Thursday, February 05, 2009

'They're Geometrically Delicious!'

Just add milk

Although these days I tend to stick to a health-conscious daily bowl of plain oatmeal (with a sprinkle of cinnamon and SIX SPLENDAS), there's no doubt that I grew up a bit obsessed with breakfast cereals. Unlike a lot of parents, mine let us have whatever kind we wanted, and with no limits. (When my mom went back to work in the early '80s cereal became an instant staple of my diet and with the exception of that period in junior high where Mike (Myk) Mishoe and I ate nothing but microwave bacon for a year, it remained a staple well into adulthood.) I tried 'em all, but my favorites included Lucky Charms, Count Chocula, Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Crispies, Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, Crunch Berries, and back in the day (before it was cruelly discontinued), Quisp, despite its roof-of-my-mouth-destroying texture. (Freakies were big with me in the late '70s too and I'd kill to try Vanilla Wafer Cookie Crisp just one more time!) My parents even paid tribute to my cereal fetish by getting me a cool poster of all different retro cereal boxes (pictured, above) for my kitchen wall back in '01.

Where's King Vitamin?

And a couple years ago my brother got me a Cap'n bobble-body, which sits on the shelf next to Larry's treats. (My brothers were just as into cereal as I was.)
But while I was busy trying every BRAND NAME sugar-loaded cereal on the market, I was also oddly fascinated by generic cereals I'd see on the supermarket shelves. As a kid, I was mostly horrified by them ("Mom, do people actually eat Fruit Rings?"), although the cereal in the plastic bags made me even sadder.

But as an adult I came to have a whole new appreciation.

Between the not-quite-right-sounding names ("Who wants a bowl of FREAKY FRUITS?") to the not-remotely-famous mascots that attempted to adorn the front of the box (let's be honest, here: the COCOA CRUNCHIES moose is hardly Tony the Tiger), it's was hard to not to take notice.

While I always pictured some John Waters type sitting in an office somewhere coming up with the latest twisted knockoff, the person whose hand I'd most like to shake it whoever mailed in this store brand equivalent to Kellogg's Crispix, without question my favorite generic product of all time:

I may have even found Crispy Hexagons a cute young spokesman.
Check him out AFTER THE JUMP. ----->


Anonymous said...

My evil step-mom always tried to pass off "Kix" as a fun breakfast cereal. "It *sounds* like Trix. See, it's the same." Uh, no.

Anonymous said...

As one who referred to Wheat / Rice / Corn Chex as, "Purina Human Chow," I loved the post (I must be old if I remember that Ralston Purina originally made that cereal.)

detori said...

you'll have to check this out. a webcomic, based on the mascots of many different cereals. some new, many old favorites and it's quite well done. I'm in love with it.

detori said...

forgot the link

Anonymous said...

You can buy Quisp online. My brother and I were big fans of Quisp, so I bought him a few boxes for his birthday.

Anonymous said...

The one thing I still haven't figured out is how to buy these cereals without feeling embarrassed at the checkstand.

Marc Lallanilla said...

Great post ... but no mention of Count Chocula or Frankenberry? Moreover, how about the racial content of Super Sugar Crisp and Sugar Bear -- he was "The Ladies' Man" of breakfast cereals. p.s. I still have in my possession the Archies record that I cut out from a cereal box when I was 8 years old. OK, when I was 26. Whatever.