Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cereal Killer

For anyone who likes cereal as much as I do, you've got to check out this post with the above title from Kevin Francis.


Before you know it, America was bombarded by cartoon tigers, sea captains and mysterious onomatopoetic elves. Sugar was still something that was a concern for parents, but only mildly so. It's what explains such names as SUGAR Pops, SUGAR Frosted Flakes, and most damning of all - SUPER SUGAR Crisp. The result were entire generations of kids eating so much sugar they vibrated across the living room floor while watching The Banana Splits. Bright colors, sing along jingles and progressively more annoying cartoon mascots brought things to critical mass and the moms of the world kicked a soccer ball into the crotch of the cereal manufacturers. Gone were any references to "sugar" in the name of the product, and seemingly overnight, we were buttonholed with officious-looking actors stressing the importance of fiber. The idea, I suppose, was to bring the kids off the swing set and into the bathroom. The sharp increase of children yelling, "Mommy, help!" from behind those bathrooms doors was deemed acceptable collateral damage.
I totally forgot about Freakies and Grins and Smiles and Giggles and Laughs. Never had either, but I do remember the over-the-top commercials.

What to add, what to add. Besides sugar, that is.

Bigbro and I all but grew up on Cheerios. Eventually, they started disagreeing with me, but Bigbro kept on consuming. Later on, I would hear that "sink the Cheerios" was a popular method of toilet training (thanks, Lost 'Hoo, wherever you are).

To this day, I have no idea why my friend Ed and I thought the eponymous character Big Yella (Corn Pops in another guise, really) was so funny, but we did.

I fill my bowls of cereal up to the rim. Then I pour the milk and pray for surface tension to set in. It doesn't always. But I've always done it this way. At our Glen Burnie house, I had an accident or two trying to carry a bowl full of cereal and milk down to the basement to watch SportsCenter.

Another friend named Ed had five other guys living with him in our Christian community, including the aforementioned Ed. One day I saw in his pantry 48 boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes stacked up to the ceiling. There was a sale of $1 a box, limit 8. So he rounded up all five guys to join him in buying 8 boxes each. Meanwhile, I got ragged on by the same guys for buying Pop-Tarts for our house.

I went through a phase where I'd eat nothing but Cookie Crisp. I wouldn't touch the stuff today. Nor Cap'n Crunch, the earliest commercials of which were produced by Jay Ward, the co-creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle. But not too lomg ago, I had a refreshingly good bowl of Lucky Charms. Again, I wouldn't have that all the time.

These days, I'm partial to Frosted Mini-Wheats, or the Wal-Mart equivalent thereof. I also like Total, Crispix, Wheaties, and the occasional Corn Flakes.


Puffy said...

I used to like Cheerios the most. We never added sugar to cereal or had sugared cereal when I was a kid. Now I'm into the healthy cereals like Kelloggs Smart Start or Kashi cereal.

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

Cereal, cereal.

Growing up we mostly had non sugar stuff.. cheerios, rice krispies, corn flakes.. dad's special cereal was raisin bran.

I am a sucker for a cheap box of cereal. I won't go count how many boxes in my closet.. not quite close to 48, but alot.

On the WW, I mostly eat 1 Shredded wheat biscuit.. I try to not buy the sugar stuff for the kids, but it does sneak in.