Monday, December 5, 2011

The Fat of the Land or Supermarket

  Whilst (NOTE: Snooty term for 'while') pushing a cart through our local supermarket (Mrs. Penwasser once again lured me to dinner only to be hit with "I need to do a few errands" once we paid our check), I noticed the obscene variety of foods available to us.  Foods that would cause a starving child in sub-Saharan Africa (or Nicole Richie) to explode.  I mean, come on, how many varieties of ice-cream do we really need?
Seriously, why not just call it "gay"?
I said "Jamoca" not "Jamaican", dammit!
Chocolate, Strawberry, Neapolitan, Butter Almond, Butter Almond Brothers, Chocolate Fudge, Lo-Fat Chocolate Fudge, Non-Fat Zero Sugar No-Taste Chocolate Fudge, Rum Raisin (to keep the kids away, I guess), Rocky Road, Rocky Balboa, Butter Pecan, I Cant Believe It's Not Butter Pecan, Moose Tracks, Moose Poop, Vanilla-Chocolate (Neapolitan without the sucky Strawberry), Pralines and Cream, Cookies and Cream, Peaches and Cream, Peaches and Herb, Peanut Butter Mocha Double Fudge Caramel Whip-With Splenda!, Spackle, Maple Walnut, Maple Syrup, Maple Tree, Grandpa's Toe, Pistachio, Bubble Gum, Boy-in-the-Bubble Gum, Jamoca, Jomama, Peanut Butter and Chocolate (Buy 2, Get a free defibrillator!), Chocolate Chip, Buffalo Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, Paint Chip, French Vanilla (it insults you with every bite), Vanilla Fudge Ripple, Milli Vanilli Fudge Ripple, Cherry, Slut, Coffee, Tea, Or Me, Chocolate Marshmallow, Cookie Dough, Play-Doh, Owl, and Vanilla.

  But, as bad as that is, I kinda get it.  It's ice cream, after all.  Nobody ever said it was health food.  So, if you want to polish off a bowl (or four) after you inhale some cookie pancakes, be my guest, Oprah.

Seriously, all I need to do is take a crap?
I can do that.  Who's got the key?
  It's in the cereal aisle where I have the biggest problem.  Once again, I get it.  No kid wants to eat a bowl of Raisin Bran.  Unless that kid has constipation which binds him like Houdini in a straight-jacket.  

  I also have a problem with cereal makers claiming their brands are part of a "healthy" breakfast.  Well, yeah, if that breakfast includes toast, a hard-boiled egg, glass of orange juice, slab of liver, head of lettuce, oatmeal, and a "Barney" Flintstone vitamin (because I like Barney! You wanna make something of it?).  Rather than "sugar," their cereal now has "honey."

WARNING: Old guy reminiscing ahead: 
  At least in my day, they called a spade a spade.  Although what a shovel had to do with breakfast I don't know.

This was called "Sugar" Pops then.  We really didn't have to worry about tooth decay, though. The tough little nuggets never got soggy.  They just broke your teeth.

Golden, my ass.  This was "Sugar" Crisp as sold by its spokesman, "Sugar" Bear.  Who now is just "Maul-Tourists-and-Root-Through-Garbage-Cans" Bear. 
Anyone want to guess what this little gem was called? Clue:  It wasn't Honey Smacks.  These were our least favorite, mostly because we weren't too sure what a "smack" was.  But, if left opened, they attained the consistency of river rocks.  And could knock the hell out of your puss little brother if you wanted to watch Scooby Do instead of frikkin' Josie and the Pussycats.

    But, at least those cereals recognized the fact they were peddling sugar.  They made an attempt, however dishonest, of trying to convince you there was nothing unhealthy about their products.  

    Newer brands have dropped all pretense.  They're upfront about what it is you're buying.  Of course, there's still the canard about their being part of a healthy breakfast.  And, they hit you with something about "whole grains."  I'm not real sure about that, but I think it has something to do with heart health.  Or making you poop.  Which should bring you right back to Raisin Bran

 Cupcakes for breakfast?  Or rocks?  Which is it?  
In any case, Pebbles is gonna burst outta that diaper real soon. Then, it's "Bam! Bam! Bam!"

Ohhh, it's got whole grain AND calcium. That's fantastic.  Calcium, of course, is great for strong bones. Which you'll need to get your fat ass out of bed to pour yourself a bowl of frikkin' cookies.

No sense getting dressed to go to the mall to get yourself some of that gooey, cinnamony (NOTE: Not a real word) goodness.  A steady diet of these and you'll have Cinnabuns the size of the Hindenburg.

Luckily, there is hope.  I was able to find a cereal which didn't give me Type II Diabetes.  Granted, it was close to the feminine hygiene supplies and store brand of potted meat food product.  With the exception of Raisin Bran, I actually like this cereal.  Although, I'm not real sure what in jumpin' Jesus a Grape Nut even is.  Plus, I thought the only fruit with testicles was Richard Simmons.  As far as I know.

  Thankfully, my soiree (French for "annoying trip") to the grocery store was at an end.  Summoned by the sweet, loving beckoning call from Mrs. Penwasser to get my "creepy ass out of the cereal aisle," I pushed the cart (really, my only major function) to check-out.

  There, she sorted through her seeming inexhaustible supply of coupons while I unloaded the cart.  The minimum wage employee scowled at me as I unsuccessfully tried to sort the cleaning supplies from the meats from the fresh vegetables.  On top of the eggs.

  I tried to do my best, but I was distracted.

  Apparently, if I buy one pound of Peanut M&Ms, I get another one free. that chocolate.


  1. They really have Rocky Balboa ice cream? Geez and you like Barney..that is just soooo sad. Oh you meant the Flintstone Barney and not the purple dinosaur, my bad..hahahahaha great Richard Simmons crack. All cereal now a days seems obsessed with saying it can make you poo, what are we to do?

  2. I've seen Rocky Balboa ice cream here in Philly. Barney Rubble rocks. Barney the Dinosaur blows. What can we do? I think we can poo. Huzzah!

  3. @Eva: Results in increased sugar in the urine.
    @TheIglooOven: Yeah, ain't that a kick in the head? Or belly?

  4. This post has made me hungry and nauseous simultaneously... well played, Al.

  5. this made me laugh. now get your creepy ass out of the cereal aisle! do you ever feel awkward taking photos of random things in public? i do it all the time & my family members just shake their heads as i snap pics of "original cheese ball" or dead animals or other peculiar items. and please be aware, al that i sometimes scout for random toilets so i can take another picture for you.

  6. I read the joke you left on Bersucles page about feeling like a Penn State undergrad and I loved it. Then I saw your comment on Pats page today and just had to check out your blog.

    Do you remember the days when they put toys in the cereal? Those were the days.

  7. Bring back Rice Chex! That's all I want for xmas.

  8. What I find funny is to go to the offbrand store (save-a-lot around here) and see how thinly veiled their product names are to the real deal honey grams becomes honey blasts, cookie crisp becomes cookie wisp that sort of thing

  9. Its still Sugar Crisp up here in Canada (and I still can't get enough of it...)

  10. Man I love cereal!!! And I have never seen Cupcake Pebbles..... whats next? Twinkie Flakes? I would be all over those.

  11. There's always muesli for the health-conscious but WTF, why not live a little and have a bowl of Cocoa Krispies? They say you can cancel out all the sugar by swallowing a tomato doused in vinegar.

  12. I can't see your problem with all the varieties of ice cream man, I love the way Americans do their ice cream, it's crazy and so, so delicious!

  13. Capt' Crunch is the cerial for me! But I don't eat it as a breakfast meal! I eat it as a desert! or maybe a bowl or vanilla ice cream! Yum yum!

  14. Grape Nuts steals all the damn milk and I have to keep adding more... I'm a weirdo, I've always liked nuts and twigs cereals. Nobody had to convince me it was healthier. I'm just not a sweets guy, I guess.

  15. Agree with Bersercules - Cap'n Crunch is the best cereal of all time, with or without the crunch berries! My kids however, have to have something with marshmallows in it.

  16. @Sub-Radar: Me, too. I went downstairs and ate those M&Ms. But, I had a Diet Coke, so it's all good.
    @Sherilin: I look for pictures all the time! But, I put my cell phone on mute so Mrs. Penwasser doesn't hear the tell-tale "CLICK" when I take a picture. And I wasn't entirely accurate with the quote. It was actually, "Get your creepy old man ass out of the cereal aisle, you freak."
    @Anne: I'm doing my best to rein those jokes in, but sometimes I can't help it. You betcha I remember those toys. We'd mangle a whole box of Kaboom (which was candy-coated crap which tasted like medicine) just to get at that little plastic POS tank or lick 'em tattoo of Popeye.
    @Marlia: Oh, yeah, Rice Chex. That stuff is fantastic!
    @aamedor: We have a name for that kind of product. The local supermarket, Giant, sells knock-off cookies which are in packaging that's IDENTICAL to Chips Ahoy. They're called "Chip 'Ums." Now, it doesn't matter what the product is, my kids and I call it "Chip 'Um Pizza" ,"Chip 'Um Pretzels", etc. Except for the Tostito knock-offs. They're called "Festingos." Which cracks us up. To tell you the truth, Giant's "Chip 'Ums Frozen Pizza" is actually pretty good.
    @dbs: I don't know. Let me check.....nope, clean and dry.
    @Kid Shuffle: Canada has integrity! Outstanding! Can't get enough of that Sugar Crisp! Is he still called "Sugar Bear?"
    @Steve: Yeah, Cupcake Pebbles. Frikkin' amazing. I'm gonna look for some objectionable flake and sugar concoction.
    @Gorilla: I forgot about Cocoa Krispies. I loved them. Especially when they made the remaining milk chocolate. I'm gonna look for them, as well. I never heard that about the tomato. I thought vinegar was only used for salad dressing and douches.
    @Yeamie: Hey, hey, hey! We only do our ice cream when no one is looking. We like to give our bowl extra nuts. If you know what I mean.
    @Bersercules: Cap'n Crunch (he was never a proper "Captain") was great until they effed it all up by adding crunchberries and peanut butter.
    @Dr. Heckle: Good for you! I love that stuff, too. It's just a side benefit that a bowl of bran turns my body into a soft-serve machine.
    @Leslie: Cocoa Puffs. I'm kookoo for Cocoa Puffs. I think I saw Cap'n Crunch with marshmallows. But, somehow, it's like seeing the Hulk with the Village People.

  17. I have never liked cereal, even as a kid. Probably because, as I said the other day, I can't stand milk.
    But I remember my Mum buying museli as part of some misguided plan to get me to eat something other then cheese and pickle sandwiches for breakfast. I looked at the bowl and asked her why she had given me rabbit food.

    I don't think I will have much comp time now as off early fri morn so I will wish you and Mrs P Merry Xmas and Happy New Year now Al xxx

  18. Mrs. Penwasser eats cereal without the milk. The kids and I think she's some sort of freak, but she doesn't like milk, either. So, you're not alone.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too. Have a GREAT vacation. Please make sure to come back!

  19. My brother was such a nerd, he ate wheaties just so he could read the back of the cereal box about the breakfast of champions. :)

  20. I liked Wheaties, even though it tasted like plywood chips.

  21. I didn't know there were so many kinds of ice cream. I'm not really an ice cream eater.
    Or cereal either. Not sure the last time I was in the cereal aisle.
    I know, what kind of American eats neither ice cream nor cereal?

  22. First, I ALWAYS make my husband take me to the store on the way home from a dinner date. Second, I LOVE the caption for the Neapolitan ice cream. I was laughing so hard, my kid ran in to see what my problem was. Third, I remember when all of those cereals were called Sugar Whatever. Nobody cared back then, least of all my mother. And lastly, the only cereal my kid likes is Raisin Bran. For me, it Rice Crispies and a banana. Just keepin' it simple!

  23. @Ruth: Okay, there may not be an "Owl" flavor. But, there are a TON of cereals. I have a bowl of cereal each morning, but not anything that has marshmallows, fudge, cinnamon buns, fruity pebbles, cookies, or owl in it. But, that's just the way I roll.
    @Nancy: Apparently, Canada still has Sugar Crisp. That alone makes up for them being responsible for Celine Dion. Your kid likes Raisin Bran? That is fantastic! We have a box of Rice Krispies on standby in case the Raisin Bran runs out. It tastes great and makes great music. So what if a stray rice krispie escapee on your shirt hardens to a stone by lunch?

  24. I have no problem with eating candy for breakfast, but I agree with you - let's be honest about it. And I have a bit more of a problem with my toddler eating candy for breakfast...the cereal is going to be limited in our house.

    Grape nuts are actually really good with yogurt, honey and some fruit. You get the crunch of granola without the fat and calories (yes, I know that directly contradicts what I just said about eating candy for breakfast).

  25. when i was a kid i ate either muffets (shredded wheat) or rice crispies. but for either one the best part was putting enough brown sugar in to make the milk go sweet and brown. yumyumyum.

    oh, and you missed the best ice cream: banoffee. had it in the UK, but maybe it's not available here. probably a good thing.

  26. You had me at, "...unless that kid has constipation which binds him like Houdini in a straight jacket." This really is hysterical, but I would expect nothing less from you! BTW, I'm surprised you didn't mention healthy Pop Tarts. They were the best dunked in milk. For Christmas they also have mint and cherry M& M's. Julie

  27. @manders: Seriously, so THAT'S what a "muffet" is. As in "Little Miss Muffet." I always thought-remember, I'm being unusually serious-that she was called that to rhyme with tuffet (which, I presume, is code word for "ass"). Thanks-I've learned something new today.
    @Julie: Thanks-glad to help. I really think I'm half insane. Or constipated.
    My absolute favorite Pop Tart is Brown Sugar Cinnamon. With a cup of coffee, it makes for a great breakfast. Plus, the coffee helps me poop.
    @Ixy: That sounds delicious. BUt, I don't think it's candy. Unless you sprinkle a Butterfinger over it. Hmm, now that I mention it....

  28. I hear you, my friend. My only purpose at the grocery store is to heave the cart around too. As the fiancee has pointed out, my shopping skills are not to be trusted beyond the beer aisle. And I like Grape Nuts too. Fruity Pebbles doesn't have anything on those gritty rocks...

  29. I read your comment on Robyn's blog and thought it would be worth my while to check you out. I thought I was the only person on earth who ate liver for breakfast.

  30. @Beer: I also am there to make sure she doesn't drop the spaghetti sauce on the bread, pick up heavy frikkin' cases of water, and look for some innocuous spice-or feminine hygiene product-she forgot.
    @Judie: Welcome to the sideshow! My mother used to give us liver for breakfast. They never found her.

  31. Cherry Slut? Can I have that for breakfast with a slab of liver? Does it count? Please say yes!

  32. As long as she's the one who delivers the liver to you.