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Remedy For Depression
by Michael A. Kechula

Frank, a serial killer, liked oatmeal and corn flakes. However he realized on days he ate corn flakes, he had no urge to murder. But, a day without killing was supremely boring and depressing. To avoid major depression, he bought and consumed all the oatmeal on Z-Mart’s shelves within fifty miles.

To reduce the number of trips he made to Z-Mart, Frank contacted the store manager and asked if he’d divert all future oatmeal shipments to Frank’s multi-million dollar estate. Consequently, at any given time, the mansion’s expansive, circular driveway was loaded with Z-Mart trucks.

Frank’s next victim was a woman he garroted while she ate oatmeal. He mounted her decapitated head on top of an empty, cylindrical oatmeal container, and placed it next to all the other heads in his den. That’s when he realized his latest victim looked exactly like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The only difference was that oatmeal dripped from the side of her slack, bloody mouth.

Frank raced to Z-Mart and bought artist supplies. Painting the dead woman’s portrait, he called it “Mona Oatmeal.”

The painting was deemed a masterpiece by the American Academy of Art. The original was hung in the New York’s Metropolitan Art Museum, right next t o Van Gogh’s self portrait which depicted multicolored oatmeal running out of the ear he forgot to cut off.

Wishing to support local artists as a good corporate citizen, Z-Mart acquired rights to reproduce Mona Oatmeal. This supplied Frank with royalty money to buy even greater amounts of oatmeal.

Z-Mart hung chintzy, framed copies of Mona Oatmeal over shelves where oatmeal was stocked in each of their stores around the globe to promote the product---except those within fifty miles of Frank’s mansion. No sense reminding oatmeal lovers that their favorite food was available throughout the world, except in stores within fifty miles of Frank's estate. Nevertheless, that maneuver didn’t prevent the Great Oatmeal Riots of 2008.

Meanwhile, Frank’s murder rate climbed to ten a day.

Then came the great oatmeal famine. Global cooling caused crop failures everywhere. The US Department of Agriculture announced that oatmeal would not be available for at least ten years. But a bumper corn crop assured that corn flakes would be in abundant supply during those years.

Frank had no choice but to switch to corn flakes. He was awfully bored and depressed, but the world appeared safe from his murderous binges for a decade.

Three months into the decade of the Great Oatmeal Famine, Frank rushed to Z-Mart and bought a chemistry set. Six weeks later, he successfully transformed corn flakes into oatmeal. For this monumental achievement, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Biology.

Frank was happy again. So were the world’s oatmeal lovers.

The only unhappy people in the nation were Frank’s murder victims.