Thinking Out Loud – 10/8

For those of you who don’t know, I write a weekly humor column for theDuquesne Duke student newspaper here on the bluff.  For your reading pleasure, I’ll be posting my column here when it comes out on Thursdays.  If you like what you see and would like to read more of the Duke, check out the Duke’s official website for the rest of this week’s issue.  If you’d like to read other stuff I’ve written, check out the archive page to see my other columns and pieces.


The Secret to Happiness

The secret to being happy and successful is not some mystery drug, Shaman spell or a therapy session with Dr. Phil. It is, rather, something readily available to a majority of college students.

I know you’ll be disappointed when I tell you, but the secret is … breakfast.

That’s right, your comedy czar (or comedy cretin, depending on your opinion of my work) is repeating the same line your parents have been telling you since your days watchingLooney Toons on Saturday mornings – which, for some of you, was just last week.

I could spend the next 100 words telling you the nutritional facts scientists have shoved down your throats for years, like how breakfast stimulates energy, how skipping it affects your concentration and how scrapple possesses a magical serum that gives you the memory of an elephant. 

Instead, I’ll give you the totally non-scientific reason breakfast will help you in school and life: because breakfast is the best part of your day!

Let’s start with the basic fact that breakfast is the best meal of the day. What other meal is associated with one time of the day (morning), but can be eaten at any time of the day? If you were served scrambled eggs and sausage for lunch, it might be strange, but you would be pleasantly surprised. When my friends and I go to the local diner at 3 o’clock in the morning, most of us get a short stack of pancakes. Breakfast is good from sunrise to sunset, and beyond.

Now some of you might say, “Hey, I have class at (insert ridiculously early hour of the morning here)! I don’t have time to cook a gourmet breakfast every morning!” Relax folks; your standard weekday morning breakfast can also be a wonderful experience. 

Cold cereal sounds bland, but what other meal comes in a box plastered with a happy shining sun, toucan, crazy sea captain or a honeybee that can help lower your cholesterol? If none of those characters put a smile on your face early in the morning, it might be time to look into an anti-depressant. 

Even when they don’t make you grin, cereal box mascots can help keep things in perspective. You may think you have it tough with that huge anatomy exam today. But consider yourself fortunate; at least you don’t have a bunch of bratty kids chasing after you, trying to get your Lucky Charms.

The eternal cynics out there may be thinking: “Cold cereal is boring! I need something warm that won’t take a long time to make!” To those people, I present to you the golden mean of breakfast: oatmeal. 

An economy-sized box of store brand, quick-cook oatmeal is a mainstay in the average college dorm. It’s warm for those frigid winter mornings and takes just a few minutes to microwave. 

Considering how absolutely glorious breakfast is, it amazes me that as few as one-fifth of college students on campus eat breakfast on any given day, according to the National Restaurant News. (By the way, the only true fact coming out of that last sentence is that there actually is an organization called the National Restaurant News.) 

But don’t worry, my friends. There was a day when I too thought an extra 20 minutes of sleep was more beneficial than my daily dose of Honey Nut Cheerios. But today, as my housemates will tell you, I possess enough cereal to last me multiple nuclear winters. 

Instead of falling asleep in class due to low sugar levels, I can now stay conscious and fully appreciate how disinterested I am in my courses. 

And no, I’m not being paid by Kellogg’s to write this column – ever since they put out thatHannah Montana/High School Musical cereal, I’ve put them “on notice,” as Stephen Colbert would say. 

Nevertheless, I implore you: keep breakfast on your mind. Because someday, when a bunch of kids are chasing you down for your Lucky Charms, you might need something to brighten your day.

Matt Kasznel is a junior journalism major and can be reached at

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