Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Marbit this!

Everyone knows that Lucky Charms is the most incredible cereal in the entire world. It is a given fact that can not be disputed. Seriously. I know some people might say Cap'n Crunch, but those people are insane. Not even crunchberries can turn Cap'n Crunch into a contender. What exactly is he a captain of anyway? And what is with the damn abbreviation of your title? Methinks you are hiding something, Mr. Crunch.

But we’re here to discuss Lucky Charms. They are the best. No question. With milk in the morning or as a late night snack. A few in a little Dixie cup as a snack at my grandmother’s house. As a surprise in the college cafeteria cereal aisle which would be devoured by hungry students within hours. However you want to eat it, it is no doubt the best cereal of all time.

But all is not right in the world of deliciousness.

The problem? Somebody keeps messing with my childhood!!! Sesame Street, George Lucas, and now Lucky the Leprechaun? I am not happy.

For those of you that don't eat Lucky Charms, what the hell is wrong with you??? Go out and buy a box immediately! Well, you can finish reading this first. And since I am kind, and all hopped up on sugar, I will explain to you of what Lucky Charms consists.

Lucky Charms was developed in 1962. They have little bits of sugar coated oat thingies. But the genius of Lucky Charms is, of course, the marshmallows. General Mills calls them "marbits," but since that is a stupid word, I will just call them marshmallows. The original marshmallows were: pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers.

But first, let’s examine the original marshmallows.
Green clovers – This is a common symbol of luck. Nothing unusual with it at all. And who doesn’t like a bit of green? Even Dr. Seuss understood the power of green breakfast items.
Yellow moons – While I am not sure how a moon is considered lucky, but I am guessing in ancient cultures it could have been a lucky symbol in the sky. And it does look a little yellow in the night sky.
Orange stars – Well, this is a little tougher, but I will try to explain. Orange dwarf stars are actually stable for 15 to 30 billion years (1.5 to 3 times longer than the sun) and therefore could have life evolve on surrounding planets. In fact, there is a chance we have been visited by aliens from a planet around an orange dwarf star, Alpha Centauri B. My theory is that the makers of Lucky Charms have hidden knowledge of alien visitation and has coded that information in the cereal as orange stars.
Pink hearts – I would say this is self-explanatory, but given the number of country songs about heartbreak, let me say this – The heart is a symbol of love. And you are lucky to have love. So eat a little marshmallow of lucky love each morning.

In 1974, blue diamonds were added to the cereal. Of course, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, if you believe the cliché. So, if you want to have a happy little pink heart, give a girl a blue diamond. This is a blatant attempt to get more girls to eat the cereal, but in and of itself is not horrible.

Even if you don’t believe in the luck associated with all these marshmallows, they were the original ones and should be treated with respect.

Then, someone, in 1984, decided to mess with the marshmallow lineup. And all hell broke loose.

These five were good enough for children for years. Why change it up? I am sure there are marketing studies explaining why, but we are talking about the emotional feel of the cereal here…

The first change was an addition. The new kid on the block was a purple horseshoe. Okay… a horseshoe is definitely a symbol of luck. I can buy that. Why purple though? Who knows… probably a focus group or something.

If they had just stopped there, I wouldn’t be writing this. I wasn’t cool with the purple marshmallows, but they didn’t offend me horribly.

But the floodgates were opened.
  • Red balloons in 1989? If you were going to go this route, at least make sure there were 99 of them in every box.
  • Rainbows in 1992? What is lucky about the sun shining through water vapor?
  • Pots of gold in 1994? Just because a leprechaun guards a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow doesn’t make it lucky. Not everything associated with leprechauns is lucky. Didn’t you see the movies Leprechaun, Leprechaun 2, Leprechaun 3, Leprechaun 4: In Space, Leprechaun in the Hood, or Leprechaun Back 2 the Hood? That little dude was killing people for his pot of gold. How is that a lucky charm???!!! Plus, it took the spot held by the yellow moons for decades! Uncool.
  • Leprechaun hats in 1996? What else can they try? Leprechaun buttons? Leprechaun socks? Leprechaun adult diapers? Plus, these replaced green clovers, one of the originals!
  • Shooting stars in 1998? Didn’t you already have a star? Yes, you did. It was one of the originals. Why did you need to change it to a shooting star and offend the Alpha Centaurians? This could have galactic consequences!
  • An hourglass in 2008? An hourglass? What? To remind us all that our time is running out and the Alpha Centaurians are on their way? Real nice…

Blue diamonds were cut from the lineup as well. But, the cereal makers thought they were clever and brought back the yellow moons but made them blue… Blue moons… get it? Exactly, shut the fuck up, Lucky Charms and give me back my diamonds! Not only have you pissed off Alpha Centaurians, but little girls everywhere. That is one hell of a stink-eye you are going to get…

They tried to shoehorn (why don’t you try that as your next marshmallow, you jerks) the green clovers back in by putting them on the leprechaun hats. You aren’t fooling anybody with that trick. Finally, they brought back the green clovers in 2004. Possibly too little too late though.

Then we had the Hidden Key marshmallow. Listen to this one – the Hidden Key marshmallow was a yellow marshmallow that looked like a tombstone. A tombstone! No one wants death in their morning breakfast cereal! The hourglass was bad enough, but a tombstone???!!! Then, you add milk, and you see a skeleton key appear on the tombstone. Skeleton? Tombstone? Come on, man…

I haven’t even talked about some of the other idiotic marshmallows that have popped into the cereal boxes over the years. But just to list them so that your mind may be blown…
  • Magic Mirrors. To quote Grover, Hubbawha?
  • Another hourglass that can stop time. Huh? Is someone doing drugs and played Prince of Persia over there?
  • Swirled marshmallows. Because one color per marshmallow is not enough for today’s kids…
  • A whale. Seriously. A whale. (by the way, the whale is where my brain exploded)
  • A pine tree. Well, maybe we can hang it from our rear-view mirrors too.
  • The star and balloon combination. That must have been from Lucky’s Mix Master DJ days.
  • A Sparkling Rainbow. What the hell? Are these rainbows Twilight vampires? I don’t need any glittering marshmallows, thank you very much.

So, General Mills, here is the bottom line. Return your Lucky Charms cereal to the original four (you may also include the blue diamonds if you wish) immediately. Trust me, there is a huge groundswell of support for this cause. Do right by the children who grew up with your delicious cereal. No one has linked the change in marshmallows to some horrible disease or syndrome, but I am sure it is coming soon. Get with the program, General Mills. Or should I call you Gen’l Mills?

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