Monday, August 7, 2006

Another Minor Setback

My first clue that something was wrong was when I saw the proclamation at the top of the box of Alpha Bits that they were a “Great Source of Whole Grain.” When I picked up the box at the supermarket, I wasn’t looking for whole grain as much as I was looking to re-live a little childhood memory. I wanted cereal like I had when I was a kid. One of my fond childhood memories was busting open a box of Alpha Bits, loading it up with sugar and milk and enjoying a great candy-flavored cereal experience. It doesn’t sound like much, but we didn’t have Play Station or VCRs, so the memories are more pedestrian. So, give me the cereal, please. They used to be sugar-sparkled ABCs – it said so on the box.
I chose to ignore whole grain reference. If I wanted a great source of whole grain, I would have bought Grape Nuts. No grapes – no nuts, but it does make a fine concrete patch. They should sell that stuff at Home Depot.
In addition to another exasperating shopping experience (which seems to be the norm, rather than the exception [right, KimmyK?], I was also disappointed yet again to find that what I remembered was not what I would get. Life is full of disappointments.
First, the term Alpha Bits implies that there is actually formed letter-shaped cereal included in the box. What I got was mostly “bits” and precious little “alpha’s”. Mostly, it looked like a few letters with a lot of punctuation marks. Commas, Semicolons and Quotation Marks Bits would be a more appropriate name. Right out of the chute, I figured I was in for disenchantment.
The taste test would prove me right. I could see that they weren’t of the same consistency as I remembered (hey, who remembers that?). They looked more like little formed Styrofoam shapes instead of crunchy cereal. It’s probably the grain. The reason is that they are not little crunchy cereal like they used to be, they are little squishy cereal, and they taste like Styrofoam, too. Styrofoam Bits. I won’t even get into the bland flavor, and I know that’s the grain.
Since I hate to throw food away, I suffered through the bowl, but I figure that I’m going to have to throw away what is left in the box. Maybe the squirrels will eat it? Just like the children today, they don’t remember what the original tasted like, so they won’t know they’re being screwed.
Once again, a fond memory of my youth will have to remain so. I guess it’s true, you can’t go home again, but I figured that corporate America wouldn’t let me down, but as is often the case, somewhere along the way, things changed. When it comes to my cereal, I don’t like change. I don’t always want whole grain. Sometimes a little grain and a lot of taste will do, but what I got was a metaphor for life. I wanted sugar sparkling and got packing peanuts. The gang at Post sold me a cheap imitation, but I’ll live with the disappointment.
Now I’ll think twice about trying the Apple Jacks.


Pam said...

Ya know, most of those cereals come in two versions now-a-days - the healthy, whole grain look-a-likes (for us evil mothers to sneak into our homes and trick our kids with) and the same sugared junk you used to eat. I bet you just got the wrong box.

Kate Michele said...

I remember alpha bits!! We use to play the puzzels on the back of the boxes!!

I had apple jacks awhile back and they were still the same as I remembered them as a kid...

If you want non healthy totally kid cereal get some Lucky Charms!! They are the shit man!!