Complication of a classic

“Please sir, may I have some more?” And with this one classic line a breakfast staple is catapulted into fame. The simple gruel, the rolled oats, the porridge that nurished generations of urchins and debutants. Ship captains and galley slaves, all took part in this meal to one consistency or another. Today we enjoy that same classic fare, enhanced and yet simplified. Like an illuminated text of Charles Dickens, as offered by Reader’s Digest.

Today we can buy our rolled oats in box, bag, or my favourite, little bags in a box. No longer just the plain fare of yesteryear, now available in a plethora of tasty concoctions, like Apple Cinnamon or maple and brown sugar, or gummy dinosaur. Rigidly set prepackaged portion sized paper sacks of precisely measured quantities with step by step instructions on the preparation and serving of gruel.

But I am not a galley slave, nor urchin, I can rise up against this oppressive printed task master and with a Twist of Oliver, say. “No sir, I will have more!”

I will have two of your pitiful teabag sizes packs of porridge, I may even have two different flavours. Perhaps today I feel like apple cinnamon peaches and cream porridge. Perhaps today I will ignore your boiling water instructions and use the microwave to heat my water soaked oats to the consistency I like.

Perhaps today I will glorify your offered sugary gruel with peaches, and strawberries, perhaps honey or in a fit of madness add my own gummy worms.(the last one is unlikely as the gummy Dino flavour could only appeal to children under 10 who would pour packets of sugar directly into their mouths given the chance.)

This morning I will have the breakfast that an ancient mariner could only dream of. A splash of milk over my fruit laden porridge as a final jab at the now torn and sodden instructions resting in my recycle bin and I sit at my table. A king on his throne, a rebel with a spoon, a successful Oliver Twist of the 21st century, and I consume the annuals of history with fruit filled abandon.


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