Page 90 July 30, 2021 DAN’S PAPERS danspapers.com
BY DAN RATTINER
I’ve noticed something odd about
the writing on cereal boxes. I think
it helps explain why Republicans object
to big government, and Democrats
seem to embrace it. For
example, here’s what’s on
the Frosted Mini Wheats
Original box, in big print:
“1 bowl and you’re good
till lunch.” Sounds good?
Here’s what’s just below in
“After eating a bowl with 2% milk
at least half of adults had a lower desire
to eat than before breakfast for 3
After that big slogan appeared on
the Frosted Mini Wheats box for the
first time, a man with a clipboard
walked into the corporate office of
Kellogg’s, which makes Frosted Mini
“Can you prove what you wrote on
the Frosted Mini Wheats?”
“Well, it’s just common sense.”
“You need to have a study done.
And the results need to be right under
the claim on the box.”
“Yes, sir. Whatever you say.”
“We’re not asking you to recall
the product that is already out there
without this proof.”
“Thank you, sir. That’s very kind of
Kellogg’s headquarters is in Battle
Creek, Mich. As far as the eye can
see, grain is waving in the fields.
These good folks are Midwesterners
— God-fearing people, people anxious
to please. They order the study.
Here’s another example. It’s on the
Cheerios 100% Whole Grain Oats
box. The big print says: “These little
Os are circular dynamos packed with
soluble fiber that is linked with happy,
Here’s the small print.
“(Three grams of soluble fiber
daily from whole wheat oat food, like
Cheerios cereal, in a diet low in saturated
fat and cholesterol, may reduce
the risk of heart disease. Cheerios
provides 1 gram per serving).”
This is from General Mills in Minneapolis.
A big problem must have resulted
when the men with the clipboards
also inquired about the Wheaties.
“You can’t say ‘breakfast of champions.’
Lots of champions don’t have
Wheaties for breakfast.”
“But lots of people do.”
“We’ve been saying ‘breakfast
of champions’ for 100
years. It’s grandfathered
he clipboards hold a
closed door meeting. On
the other side of the door,
the cereal executives hear part
of the conversation.
“I think we’ve covered this ground
before with Grape Nuts,” somebody
“There’s no grapes in Grape-Nuts.”
“There’s no nuts either.”
“How was that decided?”
“The upshot was they can keep saying
it. I think ‘breakfast of champions’
falls in with that decision. And
there are at least some champions,
which is more than what can be said
The clipboards come out.
“We’re going to get back to you,”
they say to the executives. “We’ll
bring this to our higher-ups.”
“Think it will be okay?”
“It’s entirely possible.”
And then, a month later, they return
to say ‘breakfast of champions’
is a go. And can they get LeBron
James to autograph a box?
The clipboards are not just harassing
For example, the people who make
Red Bull have been forced to confirm
on its website that the taurine in Red
Bull is not made from bull’s testicles.
And I’ve heard that in Canada, a lawsuit
resulted in the Red Bull company
printing “drinking Red Bull does not
enable you to fly” because the slogan
“Red Bull gives you wings” was on the
cans. And Red Bull was ordered to
pay you $10 if you drank such a can.
THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Our solar system is messed up. The
Earth wobbles on its axis. The Moon
doesn’t spin. The circling of Earth
around the Sun is nearer the Sun
sometimes and farther away at other
times. So sometimes the Earth’s surface
is cold and other times it’s hot.
What a rickety operation the solar
There is one constant, however. The
solstices. The Sun sets a little further
to the right each day, reaching its
furthest point within a few days of
June 21 each year. About six months
later, the sunset moves to the left to
its most southerly point. The winter
I am personally rather annoyed
with this. Summer in the Hamptons
begins the last week of May and ends
the first week in September. You
would think that the Lord would have
made that dependable summer solstice
at the 50th day of our 100-day
Because it all changes direction on
June 21, the days start to shorten.
Thus, there’s less sunshine in the last
half of our season than in the first
I work out every day in East Hampton
for 30 minutes just before sunset.
So that means in the spring, I work
out around 8 p.m. In the winter it can
be at 4:30 p.m. This is no way to run
a railroad, or, for example, a solar
About 50,000 years ago in England,
people built a circular group
of stones called Stonehenge. It’s still
there, and scientists and religious
leaders say they can only speculate
why this was built.
The fact is that every June on the
day of the solstice, a ray of sunlight
shines through a space between two
particular boulders and blesses the
very center of the circle with sunshine
exactly at sunset. Then it fades
out. Evidence suggests thousands of
people came to observe this, and even
to this day, crowds come to hotels and
motels near to Stonehenge and party
until they’re drunk as the beam of
light meets that spot.
Why was Stonehenge built? I think
I know. People back then were just as
smart as we are today. They noticed
the impossibly complicated solar
activities that changed things every
year. And they had religious leaders
who tried to comfort them.
I think one of them noticed the
constancy of the summer solstice. He
may not have understood it. But he
could use it.
Get a few thousand people to come
to this site where these boulders were
built and he will show, every year on
the same day, how suddenly, he could
make a beam of sunshine light up the
very center of the circle. It was magic.
He was their wizard, their king. And
they bowed down to him and did his
bidding. And he liked that.
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