I’m back on with cereal again, picking up from our whistlestop tour of milk mulched memories.
Another round up for you now, this time from later childhood…
Frosties are to Corn Flakes as Ricicles (Gawd rest em!) were to Rice Krispies. The sugared up, extra crunchy, enamel eroding, waist ballooning version.
Look at Tony, just look at him. That’s the sexual imprint primogenitor of Deviant Art right there. Between him and Thundercats this is why thirty years later we’re all strangle wanking dressed as cats with six breasts. You see Kellogg’s never planned for that when they put sugar on Cornflakes (blessed be their eternal golden form).
Defile them with sweetness and the ghost of John Harvey Kellogg comes back to wreak vengeance. Look him up, he was all about preventing masturbation and he thought sugar was a leading cause. That and anthro tiger hunks pulling sick moves on Jet Skis and grinning at you from the cereal box over breakfast while you’re impressionable.
This is either his curse for perverting his cereal or Kellogg’s using his spinning corpse to power their headquarters.
“Kellogg’s Frosties, bring out the tiger in you… and you!” Yeah, they weren’t expecting a fully-fledged fursona whose interests include inflation, vore and “unbirth”. Fuck’s sake don’t look those up, and if you got here because of those search terms you’re going to be bitterly disappointed as I’m just swearing about cereal.
Case in point: we once went for a “Swim Breakfast” which was sponsored by Kellogg’s. Back in the days we used to get swimming once a week, this was an extra indulgence. Standard aquatic fare followed by getting a certificate, sticker and one of the press out card hats, the ones that look like you’re wearing a decorative 70s potato slice centrepiece. This was followed by a sit down cereal extravaganza. Well, they shoved out some variety packs. Somehow I managed to buck the trend of getting the meagre left overs and actually got a pack of Frosties.
What happened next is the stuff of fever dreams, but a guy dressed as Tony came out, capering at the door while some fitness do-gooder was extolling the virtues of breakfast. I’d already had breakfast at home of course – this was an additional brunch of sugar so big win for that guy.
Tony comes out and walks down the aisles between the dining children. He took special note of my choice of cereal and appeared to express approval, as well as someone can when they’re in a tiger suit and not allowed to speak. I did take note of his all too human wrists showing between sleeves and gloves. It’s like seeing the hooks on Santa’s beard, you’re never really the same again. I still got his “signature” on a jam smeared plate. Hmm, there must have been toast too.
It came to and end once a certain child in the class grabbed Tony by his tail and wouldn’t let go. Despite what the saying would suggest this only resulted in some ineffectual flailing from Tony.
Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
“The trouble is they taste too good”. The trouble is they’re dressed up like Cornflakes have gone on the game and are touting for business. These ads suggest you can’t control your baser urges and you’re going to be late for meetings, caught naked in hotels and just plain openly steal them. Or as seen here, cause Angus Deayton to hide in a funnel. Probably with a crack addled hooker.
That’s how good they are and that’s how addicted you are. Where’s your willpower? Traded away for honey… nuts… and brown sugar. How many people just spontaneously orgasmed? Or at the very least salivated? That’s really just an oral ejaculation… and swallow.
And so it came to pass that the cereals whose primary ingredients were sugar, more sugar, saturated fat, lard and sugar again, disappeared from our pantry shelves. They were replaced instead by a procession of try hard healthy cereals, this was a dark time. No sugar, no toys.
Yes we had a pantry; apparently this isn’t generally the done thing in the modern age. We also kept coal in the bath and shared one toilet at the bottom of the yard, between six families.
Unrepentantly sloganed: “Get in shape, lose the fat.” Fucking hell, want to be any plainer there? Oi you fucking land whale, eat some of this and reduce your gravitational pull. They also had the body shaming “pinch an inch” campaign were folks were actively encouraged to go round grabbing each other by the belly and tell them they needed Special K. Probably before getting slapped round the face and sued.
Despite the bastard dreadful adverts these were quite reasonable in their maltiness and had an ear popping, satisfying crunch. They released a red berries version at one point which had the sourest freeze dried fruit imaginable.
Fruit and Fibre
(Editor’s note: Ross Kemp at his most menacing here. Viewer discretion advised.)
Advertised with the ear worm that doesn’t quite work; we can all remember the insipid tune but like hell can we list the fruit. That’s because our brains are attuned to things like the near pornographic “honey… nuts… and brown sugar”. Yeah that’s fucking entrenched and is the linguistic equivalent of the vinegar strokes.
“Apples hazelnuts bananas raisins coconuts sultanas” there it is, you can hear it now can’t you? The cartoon-like, comic book setting, exaggerated comedic landscapes and rhyming couplet, sing song dialogue. Clearly some effort had gone into the pantomime set dressing to make Fruit and Fibre appear less like a thinly veiled constipation cure.
Six different fruits, except no one can tell the difference between raisins and sultanas. Anyone claiming to be capable of this feat should be immediately tested, blindfolded, then you replace both dried fruit with rat droppings, because… fuck them.
Basically Fruit and Fibre without the fruit. They couldn’t just call it “Fibre” though.
Advertised with a full on, in your face, cockney knees up tune that the actors mimed to. Describing some pursuit or other that is in every way inferior to having Bran Flakes. Fishing for example.
See how the 80s wives of the 80s men are miming right into their weary faces, before waving Bran Flakes at them. Then we all join in with the least imaginative chorus ever devised:
“They’re tasty, tasty, very, very tasty… they’re very tasty!” Get a fucking thesaurus!
With the final refrain of said chorus each advert zooms out to reveal a series of clones, all indulging in Bran Flakes while dressed the same. Likewise with their wives spouting banality at them.
Bran Flakes: preferable to listening to one’s partner.
The more potent and pure cousin to Bran Flakes, this is for when you’re seriously bunged up and/or immutably enormous. Either way you don’t get flakes any more, all pretence is dropped. Now it’s sticks. Eat the sticks. That’s all you deserve. No, no fruit for you, no “tasty, tasty, very very tasty” no, “They’re edible, edible, just about edible, they’re barely edible”. You will however turn your colon inside out.
Look at this advert from 85 – black and white, stark and aerobics going on in the background. Those words are working out and they’ve lost a whole font size! Don’t you want to be like those letters? “Eat yourself fitter, not fatter”, fucks sake not so much pulling punches there as aiming for the bastard throat and then putting the boot in while you’re on the ground gasping for breath. “Eat twigs you swine”. Eat twigs, do letter aerobics, then you’ll be qualified to join the human race… maybe.
All Bran: Shit yourself thin or die of boredom trying!
Thankfully this health spree lasted but a short while and compromise was reached in which we could once again have flavour, if it was wrapped in something wholesome and had at least minor laxative effect.
“There’s raisin in the middle!” Listen to that jingle, now listen to this: the two are utterly inseparable in my mind.
Now back to that initial claim – are there really raisins in the middle? Certainly not in the way they portray. You couldn’t crack these open and pour out four wrinkly horrors covering Marvin Gaye. No Californian Singing Scrotums to be found.
This was highly processed, reconstituted raisin flavoured paste. And to be fair we didn’t want the effort of having to chew whole raisins, so Kellogg’s did it for us. “Kellogg’s Shredded Wheat with pre-masticated raisins” doesn’t have the same ring to it though.
These were a happy medium between the extremes of the health drive and yearning for cereal which was actually worse for you than just pouring milk straight into the sugar bowl and eating it with a chocolate bar.
The box was the size of a cigarette packet so I was told “don’t have too many, they’ll give you the shits”. No they wouldn’t, they were just expensive and I was a gannet.
Hey look the same thing with big fuck off layer of sugar on the top and no fruit centre! Thankfully not long after this all effort in this direction was dropped and I got to sail the good ship Corn Pop down a river of Coke all the way to Gallstone Bay.
(Editor’s note: He is wrong about this – Toppas (or Frosted Wheats as they’re now known) are the best thing ever invented, and I have arranged a fight with the author outside Uppal’s News & Booze to settle this.)
“Have you caught new Corn Pops?” You can get cream for that! Boom Boom!
“They taste just like…. crunchy popcorn!” Not soggy popcorn or chewy popcorn, specifically crunchy. Though that really describes a texture rather than a flavour. They ‘feel’ just like crunchy popcorn perhaps? But actually no, they didn’t look, sound, feel or taste like bloody popcorn at all.
How 90s is this? Jesus Christ all mighty riding a bike on his way to the shops!
Advertising ADHD, of the “throw darts at a list of occupations and settings” variety.
First we’ll shower everyone in this shit. Right who’s getting it?
– Cool 90s kid with curtains hair (Radical!)
– Guy in a dinner jacket spinning plates (Far out!)
– Baseball player (Active!)
– A pirate (because… fuck it we have the costume)
– A football goalie (Sport!)
– Four firemen with a giant bowl (Hallucinogenic!)
– Rollerskating girl with Walkman (This is trendy right? Right?!)
Now tell them the immortal line “part” of this nutritious breakfast, show indistinct toast and juice, suggesting subtly that having a bowl of sugar balls, purporting to be popcorn, for breakfast might just not be nutritionally balanced.
Okay rain more cereal on the fireman’s helmet (suggestive!)
Back to cool 90s curtains and do a freak out repeated slam zoom effect on his face! (Shrill and unnecessary!)
30 seconds, that’s all, try and make any narrative sense of it. You can’t, because it doesn’t, but you won’t anyway because: sugar in vast amounts. You don’t care, just spike that shit and give that pancreas a fucking work out, it’s the only body part that’s getting one.
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