Saturday, May 17, 2008

This Can't Be Good...

Climate Change Could Make Breakfast Cereals Toxic
You remember how your parents warned you that eating cereals like Franken Berry and Frosted Flakes would kill you? Well, in the age of global warming, that may not be too far off the mark.
Australian researcher Lisa Bricknell, speaking at an environmental health conference, speculated that climate change could result in an epidemic of "killer cornflakes." That's because grains like corn and rye are increasingly being attacked by a killer fungus that thrives in the hot, damp weather that we're going to be seeing more and more of as the world heats up. The fungus has harmful mycotoxins that can cause liver failure and death if eaten in large quantities.
Bricknell acknowledged that the outbreak isn't right around the corner, but notes that the effects of the toxins have been known since the Middle Ages, when European rye bread was contaminated. "People started suffering mass hallucinations, manic depression, gangrene, reduced fertility and suffered a painful, convulsive death," Bricknell said.
18 of the Craziest Breakfast Cereals Ever Made
18. Kaboom
A day-glo clown, creepy smiley-faced shapes, and an ability to turn milk a murky grayish-blue color: What's not to love about Kaboom? Note that the clown on this box front, who appears to have been dosed with LSD, refuses to actually handle the bowl with anything other than his foot.
17. Punch Crunch
Cap'n Horatio Crunch has shared the S.S. Guppy with numerous first mates over the years, but few were quite as foppish as Harry S. Hippo. The spokes-character for the "little pink rings with big pink flavor," Harry tempted the lonely sea cap'n with his teased eye lashes and curvaceous figure. If the idea of fruit-punch-flavored cereal wasn't so disgusting, who knows what could've been. Maybe in a more accepting time...
16. Sugar Corn-fetti
Though the connection between mariners and processed corn is spurious at best, Post used the seafaring Captain Jolly to pitch Sugar Corn-fetti in the 1960s. As illogical as that sounds, using a single-toothed smile to sell a sugary breakfast may be an even worse idea.
15. Wackies
In the good ol' days, an uncontrollable little boy getting hopped up on a cereal full of "banana bingles," "banana jangles," and "oat gloops" was endearing. Now it just makes him a candidate for Ritalin.
14. Rice Honeys
Given that children are taught to steer clear of bees, you'd think arming insects with pistols would make them more off-putting. Obviously, this didn't cross the minds of the execs in charge of Rice Honeys, who also led a movement to unseat Mr. Potato Head as the piece of produce most likely to be anthropomorphized.
13. Sir Grapefellow
Imagine being in General Mills' boardroom when an advertising exec proposed that a knighted, phallic-nosed British aviator with the tag-line "Tally-ho" would be the best option to market their new grape-flavored cereal. You can almost envision the staff looking on quizzically before the boss stands up and begins clapping. The yes-men follow along on cue, unaware that the boss had a four-martini lunch.
12. OKs
Long before there were Brawny paper towels there was a "Br-r-awny," cereal. It appears Kellogg's wanted kids to think eating OKs would make them grow big and strong. However, it's not entirely clear why they thought kids aspired to be stereotypically Scottish.
11. KOMBOs
After finding success using a tiger to market Corn Flakes, Kellogg's decided to use another exotic beast, the Blue Gnu, to represent the cereal's orange-flavored incarnation. While using one of the African savanna's most obscure animals seems like an odd choice, it's even stranger that they cloaked the character in a trench coat, like some kind of citrus-wielding flasher.
10. Magic Puffs
If your hat comes alive and tells you to eat cereal, you've probably already had some magic puffs. When this was on tables from 1974 to 1977, we're pretty sure it was more post-bong "munchie meal" than part of a nutritious breakfast.
9. Quisp
Once again, the children of America were forced to face an armed spokes-thing while eating cereal. Quisp cereal was introduced in 1966 and has since disappeared from most store shelves, but Quaker continues to make small batches of it every year. We think cereal lovers across America fear retaliation from "Quisp" -- a propeller-headed alien with permanently crossed eyes -- if they don't buy a box every year.
8. Mr. Wonderfull's Surprize
Regardless of whether this guy is "wonderfull" or not, any parent who would let their kid eat the creamy-filling "Surprize" found inside the balls of a man with a periscope head should be charged with child abuse.
7. Fruit Brute
Of General Mills' monster-themed cereals, only Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry scared up any business. Fruit Brute, the runt of the series, was shot by a silver bullet in 1983 after an eight-year run, leaving grocery stores devoid of cereals containing fluorescent orange puffs and nasty lime marshmallows.
6. Corn Flakes with Instant Bananas
First of all, Mr. Kellogg, bananas can't instantly appear. Their freeze-dried meat needs to be reconstituted, which is not really a "Presto!" sort of moment. Secondly, we're pretty sure the top of that banana's head was cut off to give him a nose. Needless to say, a child's fragile mind shouldn't be expected to wrap itself around this kind of macabre fruit phantasmagoria.
5. Vanilly Crunch
Once again, the good Cap'n is being tempted by a sexually aggressive animal. Wilma the White Whale is a nice literary tip of the cap to Moby Dick, but giving her long lashes and "Hello, sailor" lipstick creates the type of promiscuous sea life Melville never imagined and probably never wanted to. (You might want to re-read some of the more symbolic passages of "Billy Budd" if you don't know what we're talking about.)
4. Freakies
Born in 1973, the Freakies were Snorkeldorf, Cowmumble, Hamhose, BossMoss, Goody-Goody, Gargle and Grumble. Besides inspiring fan clubs nationwide, the original Freakies commercial became an installation at New York City's Museum of Modern Art. But if you put them in front of a kid now, they'd want to know why boogers were floating in their cereal.
3. Tutti Fruiti Twinkles
Known as the Tutti-Fruiti Sprinkler, this cartoon fire fighter appeared on the scene in the mid-'60s to tinkle sprinkles all over your cereal. It's unclear why anyone would want this, but at least there are other designs on the box to distract you from over-analyzing why Sprinkler seems so excited about using his hose.
2. Crunchy Loggs
Honestly, what's more appetizing than chowing down on some crunchy loggs? Wouldn't you just love to pop a logg in your mouth and experience its rich nutty flavor? It tastes just like what you'd get if a cartoon beaver took a dump in your bowl. Mmmm...delish.
1. Grins & Smiles & Giggles & Laughs
Created in 1975, GSGL's "story" was of four characters named Grins, Smiles, Giggles and Laughs who had to make the robot laugh to get it to vomit up boxes of cereal. While its concept is exceptionally weird, we actually ranked it number one for its profound tagline: "It takes funny people to make funny cereal." Of course, we interpreted that as "funny-weird," not "funny ha-ha."

1 comment:

thinggtwoo said...

Oh, man...Grins, Smiles, Giggles & Laughs was my FAVORITE Cereal - it was very tasty!!