On The Subject Of Monster-Themed Breakfast Cereals
I had a bowl of Chocolate Lucky Charms for breakfast this morning, and the sugary cocoa concoction reminded me that my favorite cereal of all-time is Count Chocula. Count Chocula’s a little hard to come by in Brooklyn, surprisingly. I’ve only seen it in one grocery store here. Have I mentioned this before? I feel like I have. At any rate, the only supplier of Count Chocula I know of in Kings County is too far away from my current residence for regular visits.
I suppose the main reason I cite Chocula as my favorite is the vampire motif. I love classic movie monsters, especially Bela Lugosi’s defining 1931 turn as Dracula. All the black and white Universal monsters are great. I also like the concept that by the 1970s these monsters had perhaps fallen on hard times. People just weren’t lining up to see them anymore, so they were forced to license their images to more kid-friendly fare. Hence, the arrival of sugar-loaded monster-themed cereals.
It should come as no surprise that Dracula snapped up the chocolate recipe for his cereal. Nothing’s more popular than chocolate. The Count knew this going in. You see, Dracula’s always had an academic edge over his monster brethren just by virtue of time. He’s been alive since the 1400s. Can you imagine how many books a person can read or how many lectures a person can attend in that time? Dracula had literal centuries to enrich his Transylvanian mind in all sorts of diverse fields (including basic marketing and consumer trends). You could send Frankenstein to Harvard AND Yale and it wouldn’t even be enough to match a fraction of Dracula’s smarts.
Count Chocula is also personally preferred over the other monster cereals due to the marshmallows. I don’t know about you, but I have an easier time pretending to eat bats than I do Frankenberry’s disembodied heads or Boo Berry’s chunks of blue ghost poo. Consuming a bat seems at least somewhere in the neighborhood of normal. If you were presented with those three items in real life—a dead bat, a severed human head, and ectoplasm—which would you be most likely to eat? I don’t imagine there’s too much meat on a person’s head, and ectoplasm probably tastes like snot.
Of course, the short-lived Fruit Brute cereal, whose mascot was the Wolfman, boasted lime-flavored marshmallows, and I think I’d much rather eat a lime than a bat. Fruit Brute was discontinued in 1983 when I was four; alas, I have never tasted its bounty. I suppose I should put an asterisk at the end of every written statement I make championing Count Chocula as my favorite cereal, noting that I’m still a Fruit Brute virgin.
You know who’s a Fruit Brute fan? Quentin Tarrantino. This is why I need to get famous – so I can meet him, befriend him, and get a few boxes I know he has stashed away somewhere. Quentin, I have a great idea for a Pulp Fiction sequel. It involves Rip Taylor, a wise-cracking bagel, and time travel. Call me.