cereal, gun toy, children don't listen
LOOKING AT LIFE MY WIFE GAVE me a new cereal for breakfast. Since I have been on my reducing diet, cereals Are one of my favored breakfast foods. Pleast note that I say "favored," not "favorite." It's my doctor and my wife who favor them, not I. The medic says they put less weight on you than sausages, bacon, ham, fried eggs or waffles with butter and syrup. (These are MY favorite breakfast foods.) She serves the stuff with skimmed milk and no •ugar, making it twice as tasteless as it would bo even with cream and powder sugar sprinkled all over it. She pours some of it into the bowl and then placus the package in front of me, in case I want any more. AS I ATE, I studied the box—and lo, and behold, suddenly I could see why today's kids are so fond of cereals. I remember when I was a kid we never cared very much for puffed this-and-thats or blasted crunchie-munchies or whatever you call them. We had to eat oatmeal. But then in my days there were lots of things kids didn't care for, because kids simply weren't allowed to have a lot of the things that are everyday privileges for them now. In my days the parents ran the house and the kids were supposed to mind. Today, It seems to me, the children are the bosses and the parents jolly well do what the little sons and daughters want, or else—. In front of the cereal package there was the picture of the commandcr-in-chief of the Space Patrol. Alongside was the picture of the Man-from-Mara Totem Head, "with magic forehead vision. You can see out but nobody can see in." All you have to do is to send the box top and 25 cents and—there you are. "Get several," it said, "and build » totem pole By Erich Brandeis In your room or yard." If your child can get his friends to start the same sort of thing, pretty soon one of them will have the highest totem pole and —well, all he will have done, is to earn an exclamation mark (!), according to the package. FOR ANOTHER 25 cents and another box top your boy or girl can get * pair of "n«w OFFICIAL space binoculars." They are powerful, with four tttrtng Icnsfts, K «J», and make everything look bigger. Not only that, but tlr,; package even teaches your child » new kind of English. "Look through the end . . ." ft proclaims, "it SMALLIFIES." I have not been able to find this word in my dictionary, but what U a dictionary tn these clays when kids are talking a jargon that few of us can understand? A nice thing for your boys to have with their breakfast is the now "cosmic smoke" gun which they can also get for 26 cents and a box top. It fires "100 shots per loading," and comes with "powder for 10,000 shots," mid "fits the hand perfectly." THIS IS JUST one of many such offers. You may be sure that advertisers who spend millions of dollars to pedrlle their wares, arc shrewd and know what they arc doing. These huckster methods and the many others we see and hear every day are simply signs of the times. They »re all part of « pattern which seems to be getting ever more complicated. It seems to me- -and not being a father I can only say "seems"—that children have slipped away from their parents and that parents cflii no longer understand juvenile minds. Or ia it just a sign that parents themselves are becoming more juvenile with every year, and that the rearing of children has become too much for their minds?