For the majority of my self-aware life, I’ve been able to divide cold cereal into four reasonably-consistent categories.
You have your “adult” cereals, which category name I confess conjures up images of very specific fetishes, but which I will here use to mean cereals that your parents might eat. Here we have your muesli, your Golden Grahams, your Grape Nuts.
Next, we have cereals for kids whose parents hate them. Cheerios, Wheaties, Kix, purgatory’s cereal aisle made real. Nothing that a massive amount of surreptitiously-applied sugar couldn’t fix, but the sort of thing that suggested that fun was discouraged. Seeing one of these in the cupboard at a sleepover said that you were in a loveless house and that a divorce was likely imminent.
That may be a bit harsh, but both of my childhood friends whose parents fed them Cheerios wound up children of divorcees. So, sample size two, 100% correlation.
Finally, two categories of cereal bought for children by parents who loved them: Inherently-sugared cereals, such as your Fruit Loops and Super Sugar Crisp and Trix, and cereals which had a boring base cereal but were saved by the inclusion of marshmallows or some other sugar delivery method. Lucky Charms is probably the archetypical example of this category, but honestly most kids would probably eat cat litter if you packed it with enough rainbow-colored marshmallows.
To be ABSOLUTELY fair, pack a cool-enough toy into a box of cat litter and your average 8-year old will probably swear on their life that cat litter has ALWAYS been their favorite cereal and that they absolutely do not want it just for the toy and will definitely eat the entire box.
But, that aside, this was the Way of Breakfast Cereal, and it was Good.
Last weekend, I saw this abomination in the aisle at the local Fred Meyer, perhaps created by a well-meaning Cereal Engineer toiling away in the General Mills as an attempt to show even more love for children nationwide, but one which betrays a lack of understanding for the basic principles behind “Part” of your complete breakfast:
By itself, it might be excusable as an anomaly, a curiosity, something that one might buy a box of on a lark and then consume in a single cartoon-fueled cereal binge, I’m not judging and let he who has not emptied a box of Fruity Pebbles by 9AM cast the first stone, but I fear that it might represent the beginning of a trend.
Such a trend, left unchecked, threatens the very balance of the cereal aisle and how it reflects parental affection. What future monstrosities might it birth? Are you ready to explain to junior that he can NOT have a box of “cereal” consisting entirely of small, rather stale marshmallows?
This menace must be stopped. I propose a march upon Battle Creek, Michigan. Pitchforks and torches WILL be provided, though there will of course be a minimal deposit required.
Bastards have owed me a “Tony the Tiger” branded transistor radio since roughly 1982 anyway. I didn’t eat all those boxes of Frosted Flakes for the flavor, dig?