THE POWER OF BREAKFAST!

Breakfast. Breakfast stands alone. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is the meal that fuels you for everything you encounter, that gets you ready for those important things. First thing in the morning, sit down and eat a bunch of eggs, and you will be able to tackle the day with confidence. You’ll be able to lean in to those who stand in your way and whisper softly in their ear, “my stomach is filled with eggs.” Their eyes will widen. They will not have realised that you have come prepared.

Walk to work. Can you even call it work? You’re so good at what you do that THEY should be paying YOU to work, which, in actuality, is how all jobs work. But don’t let that stop you. You’ve eaten a big bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal: The meal with “meal” in its name, so that if you weren’t sure that it’s a meal, well bugger me, it says it in the name. OAT. MEAL. You’re raring to go. Walk up to the barracks and present your ID and smile at the security guard. You smile, because you “get” each other: just two blokes, working their jobs, fuelled by the immense power of breakfast. He says there is a problem with your identification, but before he can explain you’ve already hurdled over the gate and hopped on a shuttle bus.

The Shuttle Bus. A tiny box of people, waiting to be shuttled to their jobs. They all look so sad, so unwilling to start their days. If only they’d eaten a good, solid breakfast, as you had. If only one other person in this moving box had taken the time to sit down with a couple pancakes (or “hotcakes” as they’re known to weirdos), some butter, and a bottle of syrup, then they would be as prepared as you are. Look at this person. He seems so sleepy, so woefully unready, and so ready to die. He, and everyone else in the bus, is moving away from you, either because they can feel the power of breakfast radiate from every pore in your being or because they heard you say the phrase “woefully unready and so ready to die” out loud, which you didn’t mean to do, but you did it, it happened, move on, look, this is your stop.

The Star Trek doors of the bus open up to your little village, your tribe. People look up as you enter. Some raise their eyebrows in surprise; others look back down quickly to their work. What a bunch of goblins, probably starving, just trying to get by on any energy left over from the stupid dinner they ate last night. But not you. You have new energy, recent energy. You ate breakfast. Corn flakes. You’ve started your day with a bowl of corn flakes. You know, from the Wikipedia article you read about corn flakes, that they were invented by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg to help curb masturbation, but this morning, they’ve clearly failed. Twice.

You close the door to your office. It is empty, save a desk, a white board, and a computer you can’t seem to log in to. You pound on the keys, screaming with all the power that you gained from that tiny glass of orange juice enjoyed as part of a complete breakfast. The computer is a dumb machine, unlike you, a smart machine of power. The computer will lose, and you will win. The computer just has a slow idiotic IV drip of electricity to power it, but you have the MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY. You accidentally break the keyboard in your frustration. You forgot that you have all the strength of someone who has eaten toast this morning.

Your boss enters, if you can call her that, which apparently you can’t anymore, according to her. She is pointing calmly at the door, and you respond by very wittily pointing to your stomach and shouting about the grapefruit you ate, which you did not enjoy eating (grapefruit is technically neither a grape nor a fruit, it is just a round container of gross pulp, a fleshy sphere of garbage), but you have seen enough old movies where rich people eat grapefruit in bed to know that yes, it is this, grapefruit is the key, grapefruit is the miracle breakfast that makes rich people rich.

You feel bloated. Your boss is calling someone on her stupid phone. Why did you eat so much breakfast? Eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, corn flakes, toast, grapefruit, sausage, raisin toast, a glass of lukewarm hollandaise sauce, and a waffle. You’re going to spew. You can feel it. At any second, all your hard-earned breakfast will force its way back out of you, into the world from which it came. This was too much power for one person. It is uncontrollable. You are reminded of the end of the Japanese manga character called ‘Akira’, bloated with unbelievable power, and you shout “TETSUO!!!” as you vomit, but you immediately second-guess: should you have yelled “KANEDA!”? Which one was the one who absorbed so much power that he exploded? You should have yelled the other name. Look at all this breakfast: on your uniform, on the floor, all gone to waste.

The MP’s say you can do this the easy way or the hard way, but no one ever got to be NUMBER ONE by doing things the easy way. They pull you out of the office, dragging you down the hallway back towards the street. Some people look up and shake their heads; some still keep their heads down, pushing themselves into their work. As they drag you. You struggle to open a package of Wheet Bix, shoving as much life-giving breakfast into your mouth as possible. Most of the Wheet Bix crumbles during the jostling, leaving a trail of crumbs that you will be able to follow back to your office, if, for some reason, you forget the way to your office.

But you won’t forget. It’s your office. It’s YOUR office.

As you lay on the curb outside your village, you look at the sun, imagining him holding two bloody big scoops of raisins, ready to pour those raisins right into your stomach.

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” you whisper to yourself, as people step around you, on their way to PT.

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Andrew DouglasAndrew Douglas is a long-suffering Aussie Digger who, after many hours of sitting in a pit with a notebook and pen writing his woes, has turned his hand to writing for leisure and entertainment in the comfort of his lounge room. He and his partner, Sonia, live in a 100-year-old home in southern NSW, where Andrew uses his home-repair skills to make improvements, such as being able to flush the toilet by turning on the garden tap.

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Brian Hartigan

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