Life’s Better With Fewer Crunchberries

The most simple, clear-cut of all facts in life: Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch is the best Cap’n Crunch of all time. Of all time. I’m just sayin’. ::shrug:: No, seriously, Peanut Butter Crunch is the shit. You must acknowledge.

Though I can heartily recognize the awe-inspiring flavors of PBC (not to be confused with PBR, which is awe-inspiring in price alone, not flavor), I once had a short-lived affair with Captain Crunch with Crunchberries. I’ll admit it outright; I was ready for a change, and the sweet flavors of those red and blue pieces were sooooo good.

Now, I don’t want to confuse people too much; our family was not a huge consumer of boxed cereal. We were more often the type to make oatmeal, egg/cheese sandwiches, or we’d have to pour a bowl of the oh-so-stigmatizing bagged cereal variety. Yes, the bagged cereal that I buy now without a second thought was SO embarrassing in childhood. I can still remember going to friend’s houses and seeing a veritable carbon-copy representation of the grocery store cereal aisle in their cabinets, boxes of Cookie Crisp and King Vitamin (who the hell buys King Vitamin, really?) lining their cupboards. They had the REAL Cap’n Crunch Crunchberries in their cabinets while I had my 23 oz bag of Berry Crunch Cereal classing up my kitchen, flopped over in a lazy heap on the top of my refrigerator. But even so, all I had to do was dump the bag in a Tupperware cereal keeper and nobody knew the difference.

Then it happened: the Cap’n made a critical mistake. Something went wrong with his Machine-Of-Cereal-Awesomeness, and it stopped spitting out the normal cereal pieces. When pried by the press, he used his mastery of the spoken word to create a simple, but effective official statement: “Oops, all berries!” A legend was born, the dreams of many children (including myself) finally fulfilled with the glitch of a simple crunchatizer: no more picking through the normal pieces to find crunchberries. Oops, All Berries hit the shelves, and I came to a dreadful realization: the crunchatizers of the Generic Cereal Company were apparently all be working fine. THERE WAS NO generic Oops, All Berries.

I begged and pleaded with my parents to please, please, PLEASE buy a box of Oops, All Berries. There simply WAS no bagged alternative, and it was FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. IT SAID SO ON THE BOX, and I believed it (unlike Mountain Dew’s Livewire, which seems to be “back for this summer only” EVERY SUMMER). Eventually I conned them into getting it. Sitting down in front of my first box was like standing outside the gates of Heaven; all I had to do was reach for the spoon and take that first bite.

The flavor didn’t flow right. The crunch was the wrong texture. The milk turned a very odd color. It simply wasn’t right. As much as I tried to convince myself that I liked it, that what I’d done all this waiting and pleading for was worth it, I simply didn’t enjoy it. Though my younger self didn’t quite understand it, it was the balance between the berries and the crunch pieces that made the cereal so great. I never pestered my parents about Oops, All Berries again, and I went back to my bagged cereal with a little less dissatisfaction.

This is a long-winded, slightly tangential way to convey what I think is a basic fact: Having mounds and mounds of great things just brings the whole experience down.It’s the blending of the great with the good, not so good, and bad that makes the great things great. The slight bitterness of PBC makes it such a satisfactory experience, and the blending of super-sweet, whimsical fake-berries with standard-issue cereal that makes Crunchberries cereal a decent 2nd place contender.

Remember that next time you’re floating through life, eh?

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One thought on “Life’s Better With Fewer Crunchberries

  1. Pingback: Blank pages are really intimidating. | Josh Boykin.

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