat.
I deserved a punch in the arm from every bundled up boarder on the lift, but instead we all just watched our liberation fall silently into the snow.
I was three feet tall again, ironically reaching for something I couldn’t possibly grasp, desperately craving what my buds and I both desired.
How could Tony do this to me? That corporate mascot had snuck his way into my now forlorn retreat. Snowboarding was perfection, but now Kellogg’s had to stamp their trademark on the mountain scenery. I thought I could have escaped those propagandists up here, but I guess I underestimated the sweet tooth they instilled in me as a child – and so did Tony.
Kellogg’s may have catapulted me into a lifelong sugar addiction, but my mother’s restrictions provided me with a keen ability to sniff out sugar hidden in any crafty places.
My buddies figured it lost, forgotten and forever frozen in Sugar Bowl’s wastelands. I knew I had a gift, but I usually attributed it to too much smoking. So when I found the nug still intact on my search down the mountain, I felt like I was an ignorant Pavlovian subject in a sick Kellogg’s experiment. Miles away from the supermarket, at an altitude rivaling my soon-to-be mindset, their slogans penetrated even the most sacred of places.
But no one could stop me up in the mountains. Tony tried to get his dirty paws on my freedom, but my nose found the way – barely.
Is that really what it takes now? We drive hours to escape the slogans, the mascots, the Dream, the sugar coating, and all we’re left with is a damp purple nug and the taste of Frosted Flakes in our mouths. Why do we have to travel hundreds of miles to escape the objects that dominate our culture and our minds only to never truly escape them? Is it the sugar we can’t get enough of? Is it Tony? Is it nature? Please, pass the sugar.