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Help! TMI

“May reduce the risk of heart disease … say what?”

Chocolate Cheerios? Seriously? This gives the term Too Much Information a whole new meaning, and the moment I saw them in the grocery store the other day I knew my brain was finally going to explode.

Although this is going to make me sound older than I actually am, I’ll admit that until I was in high school we had our groceries delivered right to the house. Every Tuesday morning Bea, from a little local grocery store, would call (on her rotary dial phone, to our rotary dial phone) to ask for our grocery list. Every Tuesday afternoon Roy would arrive with boxes full of groceries which he brought in the back door and unloaded onto the kitchen table.

If Mom ordered flour, we got Monarch. If she ordered peanut butter, it was York. Dish soap; Mir. Bread; Brookside. Kleenex; Kleenex. And Cheerios were a plain, unflavoured cereal that you put in your bowl before adding a bit of sugar and some milk.

These days I’m so overwhelmed by choices, and information, that there are times when I just want to give up. If I weren’t so afraid of never catching up, I’d jump right off the speeding information and technology train and let it go on without me.


Is that electronic noise the phone, a text, email, or some other alert? And where did I leave the phone anyhow? Most of us are constantly reachable, and when we’re not, people assume we’re dead.

Own a television, cell phone, iPad etc.? There are more packages to choose from than there are insect species: packages for hundreds of different channels (never mind deciding which kind of television to buy in the first place), voice, texting, and data minutes for days, evenings, nights and weekends. High speed, low speed, and, heaven forbid, NO speed, in which case the entire world stops.

Car shopping? Consider this line-up from Ford: Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Taurus, Escape, Edge, Explorer, Flex, Expedition, Ranger, Transit Connect, F-150, E-Series Wagon, and Super-Duty.

But before making such an expensive decision, you should also compare similar models from Toyota, Honda, Kia, Chev, Volkswagen, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, GM, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Nissan, plus a range of higher-end companies if that’s your cup of tea.

Even the task of grocery shopping has turned into a mind-boggling set of choices.

Cheerios now come in honey nut, multi-grain, apple cinnamon, banana nut, chocolate, duice de leche, peanut butter, cinnamon burst, fruity, oat cluster and yogurt burst flavours.

In the olden days, we squirted fake cheese on plain Triscuits and called it a day. Now Triscuits can be regular, reduced fat, hint of salt, rosemary & olive oil, cracked pepper & olive oil, wheat fire, roasted tomato,  dill, sea salt & olive oil, garden herb, roasted garlic, thin crisps, parmesan garlic, and quarto fromaggio.

Does your head hurt yet?

If you have any available brain cells left and you’re in the mood for peanut butter, here’s what you can choose from in the Kraft lineup: smooth, crunchy, smooth light, extra-creamy, all natural, crunchy light, unsweetened/unsalted, or the whipped peanut butter & dip.

In addition to all of this, daily life includes, for me at least, four children (one with disabilities) five grandchildren (four of whom love to visit, and one who lives with us at the moment), cooking, cleaning, shopping, email correspondence, and writing, plus near constant changes at work — reams of details that my brain has to absorb and remember to apply at the correct times.

The good thing about all of the choices, new information, and remembering when and how to use what I’ve learned, is that there’s a good chance it’s putting my brain through the kind of paces needed to help ward of dementia. Who needs to do crossword puzzles when sorting through shelves and shelves of crackers, in order to find the flavour you want, should do the trick?

But I think I’ll give my brain a bit of a rest now, so I’m off to do something simple for a change. I’ve got a book to write.


Phyllis writes words: words for stories, and words for books. Phyllis writes words for blogs too.

One thought on “Help! TMI

  1. OUCH!! And a giggle. Again, Phyllis, you write a good piece. There certainly is far too much junk out there, and far too many choices for anyone. My solution: Just Keep It Simple. Go basic. Always. Then you won’t have a headache. Usually.

    This is how I do it: My cell phone is the simplest available for my basic needs, my camera too. And my cereal. Even my car is about as basic as it can get. No “clickclick” to unlock or lock up. Push the button down to lock, pull it up to unlock. Use the keys to open the trunk. Standard shift. No bells and whistles. Gets me there fine. And home again, too. Keep it simple. My new washer and dryer have no electronic fancy electronics, only two knobs to turn ..small medium large load, cool warm or hot drying… and a start button. Thankyou GE. In my house there is no TV. I listen to the news on the radio, once a day. No battery operated toys, only children make the noise. I can hear the robins warbling and the cardinals calling, even when the windows are closed. I buy my produce from my local CSA and freeze what I can’t use at the time. I grow (and can or freeze) cherries & plums and a good year will have apricots and pears and apples. Also raspberries. Yes, on my city property. Dry goods come in bulk from the bulk barn. I have to buy choclolate, milk, sometimes eggs & meat, coffee and a few other things at the store. One store…I try to go to that store about twice a month. No, I don’t live out in the boonies .. but in the city, and I feed 5 children (five days a week) and 2 adults all the time. If I want chocolate on my cheerios I can do it myself. No sugar coated fancy anything for me and all those myriads of options never have to be considered. Keep it Simple.

    Works for me. I’m healthy and happy and certainly don’t feel deprived. Keep it Simple! And keep on writing.

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