I don’t even like breakfast cereal: I always assume most of it’s loaded with rat hair and anyway it usually smells like a bottle of Walgreen’s vitamins. Plus, cow’s milk: ugh.

Relax, Cap’n. Your epiglottis is showing.

But nostalgia and poor mental hygiene distracted me while I was ordering groceries, and I ordered a big ass box of Cap’n Crunch (the only size available, apparently) despite not having even thought of it in decades.

I loved it as a kid, partly because his epaulets were dandy, and his arch-enemy was the pirate Jean LaFoot (as previously announced, I am immediately and dramatically opposed to anything of a human foot nature.) I do recall it’s gum and palate-maiming qualities, and it’s ferocious ability to pack molars with sugary gunk until they are flat and featureless.

Jesus. There are CHILDREN present.

So I bought it, and a carton of whole milk, and I have been side-eyeing it for several days, as though it showed up uninvited. I don’t even have a dedicated breakfast cereal box area in my kitchen, so it’s on the counter, looking garish and huge, and makes me feel like an ineffective pedophile, like I bought it as an outdated lure of some sort.

Nationalism starts young. PLEDGE YOUR FEALTY TO ONE OR THE GODDAMN OTHER.

I think I really wanted Quake or Quisp, the cereals that introduced tiny me to the concept of snuff films, and ransoms. There was a contest when I was quite young wherein kids could vote and one of the two characters and its corresponding cereal would be “eliminated.” Gone, forever. Despite the fact that the cereals were identical except for shape, it really stressed me out: I didn’t especially want either the Cowboyish cereal miner, or the ersatz Great Gazoo extraterrestrial cereal importer to die. Quake, the (vaguely) humanoid miner with the Dudley DoRight chin was exterminated, and it wasn’t that many years later that Quisp apparently died quietly in his slumber pod.

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I had both of these, ordered with box tops from the cereal boxes. They were scratchy, hard, and smelled like a chemical dump. I think they were printed using spoiled house paint.

I used to snuggle with them while watching Saturday morning cartoons, while my parents slept off hangovers until late afternoon, as much as you could snuggle with a foul-smelling miner and alien.

God save us from The Bugaloos.

Anyhow, I think I’ve gotten the maximum nostalgia out of my Cap’n Crunch, without having to actually consume any. Win/win.

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