I am a cereal guy. When I was a youngster, I devoured the stuff, descended upon any unopened cereal box like the locusts of Joel. It was all fair game, too. Chex, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms--they all made the rotation. In fact, if cereal boxes could talk, they'd probably put me on their "Most Wanted" list; I was a serial cereal murderer.
Knowing my penchant for baked grains and milk, my parents kept multiple boxes in the house, each of which could be further categorized in one of two ways: morning cereal, the kind that comprises a healthy part of your well-balanced breakfast; and, cartoon-emblazoned boxes of sugary crunch for what they called "grazing."
Yes. I was an insatiable beast of a boy, a kid with a ravenous appetite who ate more than any buffalo on any mid-western range. I grazed after school, while watching "The Cosby Show" or "Full House," and most often, before bed.
As they say, old habits die hard, and at thirty-six, I still nurse a hankering for a hearty bowl of cereal at the end of every night. I'd like to say that my tastes have changed, that I don't crave a good bowl of Lucky Charms every now and then. But no matter how strong the craving may be, my metabolism isn't what it used to be. So, I generally avoid the more sugary offerings, keep it all above board.
That is, until this week.
It all started with a Facebook post in which I was discussing the recurring tug-of-war with my desire to eat a night-time bowl of cereal. I found I was not alone. In fact, a great many of us enjoy a hearty bowl while winding down the evening in our most favorite reading chair. Some of the old fogeys keep it plain--Wheaties, milk, spoon. Others, though, vacillate between making the healthy choice and making the more childlike ones. (Ain't that the way of the world?) In any event, Jill Terrell harms and I were extolling the virtues of both Chex and Lucky Charms when she had what I like to refer to as a brain typhoon. (Click photo to enlarge.)
It was nothing short of a stroke of genius. Combine the wholesome goodness of Chex with the magical marshmallow flair of Lucky Charms? Now we're talking!
I couldn't stop thinking of the General Mills mashup, and so, a few nights later I decided to give it a go. It took some dedication, sure. (It's amazing what sobriety will do for one's dedication quotient.) After all, it's not easy to pick out an entire bowl's worth of Lucky Charm bits. But as they say, nothing worth doing is worth doing half-way. And so, employing good old fashioned American ingenuity, I created the following Frankencereal. (It's ALIVE!)
What's more? It lived up to my expectations. The first spoonful was like a home-coming of sorts. The whole-grain goodness of the Chex, the smattering of marshmallow charms--oh what a foretaste of glory divine!
Unfortunately, what I'm now referring to as FrankenCharms (or "Lucky Harms," after my brain-typhooning friend Jill Harms ) is not available on the market. It's true; I could package a batch and send it to you Fed-Ex for a small fee. I'll give you a fair warning, though; the street price for a kilo might be a bit rich for your blood. And sure, you could go through the time and effort to home-brew your own batch. I'm proposing an alternative, though--a letter-writing campaign.
Dear General Mills,
Consider the people, the good adults of this grand and wide world. Our tastes have matured (for the most part). We love the understated crunch of your corn Chex, your rice Chex, your wheat Chex. But here's a secret: most of us miss the marshmallow charms of old. And so, on behalf of my constituency, I respectfully request a cereal mashup, a cereal suicide of sorts. Chex Charms--it's your next big thing. And when you brew the first batch, I'll take a case.
An overly impassioned plea? Maybe. But a boy can always dream.