All the Cereal You’d Want

One of the first things I remember about college was walking into the cafeteria for the first time and seeing the row of cereal dispensers. The college stocked any cereal you’d want, from the healthy ones your parents would buy for you to the really unhealthy ones, with their unnaturally colored blobs of sugar.

Even though it was lunchtime and the hot bar was admirably staffed with smiling people really to hand me a well-cooked meal, I wanted cereal. I walked up to the dispensers and picked the most brightly-colored one I could see. I spun the little handle on the machine and it doled out one serving of the stuff. I picked up my bowl and started to step down to the milk.

A girl that had been queued behind me called after me, “You can get more cereal than that if you want.” I paused, thought about it, then stepped back and spun the handle once more and got another pile of cereal. She was right, they didn’t care how much you poured.