Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I do not eat as much of it as I used to, owing to my desire to avoid carbs, but I loves me some cold cereal.

As kids, we grew up eating the familiar products, most of them tooth-breakingly sweet: Sugar Smacks, Sugar Pops, Sugar Frosted Flakes, Trix, Cocoa Krispies. In these days of Politically Correct Cereal Names, several of these have been renamed to deemphasize their ridiculously high sugar content. Now, it’s Honey Smacks, Corn Pops, and Frosted Flakes. What are they frosted with, if not sugar? Barium sulfate? Cholesterol?

I liked some of these and tolerated many others. Cheerios - everybody liked Cheerios, and back in the day, there was only one kind: Just Plain Frickin’ Cheerios.

Kellogg’s tried introducing a variation on the Cheerios theme in the early 1960’s: OK’s. Instead of just oat-based O’s, they threw in some K’s. The mascot was Big Otis, a burly Scottish dude in a kilt, who sang (over a bagpiped background drone) “Look for the O, hooray for the K!” Gaaah! What were these people thinking? That little kids would look at Otis (oats - get it?) and want to grow up to toss cabers and what-not? Is anyone surprised he got replaced by Yogi Bear, and later, a frickin’ clown?

Big Otis
Big Otis.

I remember when Cocoa Krispies appeared. To me, they were a big disappointment: Rice Krispies with a vague, unpleasant cocoa-ey pong. But they were ambrosia next to Cocoa Puffs, which were like their close relatives Kix: corn-based, but with a taste and appearance that put me in mind of Kix that had been digested and shat out by a goat. Baaaah!

Alpha-Bits? I remember when they appeared, too. Utter and absolute shite. Same with Honeycomb, the taste of which would drive whole hives of bees to suicide.

These days, I prefer lower-sugar cereals. Weetabix (a wonderful British cereal that comes in little burger-size ovoid loaves that disintegrate and turn into Mushy Slop the moment milk touches them), Shredded Wheat, muesli (Alpen is the best), Grape-Nuts, Cheerios. If I want a sugar fix, I’ll go for the Quaker Oat Squares, Life, Cracklin’ Oat Bran, or (gasp!) Lucky Charms - still Magically Delicious after all these years. Granola? Too sweet and full of fat. Feh.

And I will do something that horrifies most little kids. I mix two or more cereals together in one bowl. Currently, I’m on a Weetabix and Grape-Nuts kick. Throw in a little fruit - blueberries, chopped-up dried apricots, chopped-up prunes - and you have Fiber Aplenty, enough so that you can crap out turds the size of Pullman loaves.

What kind of cold cereal do you like?

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