Best Beloved likes her some children's cereal. Frosted Boulders, Sugar Blimps, Crunchy Cinnamon Pillows, stuff that's essentially a crunchy pudding to lure children into eating first thing in the day. I include Cheerios in this - adults who think you're eating adult food when you have a bowl of Cheerios, you are mistaken. Likewise Crunchy Nut, which is Frosties for people who don't own their vices.
So in the international aisle at Tesco I spot a little cluster of American cereals. I love the boxes of American cereals as they perfectly embody the earnestness of Yanky packaging, proclaiming their health benefits like a Victorian pill bottle, while perfectly executing a pop-artistic gaucheness and naivety of design that you don't see outside action figures and waterslides in the UK. My eyes were drawn to the Apple Zings. These have many ironic virtues - they're made by 'mom brands' cereals, a name that could only be born in the hell cauldron of uncriticized capitalism. Some diligent importer had overstickered the ingredients list to match some European edict. At the bottom of the list was the proviso 'May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children'. They're a children's cereal that causes ADHD. Obviously I bought them.
A little later in the week my parents were visiting and I decided to show the Zings to my dad. 'Read the ingredients list,' I said. He used to be a special educational needs teacher. I figured that ADHD brekkers would give him a chuckle.
'Jesus Christ,' he said, 'Where did you find these?'
'Tesco? Why did they have these at Tesco?'
'They were in the international aisle.'
He called my stepmum over. 'Have a look at these love.' She was a midwife.
'They've got Sunset Yellow in them!' She said. Sunset Yellow is an E number. 'Isn't that banned?'
'They did ban that,' My dad said, 'Back in the 80s.'
'Why did you buy this?' Asked my stepmum. 'You wouldn't want children eating this. This wouldn't be safe for breastfeeding. Who's eating this?'
Best Beloved, who is breastfeeding the Buggle, had been eating it for the last three days.
'I am eating it.' I said. 'I am the only person who is eating this.'