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Caught in the Net 

Captured at alt.cereal
alt.cereal Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of alt.cereal?

To talk about cereal. That's right, Wheaties, Froot Loops, Cap'n Crunch, and Grape Nuts, just to name a few. Cold or hot, individual serving size or bulk bags. We eat 'em with milk, with juice, or al dente (dry). We eat 'em for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any other time we get that cereal urge. We mix 'em. But mostly, we compare notes on how new cereals taste, availability of old cereals, and the changes that are made to cereals that were just fine the way they were.

Is that really all you talk about?

Yep. And if you really believe that cereal is a frivolous topic, consider the following. Next time you go to the grocery store, wander the cereal aisle and count the number of different brands/flavors available. At least in the U.S., the number of different cereals available is vastly greater than the beer selection in most liquor stores!

Freakies

The Freakies were a group of mutated critters who lived under the Freakies tree and enjoyed their cereal (Freakies). Actually, Freakies was a cereal manufactured by Ralston Purina in the early 1970s and again in 1987. They even had a Saturday-morning cartoon show during the early 70s, as a result of their popularity.

What were the names of the Freakies?

The original Freakies were named:


Boss Moss
Grumble
Cowmumble
Hamhose
Snorkeldorf
Gargle
Goody-Goody

Upon its rerelease, the new set of Freakies consisted of:


Boss Moss
Grumble
Ace
Hot Dog
Hugger
Totter
Sweetie

Didn't they have a song...?

Once your memory has been jogged about the Freakies, you'll probably begin to hum their theme song. To preserve your sanity, here are the actual lyrics:

We are the Freakies
Oh we are the Freakies
And this is our Freakies tree
We never miss a meal
'Cause we love our cee-ree-eel
Lucky Charms

Like the good Cap'n, Lucky Charms have been around for quite some time and are showing no signs of leaving soon. They have, however, changed the marshmallows many times over the years. Originally, the cereal featured:


Pink Hearts
Yellow Moons
Orange Stars
Green Clovers

Around 1976 or so, they added "Blue Diamonds," with "Purple Horseshoes" arriving in the early to mid-1980s. Around 1990, "Red Balloons" were introduced, although these are commonly mistaken for other objects. Most recently "Pots of Gold" were added, doubling the number of marshmallow objects from the original cereal. Most recently, they've dropped the "Yellow Moons," much to the consternation of Lucky Charms loyalists.

There have been several special promotions with Lucky Charms, all of which seem to affect the marshmallows. In the late 1980s, a predator whale swirled the colors on the marshmallows and was subsequently "punished" by being introduced for a limited time as a "Rainbow-colored Whale" marshmallow. "Green Pine Trees" were featured as an Earth Day promotion, proving Euell Gibbons once again correct about the edibility of pine trees. The Christmas version of Lucky Charms includes packages, candles, and other festive holiday marshmallows.

Are those free toys you get in cereal worth anything?

No. Absolutely not. In fact, you should put them in a box right now and ship them to me.

Actually, they do have value, and the market is still young. Collectors do exist for cereal premiums, and Quisp ceramic premiums have been reported to sell as high as $2,500. People actually pay good money for cereal toys. Money that could be going toward more cereal. Go figure.

Not only that, but box collecting is on the rise. In 1990, an unopened box of 1964-vintage Cocoa Krispies (featuring Snagglepuss on the front) sold for $795. A Cap'n Crunch box from 1963 sold for over $400, and it was missing the top flaps. The boxes have other uses, as well. The movie Pulp Fiction features a cameo of a box of Fruit Brute. Since the cereal is no longer being made, Berry Berry Kix was substituted, but the box was authentic.

Caught in the Net welcomes interesting flotsam culled by its readers. Send e-mail to netfishing@chireader. com. There's a T-shirt in it for you if we print it.

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