The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

October/November 2005 Humor Contest Winner
Best Very Short Humor!

Cereal Conspiracy


Karen Rinehart

I dug through my daughter's sticker box and unearthed a yellow Fruitloop. I haven't purchased Fruitloops since 1999. I rummaged through two –year– old school supplies and found a Cinnamon Toast Crunch square. The no longer manufactured 100% sugar version.

I opened the drawer in our coffee table to retrieve the remote control (one of seven) and found my missing hair clippies, nail polish smeared cotton balls, nail clippings, a paper napkin, two broken crayons, a Christmas card from 1988, pencil stub, unpopped popcorn kernels, my stitch ripper, used dental floss, an empty dental floss container and exactly 27 cents. No remote control and amazingly, no cereal.

I'm convinced there's an underground cereal network—millions of wheat puffs, rice crisps, fake fruit bites and marshmallow minis led by their sinister leader, Captain Crunchless. Their sole purpose is to drive mothers everywhere crazy—as if we need their help. They hold meetings in their high tech underground headquarters:  Sugar Bomb Central.

"All right troops, Mrs. Rinehart has been having it a bit too easy lately—her socks have been matching warm out of the dryer, the dogs haven't barfed in five days and she went an entire week without any of the children needing a poster board at 10pm. Crispy?"

"Present, sir!"

"You're on Barefoot Detail. Make sure you wedge yourself between her toes and the kitchen floor immediately after she's swept and then an hour after she's mopped. Station one of your men in the toe of her running shoe for good measure."

"Sir, consider it done, Sir!"

"Fruity! Activate Super Scent Sensors the very first morning she gets morning sickness. Station your platoon under her minivan mats, in the cupholders and air vents. I want her completely surrounded. Am I clear?"

"As crystallized sugar, Sir!"

"Major Marshmallow? I want you sticking to her dry–clean only pants, temporary crown, under her fresh manicure, on the bathroom mirrors and under the couch cushions. Get her dogs in on the for strategic location deposits."

"All over it, Sir!"

Sure enough, I opened the other coffee table drawer and found the remote control. It was snuggled up with its spouse and 5 children; among three incomplete decks of cards. Pastel bits of fluff stuck to the Channel Up and Record keys. The missing cards ended up adhered to the underside of the neighbor's cat.

The next day I opened the drawer and found EIGHT fluff encrusted remote controls. I know they're all related, because they look practically identical. Our family made it through the "Birds and Bees" talks…but now what do I tell them about the Secret Lives of Remote Controllers?

I'm having a hard enough time with the Cereal Conspiracy.

©2005, Karen Rinehart

Since March, 2002, Karen Rinehart's column, True To Life, has been published biweekly and weekly in Media General newspapers. Her online column reaches readers across the U.S. and world, including, Europe, England, Asia and Australia.

Karen's columns and The Bus Stop Mommies are featured in the books, The Misadventures of Moms and Disasters of Dads (April, 2004, Moms In Print Press), Misadventures of Moms, Disasters of Dads, Second Edition (2006), Divine Secrets of the Yaweh Sisterhood (2006) and (upcoming volume of) the best selling Amazing Grace series.

Relevant Radio dubbed Karen Rinehart, "Our own version of Erma Bombeck." Editor & Publisher magazine named Karen as a possible replacement for Dave Barry.

Karen's weekly columns also run in regional newspapers and magazines and on numerous websites such as

Karen's entertaining speaking and her book, Invisible Underwear, Bus Stop Mommies and Other Things True To Life,(April 2004) are favorite picks for book clubs and writer's groups.

Readers recently told Rinehart, "Soccer moms are SO 20th Century—We're Bus Stop Mommies now!"A native of central Ohio, Karen now lives in Concord, NC with her two kids, two goofball dogs and one husband.

WEBSITE:  To visit Karen's website, Busstopmommies, click HERE to visit.

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©Margie Culbertson

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