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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cereal Killer

It's been a long time since I've been a cereal eater. I probably had my share of it growing up. Everyday after school I ran home for a bowl of whatever sugary goodness awaited me. Seeing my kids do the same, flashed me back to the good old days.

One of my favorites was Crazy Cow. I liked the chocolate one the best. The strawberry flavored variety reminded me of how my milk tasted when I bit the ends off of a Twizzler and drank my milk through it like a straw. Only it wasn't as much fun.

Another one I liked was Cap'n Crunch, the peanut butter kind. Anyone know what the Cap'n did to the elephant that used to be on the box?

I vaguely remember a cereal called Quisp. I think it was like Rice Krispies. I looked Quisp up online to make sure I wasn't hallucinating again and as it turns out, Quisp is trying to make a comeback. It's only available in select areas and one of those areas is 70 miles from here. Is it worth the drive? Probably not. Besides, over the years, I've noticed my taste buds have outgrown a lot of the yummy goodness of days gone by.

There was a rule in our house about cereal. "No digging for the prize." If it fell out as you poured your bowl, it was yours, if not, it was never meant to be, or something like that. I was a secret digger. When no one was looking, my hand would burrow down. I'd set the toy in my bowl and pour cereal over the top of it and yell, "Look! Hey guys! Look!"

In the early days of my secret digging, I was unaware of what some call, evidence. This was a term and a lesson I had to learn quickly.

"Ma! Lois has cereal and sugar crumbs stuck to her arm all the way up to her elbow! She was digging again! You shouldn't let her keep it because it didn't fall out fair and square!"

Angie acted like it was an Atari game that I got and she didn't. It was nothing more than a plastic "Crunchbot" which was a robot that fought off the Soggies. That day, when our mom took her side, I learned about evidence. From that day forward, I would be very careful about cereal crumbs.

I always wanted to try Cookie Crisp but Dad said it was never on sale, "...and I'll be damned if I'm paying a dollar for a box of cereal!" But their commercials were so cool. I just knew that if Dad would cave, I would certainly find the Cookie Crook or maybe even the little cop dude Officer Crumb, inside the box.

I was sure of it! Just as sure as I was that Mr. Rogers really could see me. I'd never even think about picking my nose while watching that guy because he was always looking right at me. Same with Romper Room. When Miss Mary Ann said, "And I see Lois..." I was certain they were babysitting me while my mom talked on the phone. Sure of it. I remember running out of the room to fart and rushing back to excuse myself, aloud, to the TV. Tell me I didn't need a little couch session or 20.

After continually bugging my father to find Cookie Crisp on sale, he eventually brought home a box. Inside was a prize that I had my eye on! I HAD to have it, NOW! But as that guy handed me the box, he said those nasty words I hated, "Lois, no digging."

I batted my eyelashes at that silly man and promised I wouldn't dig. Hidden in my socks and Tracks gym shoes, my toes were crossed. Once he finally left me alone with that box, I looked left, then right and carefully began to burrow my arm into the box. Immediately after digging out the prize, I wiped my arm off really good, on my shirt. I set the toy in my bowl and gave my infamous call, "Look! Hey guys! Look!"

Instead of looking at the awesome prize inside my bowl, my stupid sister Angie looked at my arm and then looked at the box. She really should have been a detective. "Dad! Lois was digging again! Look at the box! It's all puffy and cereal boxes only get puffy when SOMEONE sticks their stupid arm in them!"

I looked quizzically at that jerk sister of mine. I tried my best smile out on my dad's frowning face.

"Lois, give me the toy. You will eat every single piece of cereal in that box. I don't care if it takes you a year, you aren't getting this until it is gone and you aren't getting any other kind of cereal either."

It was the very first time my dad punished me. I was devastated. I wanted to make that frown of his go away, so I ate a bowl, and then another, and another but two bites into my fourth bowl, I felt really sick.

I don't know how long it took for me to finish that box, all I am sure of is, I hated Cookie Crisp from then on. That punishment was the ultimate cereal killer. Plus, the toy was so unexciting, I don't even remember what it was. "If you like cookies, you'll love Cookie Crisp" my ass.