Sometimes I think about all the waste produced by putting toys in cereal boxes. First, adults buy and consume many of those boxes, and don’t want the toys. Second, most children don’t want the toys, either. Or, even if they do, a bit, let’s be honest: children (to their credit) probably prefer the delicious cereal, just like adults. A child looks at the toy, thinks about having got something for free, puts it aside, and picks up his spoon. That’s it. The proof-of-purchase system (mail in box-tops, get a prize) may not have offered the instant-gratification kapow that today’s buzzing, sugar-pissed youth demands, but it was environmentally responsible.
In fact, I think the proof-of-purchase system is still firmly in place – the gratification has become less instant in my lifetime. Kennedy has got his chronology inverted.
(Actually, I don’t know, I eat müesli now. To be precise: Aspen, Asprin, Michael Aspel, I don’t know. My point is that it’s a different world, one where everyone accepts that just some sultanas can provide anyone’s recommended daily allowance of delight.)