Tuesday, October 28, 2008 King Vitaman Sucks

The family Halloween party was last Saturday. The plan was to serve hot dogs for all the kids, but someone done forgot to get the hot dogs (but oddly, not the buns). Mikey and I were dispatched to the nearest supermarket, some chain I have never heard of named something like Buy & Low or Pay & Little or Hey Hillfolk Get Yer Vittles Here. Now, we were in the wilds of Indiana and apparently, that's where old products go to die because Mikey spotted King Vitaman in the cereal aisle. I remembered loving King V as a kid, so I snatched up a box as we made our way to the checkout line.

(The original plan was to boil the hot dogs, but Mikey wouldn't hear of that. Our host didn't have a grill, so Mike assembled the parts needed to MacGuyver one - a big foil pan, a wire cooling rack from the cookie sheet aisle, and one of those small, pre-soaked charcoal bags. The cooling rack fit perfectly across the top of the foil pan and, in case the heat got too much for the thin metal of the pan, we placed the whole contraption on some bricks we found in the back yard. It worked like a charm. The hot links were damn good.)

This morning, I figured I'd have myself some King Vitaman. I anticipated a bowl full of sugary goodness served up with a side of warm, glowing nostalgia.

I didn't get it.

Imagine Captain Crunch with all the flavor removed. That is King Vitaman. You get the same amount of calories, you still cut the hell out of the roof of your mouth, you just don't experience anything resembling the sensation of taste. I am assured by the package, however, that the cereal is a good source of 12 essential vitamins and iron. Fuck you, package.

I don't know if King Vitaman always tasted like this, or if someone's been screwing with the formula. It's not as if they haven't made some changes over the years. I remember the box looking like this:

and it now looks like this:

It may seem odd, but I prefer the slightly deranged, probably drunk, potentially pedophilliac gentleman from the old design to the generic cartoon currently being used. I mean, good on the Cookie Crisp wizard for landing another gig, but the old package had character.

Speaking of the package, instead of using the side panel for something useful like recipes that might make this shit taste good or tips on how to stop blood pouring from the roof of your mouth, Quaker has given us riddles. And by riddles, I mean "retarded non sequiturs that make the guy who writes Dixie Riddle Cups look like Molière."

And don't get me started on the hidden picture puzzle on the back, because you're already looking at me funny. This thing couldn't challenge a nearsighted five-year-old on mescaline. It looks like the artist, exhausted after putting in the bare minimum effort to hide the spoon and arrow, looked at his watch and said, "Fuck it, Quaker ain't paying me overtime. I'll just stick everything else in the trees and the goddamn clouds where they'll leap out at the viewer like titties in a 3-D Russ Meyer movie". I'd much rather have the stupid knight mask from the back of the old box, thank you very much.

In conclusion, this forty-two-year-old was let down by a children's breakfast cereal in every way imaginable.


By the way, I won the costume contest at the party. (Thank you, thank you, oh, you're too kind!). If I can get decent photos within the next couple of days, I'll post 'em here.