Cereal isn’t just the breakfast of champions, it’s the meal of winners at life. It’s part of this complete breakfast. It’s two scoops of raisins. It’s nuttin’ honey. It’s ALL that. Anytime, day or night.
The reason cereal strikes a chord with so many of us is a nostalgia so thick your spoon will always be full of Saturday morning cartoons. Floating in your 2% milk are memories of sitting on the floor, two feet from the TV. That once weekly guaranteed sugar rush complimented by feety pajamas, matted hair and morning breath. They were the most “fuck it” moments of a person’s life.
But while others grew up and matured in all arenas in life — opting out for Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat — I think long and hard on the delicacies of yesteryear. I still like scraping the roof of my mouth on a bowl of sandpapery saccharine cereal. I still go back for seconds and thirds. And I own all of my favorite cartoons on DVD to make the experience right.
Ever since Saved By The Bell and Power Rangers, Saturday morning has been way off. I imagine kids today watch their stories with a slice of grapefruit and wholewheat toast with natural berry preserves. In order to save these children from destitution I’m counting down the best cereals to be consumed on a Saturday, with a lovely wine-and-cheese pairing of an appropriate cartoon.
10) Golden Grahams — Highly overlooked. Completely underrated. Never got old. Deh-neh Neh-neh Neh Inspector Gadget is one in the same.
9) Pops — This is one cereal with amorphous flavor. One day it’s sweet, the next it’s savory. A wee bit popcorny, a smidge of the mashmallow. This bitter/sweet juxtaposition can only be aligned with gender specific toons G.I. Joe and Jem.
8) Apple Jacks — Perhaps the most well-rounded of all the sugar cereals. Not a lot of punch, but flavorful and balanced. Unoffensive and humorous like the Muppet Babies.
7) Cheerios — Maaaan, listen. You loaded those bad boys up with enough honey and you had Honeynut Cheerios. Gave them enough sugar and you had Frosted Cheerios. All about the options. As many options as there are thunder- thunder- Thundercats, hoooooo!!
6) The Pebbles — You yabba-dabba-do have two flavors; Fruity and that of the Cocoa bean. Both have their time and place; Fruity Pebbs for your more whimsical moments, and Cocoa Pebbs for quiet reflection — a dichotomy best exemplified by (no, not the Flintstones) He-Man and She-Ra by the power of Grayskull.
5) Cinnamon Toast Crunch — There’s a chef on the box, so I believe CTC is designed for the more refined, intellectual pallet. Goes well with Scooby Doo and a nice Chianti.
4) Lucky Charms — Turns milk gray. I’m not sure that bodes well for artificial flavoring and red-dye-60 in your stomach, but I can tell you with confidence the hearts, diamonds and clovers have held their entertainment and taste value into adulthood like no other, similar to the Transformers. Come to think of it, when we gonna get a Lucky Charms movie in this bitch?
3) Froot Loops — “You, Toucan Sam, give us loops of fruit. Fruity loops, Fruit Loopies, swimming in the churning, frothy mother sea of milk… a prism of fruity color, a cornucopia of over forty fruity tastes. The orange, the apple, the grape, the pomegranate, the quince, the kumquat, the kiwi, the plantain, the guava…” (c) David Alan Grier as Maya Angelou on SNL. Fruity as the Smurfs.
2) Cocoa Puffs — If there was anyone going coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs, it was and always will be yours truly. You know what else I was bonkers for? That lion-limbed Defender of the Universe… you will understand when I form Voltron.
1) Cap’n Crunch — The piece de resistance of roof-cutting consumables. The most hilarious, most delicious, most go-to tasty milk-splashable, need-a-bigger-spoon cereal. A classic; like my boys Bugs and Daffy over yonder at Looney Tunes.
Honorable Mention: Cookie Crisp — “CoooOOOoookie Crisp!” (c) that burglar dog from the commercial. Cookies and milk; you can’t go wrong. But it’s definitely the redheaded stepchild of bigger and better things, much like Tiny Toons.
Dishonorable Mention: Frosted Flakes — Don’t lie to yourself; they weren’t that Grrrrrreat. The milk hit the flakes, washed away the sugar coating and left you with Corn Flakes. Tony the Tiger was a liar and a dick. Like Captain Planet.
Wild Card: Cracklin’ Oat Bran — Don’t sleep! Shit was mad yummy, yo. But it was like that nerdy brand you didn’t want folks knowing you liked on sick days, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Most Missed: Mr. T — If you don’t know, now you know. Watch that Mr. T gymnastics cartoon while you eat his cereal and you were one step closer to a 1980s apocalypse and/or spontaneous combustion.
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