Visual Riddles: California

Was this breakfast hastily abandoned, or mindfully intended for another day?


You might not think a lot of seeing some garbage on the side of the road in Southern California, but it’s not just cheerios and milk at the base of this tree:


That’s right, it’s a bag of (potentially off-brand) cheerios, a jug of milk (not empty), and an old newspaper at the base of a sidewalk tree.  It’s the newspaper that makes this scene especially wonderful, because you might think that someone was planning to come here the next morning for some breakfast while they read an outdated newspaper in the shade of this lovely tree.

It should be noted that some thought has been put into this arrangement — the milk is on the paper so that it won’t blow away,  and everything is on the north side of the tree, where the most shade will fall over the course of the day.  There’s a good chance that whoever set this up has grossly overestimated the amount and effect of this, and/or grossly underestimated how bad milk can get when left out (in the sun) in late spring in Southern California.  Maybe they are making yogurt (which is good with cheerios).

Or maybe…

Maybe when they were having breakfast one morning, long before I ever came across this scene, they were interrupted, somehow, and had to flee, never to come back — never to come back to their milk and cheerios and their newspaper — a newspaper that may have even been current at the time.

I suggest this because a week later, this seen was still there.  Just as many cheerios in the bag, and just as much milk in the jug.  I haven’t seen any skunks, rats, or squirrels around here, but I would expect that at least the rats or crows would  have gotten into it by now.  What is wrong with those cheerios??

Returning to the site one week after the picture was taken (June 8, 2018), close investigation revealed the milk labelled to be “Best by 09JUN2018”.  (Yes, the day I came across it, the milk might still have been considered ‘good.’)

The periodical beneath the milk was not a newspaper at all, but the Orange Country Transit Authority Busbook.  I suppose the breakfasting individual may have observed the bus was about to arrive, and thus abandoned breakfast and fled to catch the bus. 

It is significant that no bowl or spoon was present at the scene.  So perhaps, on that day, there was a man, or woman, sitting on the bus eating a bowl of cheerios.  This person’s opinion of the unused milk and cheerios and the fate of the busbook, may well never be known. 

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