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Berried Alive

One of my vices is a predilection for shitty cereal. Most mornings I start the day with a bowl Cheerios or whatnot, but every other month I splurge on a box of some sugary abomination and then proceed to demolish it over the next three days or so. I feel like I owe it to my ten year-old self, who promised he would do exactly this when he became an adult.

I am not a connoisseur, however, so I always buy the store-brand knockoff cereal instead of the original. Froot Hoops. Honey Snacks. Earl Chocola. Fortunate Tchotchkes.

This week I picked up a Cap'n Crunch clone called "Berry Crackles," complete with the obligatory cartoon animal mascot.

Except the longer I looked at Crackles the Squirrel, the more I became convinced that he was actually a Surgeon General mandated warning, illustrating what will happen to your children if they eat this stuff.

The only thing missing was some accompanying text.

Warning: Berry Crackles contains more sugar than the island of Cuba, and should not be taken internal by persons under 14 or above 10 years of age. Consumption may result in clenched teeth, asymmetrically bulging eyes, dialted pupils, double vision, accelerated fur- and tail-growth, and sucrose-fueled hyperactivity. In case of accidental ingestion, induce vomiting and place child in front of "Antiques Roadshow" until sedated.

Posted on September 27, 2005 to Observations


Antiques Roadshow?! rotfl

Buy the real stuff, please. It's worth it.

Start a fund. I'll even donate to this very worthy cause. :)

Posted by: theinsider on September 28, 2005 6:47 PM

It must be cereal week. I just posted yesterday about the joy of Honey Oh's! Pull up a bowl of milk, we'll talk.

Posted by: Candy on September 28, 2005 7:13 PM

How does one accidentally inject something?

Posted by: Mike on September 28, 2005 8:12 PM

I satisfy my sugar-cereal urge by simply putting Wheat Chex UNDER whatever sugar-bomb is currently of interest. That way it's healthy. Yeah.

And seriously, spring for the real stuff. The store brands are always just off enough to not quite be enjoyable.

"Fortunate Tchotchkes" made me literally laugh out loud, however.

Posted by: BotanicalGirl on September 28, 2005 8:55 PM

I'm just wondering how much LSD is in that cereal.....man those squirrel pupils are HUGE

Posted by: Chocolate Makes it Better on September 28, 2005 10:51 PM

I was always a huge fan of Frosted Mini Wheats until one day I got the knock-off brand "Frosted Mini Spooners", (spooners, damn that's a funny name). It's just as good...really! Don't let anyone ride you for your frugal cereal selection its just more money you can save to put into the Diabetes-medical-bills-jar.

Posted by: Mark on September 28, 2005 10:57 PM

I miss my Chocolate Lucky Charms somethin' awful. Try them if you haven't already.

And if you come up to Vancouver, please bring me some...

Posted by: dayment on September 28, 2005 11:19 PM

Reminds me of the cereal in the Simpson's, which has Krusty the Klown on the front: "Only sugar contains more sugar!"

Posted by: Jaap on September 28, 2005 11:42 PM

There's something wrong with the mind that conceived that squirrel.

Posted by: galetea on September 29, 2005 1:30 AM

I've always wondered how much nutritional value a food has to have to be "part of a complete breakfast". I mean, if I ate grass off of my front lawn, that must have something my body needs, therefor making it "part" of a complete breakfast, right?

Posted by: natasha on September 29, 2005 4:36 AM

After I moved out on my own after college, I ate Lucky Charms for breakfast for about three months straight. My "breakfast game" was to see if I could eat all of the oat bits first without ingesting any marshmallow bits. That way when I got to the end of the bowl, there was nothing left but milk and pure sugar bliss.

Trader Joe's store brand cereals are pretty good. Mostly healthy selections though, although they do have a Frosted Mini-Wheats knock-off in both regular and cinnamon flavors that is pretty good.

Posted by: C. on September 29, 2005 5:07 AM

At the exact time I was reading something about generic Cheerios I was taking my first bite of the morning about them.

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Posted by: email from Wonka on September 29, 2005 6:12 AM

How can any intelligent discussion of sugary cereals go this far without a mention of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs? I can't start my morning without a bowl or three of them.

Posted by: Jerad on September 29, 2005 6:48 AM

You neglected to mention that that squirrel is also missing most of his teeth. That's gotta be a consequence of something.

Posted by: Karen on September 29, 2005 7:32 AM

Squirrel.......Squirrely ????? Hmmmmmmmm........

methinks someone's daddy "Accidentally ingested" too much sugar!

Posted by: Anonymous on September 29, 2005 8:21 AM

At my college, we call that cereal "Berry Crack." There's also "Peanut Butter Crack" -- both names are based on the eyes of that squirrel. Dorm kitchens frequently feature the fronts of the boxes, cut to reveal the cereal's new, more appropriate name.

Posted by: Beth on September 29, 2005 9:43 AM

Well, at least you can't accuse them of false advertising.

Posted by: Jake Brake on September 29, 2005 11:36 AM

Well, at least you can't accuse them of false advertising.

Posted by: Jake Brake on September 29, 2005 11:38 AM

Froot Loops rock, as does Cap'n Crunch. Oh, and Frosted Flakes, too.

Back to your regularly scheduled diabetic coma...

Posted by: Esther on September 29, 2005 12:18 PM

I love the knock-off cereal names. I've been eating a cocoa puffs clone recently called "Cocoa COOL." And let me not fail to mention the Cap'n Crunch rip-off, King Vitamin!

Posted by: John on September 29, 2005 12:22 PM


Posted by: nemo on September 29, 2005 12:38 PM

You forgot to mention 'rougher than a dirt road' and 'permanent damage may be done to the roof of your mouth.'

At least that's true for Cap'n Crunch.

How sweet is it that you buy the generic? Like you are saving that extra .69 cents for Squirrely's college money. What a dad! (It's probably melting my heart because this is like something my own husband would do...while I would spend 10X the .69 cents he saved on nail polish. Oh, well.

Posted by: miel on September 29, 2005 1:17 PM

"an predilection"???

Posted by: grammar patrol on September 29, 2005 4:45 PM

i think sugary cereals are my biggest weakness...but the real stuff is way way better than the knock offs and totally worth the extra 50 cents

Posted by: ali on September 29, 2005 4:50 PM

We used to buy the knock-off Cheerios. We called them "Inferios."

Posted by: bug on September 29, 2005 4:52 PM

I love Cocoa Dots better than Puffs. And I too call them Inferior-Os. I have to admit that I like Safeway ketchup better than Heinz.

Grammar Police...Le Sigh. Matthew can be forgiven all because he is a quality blogger, which is too rare.

Posted by: SJ on September 29, 2005 5:02 PM

There's something wrong with the mind that conceived that squirrel.

I've been told so. Often.

Re: sugary cereal. I used to think Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch was the best cereal ever, until I recently tasted the unholy goodness that is Reese's Cereal. Like Cocoa Puffs and PB Cap'n Crunch in one bowl. Infinite fabulousness. fabulosity? Fabulabulabulous, by golly.

Posted by: Squirrelly on September 29, 2005 5:35 PM

I thought the same thing when I saw that box--we don't have Safeway here anymore, so I've never had the privelege--"Berry CRACKles...heavy on the crack."

Posted by: belinda on September 29, 2005 5:54 PM

It's proven! What Mom deprived us of as children, has now come back to haunt her.I too exert my control over my food intake by splurging on sugar cereal once in a while (the real thing I might add). I won't tell if you won't tell.

Posted by: Your Sis on September 29, 2005 6:22 PM

No way: this is all Dad's fault. He was the one bringing home Shredded Wheat and Total, as I recall.

Posted by: Matthew on September 29, 2005 6:41 PM

You're right... what was I thinking?

Posted by: Your Sis on September 29, 2005 7:25 PM

Grammar police: well, yeah. But ... he spelled connoisseur and tchotchkes correctly. Speaking of which, I thought "Fortunate Tchotchkes" was pretty funny until I realized what it referred to (guess the lepre-cohens really like 'em), then it was really funny. Great post!

Posted by: gruve on September 29, 2005 9:02 PM

Picture of the peanut butter version here.

I got a box about six months ago and, I swear, you bend the spoon and turn the peanut into a lighter and he's a junkie.

Posted by: Josh on September 30, 2005 10:54 PM

I had a WICKED case of deja-vu when I saw that squirrel. I've seen that parasite-ridden disease vector before. Which is odd, since we don't have drug crazed rodents on our cereal in Australia (I'm starting a petition RIGHT NOW). Anyway, proof that I remember WAAAAY too much about what I read on the internet:

Posted by: jac on October 1, 2005 4:42 AM

To the Yeti and his sister,

Dad puts tons of sugar on his shredded wheat. He just never told you. And I had a secret stash of Corn Pops. Yummm!

Posted by: Mom on October 1, 2005 10:37 AM

Ah, grasshopper, you do not know the truth about King Vitamin! The good king is, or was, a completely seperate cerereal in the days of my youth! With his crown shaped nuggets of sweetness more honey flaored than corn syrup flavored (like the good Captain of Crunch). One of the saddest things I gave up in our move away from Ohio as a child was the good King.

As to the Captain, well I find his main cereal inedible due to the glass shards destroying the roof of my mouth, but I will accept no subtitutes for the Peanut Butter cereal.

Posted by: cedrictheblack on October 3, 2005 6:55 AM

Now I remember that varmit! Ever since I saw your post it has bugged me, I've seen that cartoon critter... Even worse I've actually eaten this cereal! I was in Las Vegas for the longest eight days of my life for a trade show. The group I was with had a suite and I went to Von's (owned by Safeway) to get some food, so I wouldn't have to eat out every meal. I got this cereal, ate it every morning, and was beginning to have the serious shakes by the end of the trip.

Posted by: Mr. Walters on October 7, 2005 8:16 AM

Back when I was in college I'd buy the huge bags of cereal off the bottom shelf. Not just knock-off brands, but BULK knock-off. I had a tendancy to eat it for breakfast AND dinner on a regular basis. I affectionately referred to it as "Bachelor Chow"

Posted by: Caleb on October 7, 2005 12:09 PM