Alright, so there’s no scandal blockbuster. That headline was a gratuitous attempt to reel you in, since this story is, in fact, relatively tame, devoid of scandal and only marginally about the Olympics. It’s more about cereal.
Gabby Douglas, American gymnast, performed with enough skill and grace to earn the gold medal in the women’s all around competition. That’s big. That’s Eiffel Tower inside the Superdome on top of the Empire State Building big. That means that on every device (uneven bars, vault, balance beam, floor exercise and I think driving a Zamboni) she was the best in the world. Better than the best from every nation. Better than Mitt Romney at not releasing his tax returns. Better than Jenna Jameson at trying to be relevant to anything other the porn. Better than white grape/peach juice. (And that’s as good as it gets!)
So it seems she should be recognized in some way. Some way that transcends the momentary glare of the TV lights. Some way greater, even, than a gold medal. Some way to which every American can relate. Of course I’m talking about…her picture on a cereal box.
The old picture on the cereal box gig is a time honored American tradition, and Gabby is certainly worthy. She should be smiling across breakfast tables all over the nation. All around the world! And, good people, she is. She’s smiling from a great big box of…Corn Flakes?
Corn Flakes. Certainly a fine cereal. I eat them. I force others to eat them. But they just aren’t a proper medium for Olympic greatness. Everybody in the world (and as far as we can tell, to this point, on Mars as well) knows that the only place to photoshop a picture of an athlete into is… a porn site. KIDDING! I kid. I kid. No, the real temple of athletic greatness is of course the Wheaties box.
Wheaties boxes have featured the likeness of people like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Johnny Bench, Wilt Chamberlain, and the greatest of them all, Muhammed Ali. (And there are a whole bunch more, which you can check out here.)
AND, for the love of God, Bruce Jenner.
Now Bruce, at the time he graced the ol’ Wheaties box, was an American hero. He won the gold medal and broke the record for the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal (which is a town in that northern part of the U.S. which thinks it is its own country…Canada, I think they call it). He was dashing (which they tell me has something to do with being attractive in a masculine sort of way), he did well in his sport and he got on the Bright Orange Box of Honor, just like Stanley Hack, Harry Kipke, John Lugbill, and (I swear to God) Edgar “Eggs” Manske . Yes ol’ B.J. (his actual initials – do the math yourself if you don’t believe me) was our man! Little did we know.
How could we know? I mean look at that box. That’s a great Amurican right there. (That’s the official Red Neck pronunciation of “American,” by the way). But Bruce fell from grace. First he replaced Erik Estrada on “CHiPs”, (as if anyone ever could), then he attempted to stave off the natural progression of time by apparently visiting the same plastic surgeon who worked on Jack “the Joker” Napier in the original Batman movie, making of himself a gruesome caricature. And then, may God have mercy on his soul, he married the widow, Kris Kardashian, and became step-dad to Kim, Khole, Kourtney, and the only non-K entry, Rob. His continual emasculation can be enjoyed on the so-called E! network and, if you really have no pride, you can purchase past seasons on DVD.
So if this creature from the slab can boast he’s been on a Wheaties box, just like Byron “Bam” Morris, Wes Schulmerich, and even Harold “Hal” Trosky (not to be confused with Leon “Leon” Trotsky who was, if I remember correctly, a R&B singer from Nebraska), why not Gabby Douglas? Why is she relegated to a box which is usually adorned by a huge, stylized chicken? Racism has to be ruled out. Dozens of African-Americans have been on the orange box of honor. Sexism? Negative. The list of women so elevated is impressive.
In the end I fear this is just another indication of the decline and decay of the United States of America. We can put a moving science laboratory (perhaps the one the produced the beast Jenner?) onto the surface of a planet about 78,341,212 Km from the Earth, (for those of you who aren’t familiar with the metric system this is somewhat more than 32 miles if my arithmetic is correct), but we cannot get our star Olympian on the correct cereal box!
Will this injustice be corrected? Hard to say, but one thing is for certain: if Gabby has ever watched “The Kardashians,” she’s probably happy staying right where she is.