Saturday, September 7, 2019

Raisin Brand

Dave eats wood for breakfast.

I'm not actually sure of that. He eats Raisin Bran, and it always seems to give him splinters. We didn't have Raisin Bran when I was growing up. We were strictly a Cheerios and Frosted Flakes family. My college boyfriend's mom introduced me to Raisin Bran and it made me wonder what else my family had deprived me of. I would've moved in with her on the spot but then she brought out a platter of chopped liver and I loved Mom and Dad all over again.

Anyway it's nice to know they still sell Raisin Bran, although the brand has succumbed to the American demand for a paralyzing number of choices. You can get Regular, or you can get it with Frosted Banana Slabs, or Fruit Pucks of various provenance, or Golden Gooey Grain Globules. All still contain genuine splinters.

What finally got me interested in the cereal was the little game they printed on the back of the box. It really brought me back. Yes! It's Spider-Man, and he's in the city, and you're supposed to find the little cameras, the green shirts, the tiny spider-men, and the backpacks! In spite of evidence I had other things to do, I spent some time looking for them. It's not hard, but neither are the other games they used to print on cereal boxes. We loved them. We had time for them. There might be a Treasure Hunt game and you cut your little playing piece out of the box and move it along the path, and try not to land on the shark or the pirate. Or there might be a maze and you take your pencil and scribble your way out.

The games were like the things they'd print in Children's Highlights magazine. To this day if I see the cover of a Children's Highlights I can close my eyes and smell a doctor's office. You might have to look at apparently identical pictures and see how many differences you can find. (Somebody is always missing a foot.) You might have to hunt for all the things that are wrong with a picture. It helped pass the time and block out the Antiseptic Aroma Of Doom in the waiting room.

Dang it, we had real games back then. We didn't hunch over no damn phone. We were down on the rug with real winks to tiddle. We had real metal Chinese Checkers boards and the marbles went bang bang bang bang. We had real pick-up sticks that really could take an eye out.

So the Raisin Bran box brought me back. It was old-timey. The more I looked at it, the easier it was to peer into the past, where kids wearing jaunty caps and knickers rolled hoops with a stick, or flang cowpies. My land! If I looked a little harder, they were squatting in loincloths in the sun tossing knucklebones from a sheep. Looked a little harder and...

Oh crap. The directions on the Raisin Bran box are to cut out the Spider-Man character from the box. Then download and open the Suit Up With Spider-Man app on a camera-enabled mobile device. Then scan the character to use it as a controller in the game.

And just like that, the smart phone is back at the breakfast table. Screw that. I already found all the items. Old-school.

(Looking over my glasses.)

29 comments:

  1. I had to smile at your mention of Highlights magazine. The only time I ever came across them is in my dentist's office. I remember reading a short story in there about a little boy who was dying and was afraid. His best friend propped his hand up so that "Jesus could take it and take you to Heaven." In short order, Jesus took the boy's hand and he died. Well, that story scared the shit out of me! I was afraid to dangle my hand out of the covers for fear that Jesus would mistakenly think that I wanted to die. As if the Boogeyman under the bed weren't enough to contend with! I'd like to say that this fear went away with childhood, but I had it for much of my adolescence as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my nightmare as well---the story was in a book of religious stories my parents gave me. Thanks Mom and Dad...
      Good grief! I hope parents don't do that to kids any longer.

      Delete
    2. Shoot, guys. I couldn't even get past "If I should die before I wake..."

      Delete
    3. Oh my gosh Mary... I thought I was the only one that had that fear! That and the glow in the dark cross on cardboard I had hanging by my closet....
      BTW, we have Chinese checkers, I gave Grace tidily winks for her birthday but I avoid pick up sticks....

      Delete
    4. ACK! I remember those glow-in-the-dark crosses! Sort of purple, right? Completely forgotten about that until now. Spooky as hell.

      Delete
  2. I liked raisin bran when I was a kid but Post not Kellogg's - Post had more raisins!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Post here too. My husband used to put sugar on it until I showed him how much sugar was already in it.

      Delete
  3. Junk food.
    When the frost was enough to freeze pipes my mother made porridge for me before I skittered and skated off to school across iced-over mud puddles.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's called Sultana Bran here in Australia and I never liked it because it seemed to be 99.5% flakes and very few sultanas. We ate Cornflakes and Weetbix instead and sprinkled sugar with a heavy hand. My youngest brother used to carefully eat the sugar-laden top layer then add more sugar and repeat until the bowl was empty. In the winter we ate porridge, again with sugar, but also with a little dab of real butter stirred in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You just reminded me how I used to get grapefruit down. With a veritable crust of sugar. Now I regret not being able to find white grapefruits. The Ruby grapefruits are too sweet.

      Delete
  5. I have a breakfast story...my brother-in-law was visiting with his young son, 7 or 8 at the time. I used to fuss over the kid a bit, give him lots of hugs and attention because his parents were divorced, so he was here without his mom. On the first morning I set him a placemat at the table, cereal mounded in a pretty bowl, napkin and spoon, and his milk in a little white pitcher. He enjoyed pouring the milk -- you could see it. And a pitcher is easier for little hands than a carton. Anyway next morning his dad set him up. The box of cereal and the carton of milk were set on the table with a bowl. Self-serve. The boy looked at his father and said, "I usually have my milk in a little pitcher." Silence while the dad decided how to reply to this. I quickly got up and gave him the pitcher. Aw, he's only a kid! He should be spoiled when he comes to Aunt Susan's house! For Christmas that year I sent him a little milk pitcher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I want a little milk pitcher.

      Delete
    2. I have one, tiny and quite delicate with a roses pattern. I'd send it, but I don't know if it would survive the trip.

      Delete
    3. Oh please no, don't send it! That's so sweet! I would break it for sure. Please enjoy a spot of cream in it for me.

      Delete
  6. I have about 100 old Highlights magazines that I used with my kids and now my grandkids and I love them so much, they will only go in my will to someone who will take care of them!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Chex Press. And you said flang.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another "flang" lover perhaps? My favorite of Murr's made up words.

      Delete
    2. Actually, I'm wondering. It totally sounds like something Albert the Alligator would say. Anyone?

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am a flang lover. Fling, flang, flung. Flang has nuanced meaning to those of us 'in the know'. It really depends on the structure of the thing to be flung. It requires a certain flex quality and a certain heft that allows for distance of the fling. i.e., whereas, you can't really fling a brick, you can fling a wet pillow. "I flang that wet pillow over the fence and down the hill" A brick couldn't do that. Oh, and flang is a two headed pick. It would be hard to flang a flang.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great discourse on the whole subject! I love flang, possibly even the two headed pick, although I've never seen one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. When my kids were young, and I was bringing them up in Mexico, Mom would cut out the games on the backs of cereal boxes and mail them to us. Because we were deprived, eating pan de dulce y chocolate for breakfast.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A wireless camera security system can readily be installed without the cost of professional assistance. In the event of an online breakdown, your alarm system could stay active. You are curious to know more about wireless alarm, click here.

    ReplyDelete