Required Reading as I Remember It, Episode 1: Johnny Tremain

Today I was spending some time thinking about the dystopian society in which retired cereal mascots must live under the tyrannical rule of Colonel Sanders, Dave Thomas, or Fred the Donut Baker depending on the sugar content of the cereal that had forsaken them, as usual. You’re probably thinking it would be pretty cool if I laid all the details of what happened in the sad afterlives of the Cookie Crook or Wendell the Baker, but that’s another article. Actually, it might not even be an article so much as it is a mural I need to have commissioned. It’s a very serious undertaking for me considering the only biopic of Wendell the Baker, titled┬áThe Wendell Baker story, is grossly inaccurate and doesn’t mention Cinnamon Toast Crunch even once. Perhaps there was some kind of licensing issue with General Mills?

This gentle baker got away with murdering his team after a particularly soggy batch of CTC.

This gentle baker got away with murdering his team after a particularly soggy batch of CTC.

Anyway, that got me thinking about other dystopian societies, which in turn got me thinking about all the required reading I had to do throughout my education. (Required reading is wrought with images of worlds that are only slightly less depressing than being an adult.) All those hundreds of hours spent reading books when I could have been playing Nintendo. What was I supposed to have gotten out of that? A more informed world view? I don’t have that. Should it have made me a better person? It didn’t. Could I even remember what some of these stories were about? I don’t know, probably. I’m going to try to recount some for you.

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