A Pooh Breakfast


“So familiar are eggs to us that in the eighteenth century they were referred to as cackling farts, on the basis that chickens cackled all the time and eggs came out of the back of them.”

Mark Forsyth

The Horologicon:

A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language


I’ve been doing a fair amount of traveling during the past few months, staying in budget motels. I’m becoming aware that the “Breakfast Included” aspect of the stay is not a perk for the weary traveler.

Everybody says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But motel breakfasts are better skipped, because they cannot be savored.

I’m not talking about the really low-end lodgings like Motel 6, but accommodations in the hundred-dollar-a-night category and up: Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express—familiar places near exit ramps of interstate highways.

The breakfast buffets that these motels offer are so similar that it’s obvious all the motels must be procuring from the same supplier.


The baked goods are as tasteless as styrofoam. You just know that either plastic or flannel went into the batter. Maybe both. I’ve had better airline bagels.

Lets talk about salt.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500. That’s less than a teaspoon.

A typical motel breakfast meal of biscuits and gravy, bacon and sausage—probably yields enough salt to exceed a week’s recommended amount.


A quarter-inch-thick sausage patty, the color of a feral cat’s fur

and salty as a deer lick.



Instant everything is everywhere. Just add hot water.



But an instant pancake is a contradiction in terms. Notice the promotional slogan? “Admit it—you wish you had this at home.”

Of course, not a berry or piece of fruit to be found. Silly me!

But credit where it’s due. The coffee is okay.


But the cups and lids are set out in tightly packed stacks. Which means that to wrest free a cup or lid, you cannot keep from touching others in the stack. So the guy or gal who’s behind you in line will have the benefit of your bacteria hitching a ride on their cup of Joe. Yum!

As Ralphie’s movie mom says in A Christmas Story, "there are starving people in China” who would be happy to eat this stuff.

On the other hand, I pity our own American kids who don’t know the taste of a real pancake prepared by their mom or dad, or a true deli bagel, or even an egg laid by an actual hen.

Have I described a “First World” problem? Sure. But that doesn’t make it right. Our increasingly crass society is sacrificing quality of life for profit across the board.

When you start the day with junk in your belly, you’ve already made a significant step in the wrong direction. Never forget what A.A. Milne taught us as children when he wrote Winnie the Pooh:

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.

If you enjoyed reading this, you will like my newest book, Saints and Poets, Maybe: One Hundred Wanderings, available at: Amazon


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