A while ago I posted a few pics of my cereal box wall. I still occasionally come across a cereal box worth photographing, even if it’s not in wall form. Here is “Organic Wild Puffs”—one of the trippiest cereal boxes I’ve ever seen (larger version).
Decorated in faux-Aztec imagery, the box suggests a cereal that is part Fruit Loops, part mescaline hallucinogen.
And the box admits as much: not only is there a play on the word puff, there is also a play on the idea of addiction: the cereal is “habitat forming.” (The company donates a percentage of profits to the National Wildlife Refuge Association.)
In DeLillo’s White Noise, Jack Gladney calls cereal boxes “the only avant-garde we’ve got” in America. Looking here at the drug references, quetzalcoatl icons, and vivid coloring, I’d say he might be right.
I wish I had a picture of that sight but I don’t. It was a mountain of empty cereal boxes, hundreds of them on my dining room floor in the sad little Pheasant Run apartment complex, where I could see and hear the four lanes of the Ohio turnpike out my bedroom window. All I have is this second photograph (larger image), taken from a different angle in 1995.
I used to eat a lot of cereal. A lot. Three or four bowls a morning, every morning at 6am just before I went off to teach the teeming hordes of America’s youth at an all boy’s Jesuit high school.
At one point I got sick of throwing out all those cereal boxes–this was 1995, long before curbside recycling became the norm. So I began collecting the boxes, and eventually I had enough to cover an entire 10×8′ section of an interior wall in my apartment.
I snapped a few pictures of this wall, with what camera I don’t even remember. At some point in the past twelve years, again, I don’t remember, I scanned the photos (larger image). And these are the only evidence that once, in Toledo, Ohio, there was a wall of cereal boxes.