When I was young, I was addicted to Apple Jacks, Sugar Corn Pops and King Vitamin cereals. But as delicious as the first two were, King Vitamin wasn’t very flavorful. In fact, it was rather basic: A miniature-sized cogwheel that was much like Captain Crunch: same texture, minus the taste. Still, something about it…
One day (back in the late 70s), I was craving King Vitamin like a crack fiend (definitely not speaking from experience). I went into the kitchen, by-passed the other already opened and almost empty boxes of cereal and opened a new one (Cardinal Sin in the Davis house). I knew I wanted more than one bowl, so I poured the entire box into a punch bowl.
Yes, a punch bowl.
Then I added enough milk to ensure I could enjoy every cool, saturated, crunchy bite.
After eating the equivalent of three regular-sized cereal bowls, I felt that I had had enough and didn’t care for the soggy texture that the cereal had taken. I sat back from the table, exhaled, stood up and shuffled to the sink to pour the remainder of the bowl out.
That’s when dad (“Big Ken”, ex-football playing, feel no pain and show no emotion, Davis) walked in.
“Boy, have you lost your mind?!?!?” he yelled as he unbuckled his belt, pulling it through the pant belt loops.
Keep in mind that, although I got the belt more than everybody else, my father was not abusive. He had rules and if you broke those rules, you suffered the consequences. I deserved every one of those sessions.
Just as he grabbed my upper arm to wear me out for wasting food, he stopped, plopped me back down in the kitchen chair and put the belt on the table in front of me.
“You gon’ finish that bowl, milk and all! BEFORE I come back!”
I cried silently through every soggy spoonful, staring at the belt, racing a deadline that hadn’t been established. I almost choked as I slowly drank from the never-ending milk reservoir successfully, without vomiting.
Success! ‘Stay Of Execution’!
When he returned, he found me sitting there, sick as a dog, but happy because I had finished it all.
Now here’s the lesson children: Always read the fine print. Get the conditions of your contract established BEFORE you take on a job. Remember, he told me I was going to finish the bowl.
He never ONCE said he wasn’t going to whoop my behind until it glowed…
…cause Lord knows it DID.
Haven’t had King Vitamin since…
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