She could spend hours in the cereal aisle. She would come up with games to play. Standard ones, like if you could just have one for the rest of your life, which? What about if that was the only thing you could eat for the rest of your life? Or what cereal makes the best milk? Which has the best mascot? Or box in general?
One time she pulled a notebook from her backpack and sat down in the aisle. Back against the peanut butter, she drew a bracket. A cereal tournament.
First seeding. She ranked the cereals by the company that produced them. Then she ranked the divisions. The store-bought brands were relegated to a play-in game determined by which was less of a knock-off than the others.
The second round was still underway when one of the store’s employees walked up and asked what she was doing. She told him and he smiled and walked away. But before he exited the aisle, he spun back and asked if he could make a copy of her bracket.
She would draw him one once she finished this round, she said. Would he mind getting a sandwich for her from the deli? She was hungry.
Yeah okay, he said. By the time he returned, Frosted Chex had been eliminated in an unbelievable upset.