Hi, my name is Michael, and I like breakfast cereal.
I really, really like breakfast cereal.
Until I got married, breakfast cereal was my favorite food. Now my favorite food is anything my wife cooks. But more than once I’ve asked her to make homemade breakfast cereal. She already makes homemade bread, jams, yogurt, pico de gallo, granola… breakfast cereal really wouldn’t be much of a stretch for her.
When I’m at the grocery store with my children, I always make sure we walk through the cereal aisle. “Have you tried that one, Daddy?” they like to ask. Yes, son. I have. I’ve had ’em all. I’m proud of this status. And I maintain it. If I see a product from Kellogg’s, General Mills, or even Malt-O-Meal with “NEW” on the box, I’ll buy it and try it. I have a reputation to keep up.
I had cereal for breakfast every day growing up. It was also my before-bed snack. Every night. As teenagers, it was not uncommon for my brother Todd and me to polish off an entire box in one sitting. By the way, if you like your Cap’n Crunch cereal, you can thank Todd. Remember back when the Soggies captured Cap’n Crunch, and the boxes of his cereal featured a picture of him behind jail bars? And if you could figure out the puzzles and deduce which cell the Soggies were holding him in, you could send your answer to Quaker Oats? Well, Todd freed the Cap’n. He got a $100 check in the mail from Quaker Oats to prove it. You’re welcome.
October is my favorite month of the year for so many reasons. My birthday. The feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux. October baseball (which is the best ever this year with the Cubbies still playing). The summer heat finally starts to go away.
The monster cereals return to the stores.
Count Chocula. Franken Berry. And the king of them all, Boo Berry. It was a dark day, the day General Mills decided to make them “seasonal” items. But that day in late September or early October when you see those cereal giants back on the store shelf… there’s few other days of the year that compare. This year we first spotted them on a register endcap at Target. Rose said I almost knocked down an eight-year-old trying to get to it. I didn’t mean to. But I know that kid understood.
Two years ago, General Mills brought back Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy. They’d been discontinued so long ago, I’d never had them. It was glorious. In Fruity Yummy Mummy I found something I never expected: cereal better than Boo Berry. Then, the following year, I found out the return of Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy was a one-year-only gimmick. General Mills, why do you toy with me?
Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death,” but I don’t know. I’d settle for a bowl, a spoon, some milk, and a box of Honey Nut Cheerios.