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Friday, February 29, 2008

They're always 'effing with me Lucky Charms

"I'm magically suspicious."

Cereal has been a part of my breakfast routine forever. As a kid it was always the same old story in my house. Mom would buy a box or five of different cereals. Instead of opening one box and finishing it before moving to the next one, we'd open two or three and work through them. We wouldn't ever finish any one box completely, rather leave just enough that was considered more than a handful, yet less than a bowl. We simply got fed up with one type of cereal and moved to another one refusing to finish what we started. The cupboard just above our kitchen stove became a graveyard for these near empty boxes and in a matter of a couple of months we had filled the shelf completely. If we were lucky, Dad would be skulking around the kitchen late in the evening looking for a snack. Regardless of knowing exactly what was behind every door, we all did the same thing. Check each shelf, then go back again and look, just to see if anything new magically appeared. My dad, after two tours through the kitchen, would resign himself to cereal. He'd grab one of my mom's Pyrex measuring cups and begin to empty each box into the cup. We would catch him some nights having a heaping cup of Frosted Franken Bran or Sugarcomb Count Crispies.

During my adolescent years it became easier to just grab Pop Tarts instead of dealing with checking each box for a bowl's worth. But by the time I made it to college cereal had been reintroduced into my life. Except now, I stuck to one or two brands and never had more than one box open for only myself. One of more regular selections of cereal I snacked upon in between studies was Lucky Charms. Like everyone, I like the marshmallow shapes. During my life I have always complained that there wasn't an equal enough of a ratio of marshmallow to oat bits. The fact that they have continually added marshmallow shapes never seemed to impact the amount I would get in any random bowl. It was like the law of Smurfs. As the cartoon progressed more smurfs were added to the village yet they were always at a constant population of 100. I just didn't get it. To make matters worse, the different flavors of marshmallows has been rotated more times than my bald tires. Still, nothing compared to the depiction of a leprechaun with an ethno-stereotypical irish accent hawking circus peanuts and toasted oat bits for breakfast. On a side note, in the theory of Six Degrees of Seperation, I am seperated by one degree from Arthur Anderson, the original voice of Lucky. My girlfriend in college worked in a radio station in her home town and got to meet Arthur as he had made an appearance there. Oddly enough, he's not Irish......but I digress,

Here is the first commercial with only 4 different flavored marshmallow bits, or marbits as they are technically called. I don't know. Marbit sounds awfully close to the title of a bad Eddie Murphy movie.

From my childhood, this is how I remember it.

Pink Hearts
Orange Stars
Yellow Moons
Green Clovers
and Blue Diamonds.
(This was added in 1975 as I was to this world.)

Simple yet a yummy and delicous part of this balanced breakfast.

Then, in 1984, Lucky got kicked in the head by a horse. Instead of being brain damaged and needing to have his Lucky Charms pureed, he came up with a new marshmallow flavor, purple horseshoes. Okay wait a minute, not only are you screwing with an institution but now you are messing with the order of the visible spectrum. Mr. Roy G. Biv is spinning in his grave, here. You've got purple before blue which is impossible. Ok, I'll admit that adding the horsehoe did give a more charm symbol to the cereal but let's not get crazy and add any more.

Fine, I'll give you that. I mean, you can ride atop a whale and the colors can be all mixed up but let's hold to these six flavors.

Ok, now, damnit, knock it off, will ya? What the hell do balloons have to do with being more so than Yellow Moons or Orange Stars of David, I guess....but this is getting ridiculous. Now, you've got two red colors there.

This is the last straw. Moons are now blue? What happened to the diamonds? Green Clovers are now encased in horrible looking derby hats? We have pots of gold that look more like Pepperidge Farm Goldfish with their asses on fire. Orange stars are now shooting stars and only have 5 points? Was there backlash from the Jewish community over the association with luck? And why the hell do we have rainbows in the rainbow?...That's a bit redundant. And speaking of redundant, you still have two red based color marshmallows there. Luckily, I missed the instance where we had locks that looked more like tombstones that would dissolve in milk leaving behind a key.

Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. We are nothing if not a fickle society that constantly needs to have our tastes reinvented and reengineered. After all if we didn't, the cupboards over our stoves would be littered with thousands of nearly empty cereals boxes just waiting for our fathers to get a hankering for some Mr. T's Special Kix of Crunch or 100% Basic 4 of Product 19 Total Ohs.

I have to go, my Lucky Charms milk is turning blue.

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