Before I began writing On Deadline*, several of my bosses told me what they expected out of the blog. The posts were not to be about what I had for breakfast, they said. Cereal was mentioned a couple times. Being a co-creator of the blog’s concept, I knew as much. But I understood where they were coming from. Aside from a half-dozen stories at CNN, my only writing of length in preceding years had come in this blog. And this blog was no stranger to cereal.
My brother understands this history, and that’s why when he reads about a new cereal restaurant beginning to franchise across the country, he promptly sends me the story. Amid the revamping of Cereality’s business model and the reported failure of the company’s Evanston branch, I’m a bit disillusioned with the entire cereal restaurant industry. The nexus of my pain? The ground floor of the condo down the street has been empty for probably a year now. There’s a “retail parking” garage, but inside is only a expensive spa. My dreams of a neighboring Cereality and Krispy Kreme have long died.
With this other cereal chain’s expansion, the article tells of 16 stores — I like to think of them as restaurants, to think otherwise cheapens the cereal experience — under development. “Looks like Cereality is going to get a run for its money,” my brother says. But the story doesn’t name the locations, and I’m a little distrustful. Until I see my city’s name on paper and next to cereal, I can’t raise my spoon.
In other news, I have a new great idea. Chocolate-covered Cheerios. The taste of my Christmas and Easter mornings! A soft pitch at Sunday night’s festivities has no doubt left the gathered Leongs and Strahotas dreaming of endless bowls. How this idea took 27 years to strike, I have no idea.