I’m thunderstruck. Amazon, my favorite place to shop online–and if you don’t believe me, read my post, Addicted to Amazon–has kicked me to the curb. Yes, you heard right. My supplier, my source for just about EVERYTHING, has sent me what amounts to a “Dear John” letter. An email, to be exact, and the message has left me completely and utterly flabbergasted.
It seems the cereal they have been shipping me for the last five years is no longer available. Discontinued. Manufactured no more. Swimming with the fishes. And, in case I still don’t understand, they add: It’s over! For added effect, these last words are underlined and written in bold.
WTF??? How can this be? I was so faithful to them, ordering my six-box supply every three months like clockwork. I had a standing order. They had me on automatic pilot thanks to Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save” plan, which knocked an additional 15% off the price. So I thought we’d go on this way forever.
Sometimes I’d run out before the next shipment was due, but one click of the mouse, and Amazon would ship my order instantly, no questions asked. We had an understanding. Or so I thought.
I cannot begin to express the crushing blow this has been for me. This product has been my favorite breakfast indulgence since the summer of 2004, when I was first introduced to it while summering in Key West. In an instant, I was over the moon. Not only was it deliciously refreshing, it also had magical powers that helped keep those pesky, high cholesterol numbers at bay.
But now, my cereal is gone. We had our good times, our laugh-out-loud times. And what do I have to show for it? Nothing, but three boxes left in my pantry. I will treasure them and savor them slowly. Perhaps I’ll even save the last box for 2014, the 10-year-anniversary of the day we met along the Key West beach, just 90 miles from Cuba.
Of course, I blame the manufacturer. Though perhaps I should have seen the writing on the wall, back when all the local grocery stores, one by one, stopped carrying my cereal. The reason for its sudden disappearance from the store shelves I was told, was because there are so many cereals available. Mine, it seems, was an under performer and needed to be retired to make room for the newbies. Under performer? Why my cereal performed very well, thank you very much! Always tasty, always reliable.
I called the manufacturer about this unexpected turn of events. The woman at the other end of the line sounded a bit exasperated–perhaps she’d been receiving many calls like mine? Wearily, she notified me that I could still buy this product on Amazon. Amazon? Why, of course. Amazon sells everything! So Amazon became my dealer, my lifeline for five incredible years. And now, in the blink of an eye, it’s over.
Though in a recent visit to the Amazon website, I noticed that they still carry my cereal. Only now it’s sold by one of their independent sellers, which I’m assuming is code for The Mafia, as now the going price has tripled. TRIPLED! Plus, add to that a $21 shipping fee. We’re talking black market prices! Is the cereal coming from Columbia and being brought into this country by drug mules? I wouldn’t doubt it. All I know is that my cereal has been hijacked and taken underground. Curse you, General Mills!
Yet, no matter how much I know I’m going to miss my cereal, I just cannot bring myself to pay these black market prices. It’s plain wrong. Besides, I saw The Godfather and I watched The Sopranos on HBO. I know that nothing decent comes from messing with the Mob. The Cosa Nostra, if you will. I will have no brush with organized crime. Not even for a bowl of the best cereal that was ever made.
And so closes another chapter of my life. Goodbye, my morning companion! You were too good for American palates. Indeed, too fine for this planet. Find solace in knowing that you brightened my mornings. In your honor, I will leave an empty cereal bowl in my window. You are gone, but not forgotten. At least, not by me.