Tag Archives: cereal

The Battle of the Captains

Throughout history there have been many famous captains, but not many whom I would actually trust to sail my ship.  For starters, consider Captain Crunch, a.k.a. Cap’n Crunch, the mascot of the popular cereal.  When someone takes a job as a cereal mascot, I have to be suspicious of his background.  The Cap’n seems like a decent man, but I question his qualifications for being an actual captain, other than the fact that he found a hat with a C on it at the Salvation Army.

Cap’n Crunch does look like a captain, but he’s a man with eyebrows independent from the rest of his body.  A man who helps people solve their problems by offering them a cereal which will put them into a sugar-induced coma.  A few years ago, his full name was revealed as Horatio Magellan Crunch.  Apparently his publicist was trying to give him some credibility by naming him after two famous sailors.  George Crunch just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Cap’n Crunch was the most popular children’s cereal until it was dethroned by Fruity Pebbles.  The once formidable captain was defeated by Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, children in diapers, so I will look elsewhere for my skipper.

How about The Skipper from Gilligan’s Island? He ran their ship aground and couldn’t help them get off the island in three years.  Moving on, then…

Avast me hearties, Captain Hook is the villainous pirate captain of the Jolly Roger.  I’m sorry, but his ship’s name is too close to the Jolly Rancher, a popular brand of candy.  I don’t want to be at sea and thinking about the watermelon hard candy that gives me canker sores.

Being a pirate captain might be cool if it wasn’t in Neverland, a fictional world of children.  Also, his archenemy is Peter Pan, a boy who refuses to grow up.  It’s kind of embarrassing when your nemesis hangs out with someone named Tinkerbell and could be portrayed by Sandy Duncan.

Peter Pan cut off Hook’s hand and fed it to a crocodile.  Understandably, Hook then developed a fear of crocodiles and other reptiles.  But is this type of person you want as captain of your ship?

Captain America is cool and has an impressive physique, but he has no superhuman powers.  How can you be a superhero without super powers? He is supposedly a perfect specimen of human conditioning, but he wears a spandex body suit, which is kind of like a full length Speedo. His weapon is a shield, which wouldn’t even protect me from my toddler.  I like Captain America because of what he represents, but he wouldn’t be my captain of choice.  Mostly because he doesn’t even have a ship.  Or his captain’s license, for that matter.

The winner is Captain Merrill Stubing of The Love Boat.  Never losing his electric smile, he got people where they needed to go and solved major problems in less than an hour.  He put up with Gopher, the Yeoman Purser, not to mention several guest appearances by Charo.  Besides, who else can wear knee-high white socks and look so suave and debonair? 


Pirates of the Caribbean in the Cereal Aisle

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you turn the corner to enter the cereal aisle?  How did we ever go from Corn Flakes and Quaker Oats to five thousand brands and flavors of cereal?  Realistically, they could all be whittled down to two categories:  1.) Vat of Sugar and 2.) Tree bark.  Adults have to pay for this food, yet we end up with kids on a sugar high while we scarf down the shavings of a dogwood. 

The fact that cereal was not in the Garden of Eden should be a major clue.  Adam and Eve were eating fresh fruit, not Fruit Loops.  We are talking about dead food in a box, but apparently it is the centerpiece aisle of the supermarket.

When you walk down the cereal aisle with children, it’s a bit like going for a ride at Disney World.  With all of the flashy colors and marketing, it’s a wonder the supermarkets don’t turn it into a Pirates of the Caribbean adventure.  You could get on a little boat and sail down a darkened aisle, while carousing pirates sing “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)” and advertise the various cereals. In between bouts of pillaging, they could toss out samples. When you get to the end of the aisle, you could sail down a little waterfall and get off the ride.

I bet you thought supermarkets were all about food.  On the surface, yes, but when you delve into the heart of a supermarket chain, you will find that they have more tricks than the Trix Rabbit himself.  Starting with the prize inside the box.

Decades ago, the prize in a cereal box was a simple toy or a decoder ring.  The other day I noticed that the prize offered was a possible trip to Turks and Caicos.  One in a million people might actually get to go on this trip, but it must increase sales to at least offer the potential of a Caribbean cruise.  More incentive is needed because we all recognize that the older we get, the more our cereal starts to resemble rabbit pellets. Some poor guy who is freezing his tushie off in Vancouver will gladly buy the cereal for the chance to run his fingers through the hot sand.  Realistically, the only thing he will run his fingers through is his collection of decoder rings from the 1950s, while he throws another log on the fire and yearns for Frosted Flakes.

If the pattern holds, in ten years cereal boxes will include a sweepstakes drawing for a trip to the moon.   

The marketing plan seems devious, but it works.  How else are they going to sell the tree bark?   Part of the plan is to give the cereal a name that makes you think you are eating the most healthful foods on the planet, despite the artificial ingredients, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup.  Heart Healthy, Smart Morning, Natural Goodness. 

That’s because you would never buy the following cereals:

Death in a Box

Chemical Overload

Fructose Flakes

Sugar Valley

Unpronounceable Ingredients