Puff the Magic Cereal Box

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.

More of the Cereal Box Wall

Eventually the cereal box wall had to come down.

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.

Needless to say, I was a bachelor at the time.

The Cereal Box Wall

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.