I’m nostalgic for….well, for crap.

A few years ago I had some hunger pangs and a sudden craving for something I hadn’t eaten in probably 20 years.

What did your adult palate crave, Don?

Was it a sandwich you used to enjoy at a restaurant with your parents?

Was it a fantastic pasta dish that reminds you of a recurring special occasion during your childhood?

Was it an exotic dessert you got to enjoy on a fun family vacation?

Those are great sentiments, stranger, but no, not so much.

My craving was for….geez, this is a little embarassing.

It’s ok, Don, we’ve read enough posts to know you’re a jackass.

Oh, ok, I’m actually glad to hear somebody reads these, and you make an excellent point about the jackassery being common knowledge

Ok then.

Ok, you’re right.

I had a craving for…..geez, ok.

Franken Berry cereal.

There, I said it.

I was a man in his thirties longing for some Frankenstein Berry cereal

Do you remember Franken Berry cereal? Here’s the spokes creature.

Frankenface

He looks nostalgic too, doesn’t he? He looks like he’s recently suffered a fairly serious head injury, or worse, like he’s just finishing up with a hummer he’s getting from some hooker or monster cereal groupie.

Gross.

He was sort of the retarded cousin of the monster cereal trio. You 80’s kids remember these guys, right?

genmillsceral040110

I never got the chance to try Boo Berry, as I guess my mom did have some limits to what junk she’d buy us to eat, but Count Chocula and Franken Berry were entrenched in my childhood cereal rotation, right up there with Captain Crunch’s Crunch Berries and Tony the Tiger with his delicious Frosted Flakes.

I never lost touch with Tony the Tiger or Count Chocula, but Franken Berry just disappeared.

There were rumors that his delicious cereal was turning kids’ dookie pink. I never experienced that, but it sort of sounds like fun!

I’d have wrapped my pink turds in Bazooka Joe wrappers and “shared” it with my little brothers and people I hated! They called it Frankenberry stool. Imagine having to call the school to tell them little Johnny won’t be in because he has a case of pink poops from mommy never feeding him anything but crap.

Anyway, he disappeared from my life, and for many years, I never thought twice about him.

All through high school and college, I had plenty of Froot Loops and Lucky Charms, Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles too, but no Franken Berry.

His fat pink face never even crossed my mind.

Then for some reason, about seven years ago, I wanted Franken Berry bad. I NEEDED to taste that strawberry goodness again!

I don’t know where this craving came from, but it was as strong as a sudden White Castle craving. It wasn’t leaving until it was satisfied.

I shared this nugget with my wife, and while she thinks I’m an idiot when it comes to breakfast cereals (that’s typical of a bran or healthy, fiber cereal eater, pffffft!!!!), she agreed that she’d keep her eyes open for some Franken Berry.

I wasn’t desperate enough to order cereal online, so I kept looking everywhere I shopped, but none of the fine stores in my area had the delicious strawberry cereal in stock anymore.

All across the Lou and the Metro East I was told by stock boys and store managers that I was crazy. They’ never heard of such a cereal, or that it hadn’t been sold in years.

Partly because she’s sweet, but mostly because she wanted to shut my pie hole, the wife at least investigated buying it online once. Apparently, it had to be bought in cases of 12 boxes and she wasn’t willing to commit to that much cereal.

Almost all my other childhood cereals were still around and easily obtainable.

Why couldn’t I be craving Cocoa Puffs or Sugar Smacks (they’re called Honey Smacks now, but they’ll always be Sugar Smacks to me), Golden Grahams or Honey Combs? Why couldn’t I have a hankerin’ for any of the other sugared delights I grew up loving? Even Count Chocula was still on the shelves.

But not Franken Berry. Where did you go you fat, pink bastard?

I’d given up on my dream of ever eating Franken Berry cereal again.

I drowned my sorrows in some Strawberry Quick in hopes that it would quell my jonesin’ for strawberry cereal, but it was like what I imagine having a Marlboro is to satiate a crack rock urge. It helped a little, but really, it just made me miss the Franken Berry even more.

Since it was obvious that I was never going to satisfy this craving, I went on with my life.

I went to work in a new position. No Franken Berry.

We had another kid. No Franken Berry.

I started drinking Bud Light Lime. No Franken Berry.

I graduated law school and passed a bar exam. No Franken Berry.

I bought a new house in the suburbs. No Franken Berry.

I went on vacation to Gulf Shore. Franken Berry.

I made my ki…wait, what did I say?

Yup! A few years back, the wife and I went to Alabama to sit our big butts on the beach for a week.

Upon reaching our destination, I went to take a nap, because I’d been driving all night, while the wife went to Walmart to stock the condo for the week (i.e. buy beer).

She returned to the condo and was just tickled pink about something.

She was clearly thrilled with something, and it was something beyond the whole I’m about to spend a week in the sun with my kickass, handsome husband giddiness.

“You’ll never guess what I found at Walmart.” she said.

“Uh, beer?” I hoped. Geez, this isn’t a dry beach community, is it?!!!! I thought in horror. Damned Baptists!! I was very concerned.

“No, Jackass.”

She calls me Jackass sometimes, well, oftentimes. Sometimes she gets tired of it and shortens it to Ass, to save her some breathe.

Anyway, she pulled out a bag and proceeded to remove a box of …….yes! FRANKEN BERRY!!!!!

“NO FUCKING WAY!??” I said.

“Yup! Right here in Alabama!”

“Well I’ll be!! Alabama!!” I said in jubilation.

Franken Berry had gone to Alabama.

I have to admit that a Southern state with a history of intolerance is the last place that I’d have thought to look for a chubby, pink, Frankenstein looking creature.

But here he was! Three boxes!!!

I was too excited to not eat it right away. The exhaustion that was deep in my bones just 90 seconds prior, from staying up all night driving, had evaporated through my pores and I was feeling high as a kite!

I got my bowl and my spoon.

I got my 2% milk and one of the boxes of cereal and I poured myself a bowl.

frankenberry0

It looked as I had remembered for the most part, except that there were some different colored marshmallows in addition to the usual pink beauties I’d eaten thousands of before. There may have even been more marshmallows now too, but that was certainly no problem.

I took bite after bite of the crunchy cereal (I eat the cereal first and then all the marshmallows last, don’t you judge me, it’s just how I eat) while I inspected the box for a good joke or a maze, but I found neither.

What I did find, was that this cereal wasn’t what I remembered at all.

It sucked ass. This cereal tasted like crap

What happened to you, Franken Berry?

Were you the same and my tastes had changed? Was I the betrayer?

I remember recently eating a rectangle school pizza dipped in ketchup and some triangle tater tots just as I had in elementary school. Back then, I thought that pizza and those tater tots were amazing! A revisit with them revealed that they were just awful, but I trusted you way more than I did the lunch lady!

That was NOT the same cereal I used to love. The cereal is thinner, weaker. The taste of strawberry isn’t as pungent. Whatever it was that used to make kids shit pink must have been what gave it the great strawberry flavor.

That glorious pink chemical or poison or whatever it was got removed and the taste went right away with it.

I suffered through a box and a half, but I couldn’t finish all three of them. I’d hoped that my taste buds were just out of whack when I at the initial bowl, but no, it’s the cereal, not me.

It’s been depressing.

I’m not easily able to let go of things I’ve loved in my past. I resist change and fall hard when I have to let go of something from my childhood.

I’ve recovered from this loss, slowly, by turning more often then ever to the Crunch Berries.

Captain Crunch has added more berry colors over the years without sacrificing the flavor.

He’s brilliant for a cereal captain.

Now if he’d just do something to keep them from tearing at the roof of my mouth when I eat them…

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12 Responses to I’m nostalgic for….well, for crap.

  1. Great post! Some things just aren’t the same. Be careful with the Crunch Berries, one time I almost died while eating them – it got lodged in my throat. If my dad hadn’t been home to save me… Seriously 😦

    • They are dangerous, but oh so good! I’m glad you didn’t die eating cereal. That’s a potentially hilarious eulogy, but still sad. Thanks so much for reading!

      • Hopefully fate isn’t saving me to get whacked by an out of control Wonder Bread truck or something equally embarrassing. Still, it’s hard to beat death by Crunch Berries.

  2. cookie1986 says:

    And who said a man couldn’t understand pregnancy cravings? You must have been carrying a child at some point and not known it. This post describes my pathetic life everyday lately. overcome by obsessive cravings, only to get it, and decide it sucks.

  3. Maggie O'C says:

    I remember loving Froot Loops (please check spelling…just sayin’) and they really don’t taste the same now. I never got to eat the monster cereals. You lucky bastard. I’ve never been to alabama but from what I have heard, this all makes sense.

    • Thank you for the correction, I fixed it! Then the original post disappeared somehow and has been replaced with this draft…strange. I can’t get enough of a woman telling me that I’ve screwed something up! lol. I must have spent too much time staring at the back of the box to know how to spell it correctly. And the very idea that there’s anything fruit related in Froot Loops is preposterous!

      Froot loops aren’t really that good to me anymore. If I want some loops, I’ll eat Apple Jacks. So good! Don’t waste your time with the monster cereals though. They blow now. Thanks for reading!

  4. Pen says:

    You are completely right- he definitely is making the post-hummer face. Ahem. Not that I’m super familiar with that expression.
    I call my partner “Asshat”. I also sometimes shorten it to “Ass”. I like your wife already.

    I do not like cereal, but I understand that childhood craving. The worse one for me is those “Fun Dips”. Which was- get this: a bag of colored sugar that you scooped out with a stick made of sugar.
    My eyes dilate just thinking about it.

    • I’m familiar with Fun Dips! Whenever I see a pack I want to buy it, but I’m sure it won’t be what i remember it to be. Same with Pop Rocks.

      • Pen says:

        It just tastes like sugar. Though I did notice my tongue starts burning a lot faster that it used too. That sugar-overload happens quicker in these older years 😉

  5. Oh Don, my heart broke for you a bit there at the end while I was wiping tears of laughter off my face, lol. Definitely stick with the Captain, don’t know why he’s the only one to hold true all these years. 🙂

  6. Pingback: A better don? Probably not like this…. | don of all trades

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