Monday night my wife and I went to the grocery store.
The past few weeks we’ve been going to a different grocery store each week, you know, to add a little excitement to the routine of, well, grocery shopping. So far, it’s been a pretty good experience.
This week, though, we weren’t able to go grocery shopping on the weekend as we were out of town. It’s thrown the whole week off to a certain degree, but to get it out of the way quickly (on a week night), we went back to our usual grocery store that’s just a stones throw from our house.
I’m not much help at the grocery store. I don’t even push the cart.
My job is generally to look at people (I enjoy this) and scan the items at the automated check out — unless of course someone is in line behind me cause then I get all stressed out and move even slower than I already do.
But this time, when my wife set me free in the cereal aisle to pick my cereal for the week, something caught my eye.
I couldn’t place it. Where had I seen that red box before? Hmmmm… something from my past…
Then it hit me.
Remember those single serving variety packs of cereal Kellogg’s used to sell in the 1980’s? They were essentially just a bunch of little cardboard boxes — miniature versions of the real box — shrink wrapped together. I think there were 8 boxes in each “bundle”.
(These days, I know they still have single serving sizes of cereal available but they come in their own little plastic bowl now. Totally different experience. Back then, you still needed to supply a bowl.)
Anyway, our family summer vacation each year would involve camping for a few weeks and my Mom would buy us these variety packs for breakfast during the trips.
Obviously, Frosted Flakes was the top prize. Froot Loops were right up there too. Apple Jacks were an excellent choice (though they tend to tear up the roof of your mouth). Corn Pops weren’t exactly a favorite, but a nice treat now and then. Rice Krispies and Raisin Bran, with tons of sugar added manually, were both still edible.
But when it came down to the fourth day of the trip, my sister and I would have to make a decision.
Which was worse? Special K or Product 19.
We’d fight over this. It was important — I mean, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.
More often than not, Product 19 ended up being the worst of the two evils.
Product 19 was like a lump of coal.
It was like eating poisoned Frosted Flakes.
No amount of sugar could, well, sugar coat it. We tried. Really, we tried.
I’m not sure my parents would even eat Product 19 — and my dad is a fan of liver.
Yeah, it truly was *that* bad.
Worse, even, than Grape Nuts. (Who’d have thought that was even possible?)
I’d venture to say that the last time I saw Product 19 was in 1985 while on vacation. It blew my mind this week to see that it was still on the market.
But I certainly wasn’t about to give it another try. No way.
In the end, I chose Frosted Cheerios to be my cereal of the week. Sadly, they’re tearing up the roof of my mouth as well.