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  • Writer's pictureTerry Groves

B.R.A.T.S. The Blue Bowl

This morning, while eating breakfast, it dawned on me that in the midst of the myriad of things I have been dealing with in the past while, I have neglected to write a B.R.A.T.S. post for a while. Looking at the cereal box sitting on the counter I knew just what to write about.

Now, you may be curious about what has distracted me from sharing about my childhood growing up as a brat, a child in a military family, see my premier post if you want more understanding. It is hard to believe I haven't posted for about 6 months, where has the time gone?

We have all been distracted by the pandemic restrictions and daily new infections stats. Also, the election events our southern neighbors have just emerged from. Amidst this I have moved, I am no longer living on a boat, back in a normal land-bound house, endured some family health issues, retired from my job with the provincial government, my final retirement by the way, and drafted two more novels. So I haven't been idle. But be certain, I am back. The rivalry's against my time and attention are settling.

I bet you can imagine just how much rivalry there was in my house, growing up with five brothers. If I said there was a lot, it would be an understatement. We were brats and never ran out of things to fight over. One of them became the blue bowl.

We were living in the CFB Clinton PMQs at this time in the mid to late 60s, the years before they closed the base. The infamous blue bowl was one in the set of plastic cereal bowls sold by Tupperware. Each bowl was a different colour.

Tuppeware cereal bowls
Vessels of conflict

My younger brother Paul was the first to lay claim to the blue bowl. Until that morning, none of the rest of us gave much thought to which bowl we were going to eat our cereal out of. After that though, it became a badge of honour to be the one who got to eat out of the blue bowl. But it seemed to be most important to Paul.

Once his preference was out, he had to go to some lengths to ensure that the bowl remained available to him. At first, he would just put it on the bottom of the stack of bowls in the cupboard but we caught onto that tactic pretty quick. He then started hiding it in other cupboards, in the fridge, even in his bedroom.

One evening, after the supper dishes were done, Paul snuck the blue bowl into the oven to hide it until the next morning. Then he forgot about it, or decided to have toast for breakfast instead of cereal. Later the next day, Mom turned the oven on to begin making supper and that was the end of the blue bowl. It became a smelly blue puddle in the bottom of the oven.

The Tupperware bowls were replaced by Corning-ware bowls, and they were all the same, and they were oven-proof. The fun was gone. Breakfast returned to being just a time when you would read every word printed on the back of the cereal box.

What types of things did you and your siblings find important enough to fight over?

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