Tuesday, July 12, 2005

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My name is Christopher Edelson Principe, and I love cereal.

One might even say I'm "All Cereal, All The Time," with an exclamation point at the end. That's how much I love it.

My personal, holy breakfast cereal trinity is as follows:

Crispix, Kix, & Cheerios

Please understand: there's no regimented schedule, and I don't enter the grocery store with any particular cereal-purchase in mind. Instead, I prefer to surrender to whatever transitory desires happen to be flowing through my body as I round the corner of Aisle Two. Nonetheless, I can't deny reaching for one of those three sacred brands, overwhelmed with breakfast-balancing gratitude, probably about 96% of the time.

But of course, numbers follow certain rules, and 96% does not equal 100%.

**Flashback to June 2005**

It had been a good week. I'd just finished an excellent kid-tested, mother-approved box of Kix, but was jonesin' for something a little different. I needed just as much crunch, but slightly less sweetness. And as I approached Aisle Two, I felt my body scream it out: "Crispix! Crispix! Crispix!"

It was decided. I scanned the shelves: Kix? Cheerios? Yes...but no Crispix anywhere.

I kept looking: Corn Flakes, Lucky Charms, Chocolate Lucky Charms (barf), Corn Pops, Honeycomb…still no Crispix, but wait—

I felt something. A strange and subtle and familiar something, coming from somewhere deep inside—from that vital triple point, where Heart, Mind and Stomach intersect.

I glanced back at the other cereal boxes and began to look through them, past them, searching through the collection of softly unnoticed desires circling my psyche. And in a sudden moment of brutal self-honesty, I realized it:

I had been quietly craving Honeycomb for the past 20 years. And until that single moment in Aisle Two, I didn't even know it.

In a flash, I saw the hundreds of Honeycomb commercials I'd absorbed as a child. I recalled the vague image of an old Honeycomb box with a treehouse full of smiling kids on it, and how I'd never really understood the purpose of those knobby honey stick things that were always dripping and oozing with honey, and how I still wanted them anyway. A slight mini crisis ensued. How could I not realize this sooner? Was I really so out of touch with my own desires? What other "Honeycombs" have been unknowingly haunting my pathetic life of lies?

Eventually, all of these confused, fragmented questions and memories coalesced into one coherent idea: Me Want Honeycomb.

And I did. Oh God, did I ever.

Which apparently is the cereal's main draw. To quote the website, this sweetened corn and oat cereal has a unique honeycomb shape and a honey-sweet taste that kids have been craving for more than 30 years.

Or, in my case, twenty.

Later that night, at nearly 25 years of age, Chris Principe sat alone at a dimly lit table in his apartment, ready to confront the demons head-on, and experience his first-ever bowl of Honeycomb.

And did he enjoy it?

It isn't until now—nearly one month later—that he truly understands the situation: those poor Honeycombs never really stood a chance. How could any single bowl live up to such unreasonable expectations, inflated over the course of two decades? Could he not taste the disappointment before the spoon even touched his lips?

In short, they were fine. They got soggy and bland a little too quickly, but it's not that big of a deal ‘cause there really wasn't all that much flavor to begin with. And they hurt a little when you eat 'em. Not as bad as those mouth-cutting, fruit-shaped Trix-shards they were selling for a while, but still painful. Or maybe that was just the emotional betrayal I was tasting. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

Either way, the week passed and soon enough I found myself back in Aisle Two, reaching again for the holy three, stomach growling and faith renewed. The delusions had subsided, and like a lone, brave Crispick in a pool of 2% milk, I'd endured the flood and emerged victorious, my integrity and crispiness intact.

10 comments:

Alex said...

Chris, I'd like to option your novel. Gimme a call if you're interested.

Geoffrey said...

Honey Nut Cheerios, Cracklin' Oat Bran and Cocoa Pebbles for me!

And man do I not like Kix.

Stefan said...

I'm almost exclusively a Shredded Wheat boy, with occasional excursions into Cheerios Country and Kix Kingdom. Though I did, last week, buy a box of Rice Krispies Treats cereal, which tastes EXACTLY like what it sounds like.

Listen, I know Shredded Wheat is boring, but check out my rockhard abs. That's the Shredded Wheat magic.

mary said...

you might not believe this, but: this morning as i was running late for work and knew that i would have to go without cereal (again, dammit) i had decided in the shower that i would just have tons of cereal for dinner when i got home. i was excited before, but now i can't wait for my many bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Raisin Nut Bran, or Kix (yes, me too) that surely await me at home. probably going for the CTC though...

Neal K said...

Strangely enough I also had my first box of Honeycomb ever in June. I too was disappointed. Frankly, it was the worst cereal I'd ever had. Mind you it was on sale and I later noticed the the best-before date was March 2005, and they might have been stale.

But darnit, I will now assume all boxes of Honeycomb to be stale, as well as all other honey or comb related products. Except Honey Nut Cheerios, now that's good honey cereal Grompin'!

Cereal fundamentals: Just Right, Rice Krispies, Vector, Raisin Bran and the Cheerios family/crime syndicate.

For some reason I have no stronger brand loyalty/affinity than to cereal and Kellog's. And I have no idea why.

Do you?

christopher said...

Vector?

What a terrible name for a cereal. Doesn't it mean "disease carrier" or something?

Anonymous said...

I like how the honeycomb description uses all kinds of words to steer breakfast box readers clear from the creeping suspicion that there is most likely no honey in this product at all.

this is, in fact, part of an international breakfast conspiracy.

Neal K said...


Vector
is only the MOST HARDCORE cereal ever. Actually, it's not a cereal, it's "meal replacement"

One of the most essential tools in physics, a vector is something that has a magnitude and a direction, like forces.

The closest thing to it in the states is Smart Start.

Anonymous said...

Vector sounds too space-y and shit. no thanks.

my favorites include:

-just right (and top it with apple sauce...mmmmm)
-just cake
-just alright
-just hangin' out
-just one of the guys

Dad said...

What a strange link. Stefan scores as Shredded Wheat beats out Golden Grahms?! and also, we all know that HNC is way better than Cocoa Puffs.