In the interest of science, I have decided that I will purchase and devour four of the breakfast cereals that helped give me a strain of juvenile diabetes not seen outside of Oompa Loompa populations. The cereals will be judged on their bouquet, ability to resist lactose infiltration (stay crisp in milk) and presentation (aka are they as brightly colored as the vomit of a socialite who lives on nothing but wine coolers and fruit snacks).
Next up is Lucky Charms, easily the cereal with the most divisive power on the list. As a child, maintaining a box of Lucky Charms in a household with siblings your own age was as tenuous as prolonging peace in the Middle East. Sure, when mom brought home a new supply of the stuff, there was a tacit agreement that neither of you would pick out the marshmallows. It might even be held to in those first few idealistic hours, as you each took turns pouring yourselves bowl after bowl, letting the pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers fall where they may.
Like clockwork, however, by the middle of the box, the accusations of marshmallow-plucking would fly, leading the party who felt wronged to sprint off with what remained of the cereal, confine themselves in a locked room and pick out all remaining marshmallows with the swiftness of a meth addict plucking invisible bugs from their skin as their siblings pounded frantically at the door, desperate to salvage the Lucky Charms before all that was left was a box of poor man’s Cheerios.
Revisiting Lucky Charms, I felt that, if nothing else, they would be far more enjoyable because the stress of maintaining the aforementioned sibling marshmallow would be gone: Able to eat at my leisure, I could savor the experience like an adult making love instead of a teen losing his virginity and flailing into a new position every 30 seconds. What I didn’t count on is that, left without an outside threat against the marshmallows, they would be pitted against the most cunning, wicked and, yes, gluttonous foe I’ve ever crossed paths with: Myself.
Freed from their hermetically sealed pouch, I was struck by how much the Lucky Charms remained true to what I remembered. Unlike the disappointment that was Fruity Pebbles, the tantalizing marshmallows remained as bright as ever against a sea of bland-but-acceptable wheat “filler” (we all know who the star of the LC show is). I quickly poured myself a bowl and was treated to a dining experience fit for royalty. I put my box of on the shelf, thinking to myself that the fulfillment of childhood delight waited a mere 24 hours later, during the next day’s breakfast. How wrong I was.
As I sat at work, like the pounding of the Telltale Heart, the siren’s song of the Lucky Charms called to me. It took my every shred of willpower not to sprint home from lunch and eat the remainder of the box. At 5 pm, however, Lucky’s luck ran out. I burst through my front door like like rhinoceros, inhaling by the spoonful all the milk-enriched marshmallows I could handle, picking around the wheat pieces like the poison we all know they are.
Forty-five minutes later, all that remained was milk spattered on the table like the blood of a murder scene and a pile of soggy wheat bits piled high like cigarette butts in an interrogation room ash tray. The marshmallows had proven too much for my sense of restraint, atrophied by years of video-on-demand and instantaneous music downloads. Crossing my fingers, I moved on to the next cereal on my list, hopeful it wouldn’t cause me to pig out to the extent that my self-esteem incurred irreparable damage.
Check out previous Papa’s Breakfast Bowl review.