Tag Archives: autumn

Three Scare Meals a Day: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Frankenberry

By Andrew Blumetti

As the once fresh-green leaves begin their inevitable journey to crunchy Orangeland and Yellowville, and the mercury on the thermometer drops while the daily dose of white girls in yoga pants fawning over Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte on Facebook shoots up, there’s no denying it any further ladies and germs-  We are in full autumnal mode.

A season I never was super crazy about as a child, (what red-blooded kid really likes the carefree summer ending and school to start again?) years later, I absolutely love this time of year.

There’s a refreshing crispness to the cool evening air, football season is in full burst, fresh-pressed apple cider is on every shelf, and Halloween season, my favorite holiday, is ramping up speed.   Chock full of creepy haunted houses, blood-curdling horror flicks, just-carved pumpkins, and spooky decorations as far as the eye can see…

…and don’t think your the walls of your local supermarket can keep you safe. 

Rise and shine, wipe the gross eye-gunk out and look twice in the morning, cause your simple breakfast is now in danger.

The “Monster Cereals” have once again been unleashed upon us–  a classic line of cereal created by General Mills, complete with a cult following, found annually on store shelves from September through Halloween.  At one time produced year round, they now are only available seasonally during the fall, just in time to make Tony the Tiger run for the hills and Snap, Crackle and Pop shake in their sugary britches.

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CHAPTER I:  MEET THE GOBLINS YOU’LL BE GOBBLIN’

COUNT CHOCULAVampires drinking blood is sooo Twilight, cause this fanged-fiend has a Sweet Nosferatooth.  His cape is nearly indistinguishable from his hair, he’s got a Barbara Streisand nose, square buck-teeth fangs, and “hunka-hunka burnin’ love” sideburns that’d make Uncle Jesse green with envy.  Get your daily dose of Bran Stokers!

 

 

BOO BERRYGet your spoooooooooooon ready this moaning, cause it’s paranormal snacktivity time when this blueberry ghoul fills your bowl.  While his snazzy bowtie and hat may scream out “1920’s jazz musician”, it’s you who will be screaming when this always-tired looking poltergeist joins you at the breakfast table.

 

FRANKENBERRYWith all those gears, clocks and whistles on his head, he looks like a steampunker straight out of Victoria’s Secret, but this Pepto Bismol-y hellion is anything but.  Flamboyantly tasty, this strawberry Frankenstein is “igor” to make your breakfast frighteningly delicious.

 

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CHAPTER II:   HOLY CRAP!  THE LEGEND OF FRANKENBERRY STOOL


Take a trip back to the early 70’s…. Once upon a time, when disco reigned king, lava lamps had yet to become “retro”, and Cher had less fake body parts…

After the introduction of Frankenberry, the bloody-good cereal caused some unexpected and jarring scares to moms and dads nationwide…

As the tale goes, the mad scientists from the spooky lab at General Mills used a certain red dye to give the cereal its trademark color.  Frankenstein had his final revenge on the living as said red dye didn’t fully break down in the human body, and the pinkish scare parents received during potty time became an unintended hilarious result infamously known as “Frankenberry stool”.

The braintrust at General Mills wisely decided this “my cereal’s turning my poop red” press wasn’t a wise marketing move, and have since changed the boo poo formula to a more stomach-friendly dye.

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CHAPTER III:  THE MONSTERS HAVE RECORD SALES!

I always thought my parents’ old Elvis records were a collector’s dream, but if you’re a true vinyl lover, your wax collection isn’t close to complete without off-tune breakfast ghouls serenading you.

Presented here, for your listening enjoyment, is one of a line of free records included with the cereal, entitled The Monsters Go Disco.

We’re still holding our breath on that ghastly  cover of “I Will Survive”, but in the meantime, fasten your bell bottoms, here’s a taste of campy monsters gone campier:

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CHAPTER IV:  QUENTIN TARANTINO AND FRUIT BRUTE-  A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

People of Internet Land, meet Fruit Brute…

Upon first glance, this hairy Halloween hooligan may not be instantly recognizable as a household name.

There must be a full moon out because here’s a fruit-lovin’ werewolf who met his eventual discontinuation in 1983.  Much how John Travolta’s sinking career was thrown a grindhouse-y life preserver from director Quentin Tarantino, he also attempted to toss one to the Brute, as an old cereal box made a cameo appearance in some of QT’s most prolific films from the 90’s:

Here’s his appearance in with Lance, a mangy heroin dealer in 1994’s Pulp Fiction:

…and with Mr. Orange in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs:

“Are you gonna bark all day little Brute-y, or are you gonna bite?” 

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CHAPTER V:  THAT CRUMMY DUMMY NAMED FRUITY YUMMY MUMMY

 

To fill the void of those who love fruit cereal and missed the ‘Brute, “Fruity Yummy Mummy” was introduced to a yearning public.

You’d think calling a character fruity might be a bit politically incorrect, but it pales in comparison to his originally offensive moniker, “Wrapped-Up Flamer”.

Much like The Mummy films, public interest was tepid at best.  Production “wrapped up” on Fruity Yummy Mummy as he joined the Brute in the cereal graveyard in 1993.

but…

As the old saying goes, “everything old is new again”.

On a stormy, cold, early autumn evening, as the howling wind blew the rickety shutters around like a worn-out ragdoll, it was said that a unkempt cherry-scented paw and a decrepit fruity wrapped hand both broke open the foggy, cold cemetery ground and rose up from their breakfast graves, shambled past the chipped, weathered headstones of “Nerds Cereal” and “French Toast Crunch” …

and then they traveled into your local supermarket. 

Tell your milk to suck it up and get ready for a crap-your-pants scare.  2013 marks the long-awaited return of both Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy to store shelves.

 

blog cereal

The Smiths may never get back together, but this is a pretty close second place. 

 

 

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CHAPTER VI:  TATBOO!!



A rabid cult following often leads to obsessive behavior-  fanatics still line up for midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture show, and diehards camp outside McDonald’s for the yearly appearance of the fast food Bigfoot known as the McRib.   Keep that in mind when the next time you come between a man and his breakfast food…

Skulls, crosses and heart tattoos are too pedestrian for these inked-up cerealites, as they’ve made their love of Monster Cereals permanent.  While some monsters want to get under your skin, these monsters will have to settle for being on it.

Blumes note:  Ladies, if you dig these, let me know, I just may end up with one.

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CHAPTER VII:  PRANK CALL MATERIAL

Ever meet someone with an unfortunate last name you know they grew up being teased with?  Ask any “Tom Banana”, “Lisa Smurfs” or “Bill Spaghettios”, every day of high school ridicule must’ve been a daily nightmare.

Growing up with the surname of  “Frankenberry” couldn’t have been a jolly walk in the park either, and I’m sure all these people could testify to that fact.

LISTINGS OF LAST NAME “FRANKENBERRY” IN THE UNITED STATES:

 The Frankenberry family reunions in Pennsylvania must be a real hoot.  Every meal is pink and the three-legged race is a suspenseful thrill ride.

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CHAPTER VIII:  MOVE OVER AL ROKER

Today’s forecast calls for a 30% chance of raaaaaaaaaaainnnnn!  (Get it?  Like a zombie?)

Actually, if we were to name this after Al Roker, we’d have to call it Poo Berry.

(rimshot)

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CHAPTER IX:  COUNT ON A FIGHT!

There’s only room for one friendly non-blood sucking vampire in this town, and the eternal battle’s waged on for years.  Hide the garlic, and stay outta the sunlight, this is most likely how True Blood will end one day:

“DING DING!  Ladies and Gentlemen!  Welcome to tonight’s main event–  a fangy Battle Royale for the ages!  Two pale purgatory pugilists in a fight to the (un)death!”

“In this ring, straight from a cardboard coffin in some creepy Cocoa Transylvania, the deliciously… the chocolately…  the sideburned…  the Riboflavin-y…  Mr. Count Chocula!”

“And in this ring, hailing from Sesame Street- he’s lilac-colored, he’s got eight total fingers, he’s good with numbers, and he’s got Snuffleupagus poop on the bottom of his shoe…  it’s Count Von Count!”

Frightened readers, it was said the infamous vampire battle went on for hours.  So long, Abraham Lincoln and Buffy even konked out and lost the urge to slay them.  In the end, it was Sesame Street Count who reigned victorious…

in one round, two rounds, ha ha ha…

“Number One baby!”

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CHAPTER X:  COUNT CHOCULA AND FRANKENBERRY WERE CROSSDRESSERS

They wore the same thing!  How embarrassing…

Ru-Paul made a living out of dressing like a woman, but when it comes to dress-wearing, these bozos oughta stick to their day jobs.   But I guess if it’s good enough for J. Edgar Hoover, it’s good enough for them.

Blumes note:  Tell me you weren’t thinking Frankenberry looks like Charles Nelson Reilly.

cnr

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Hey, This Looks Gross. (The Ice Cream Edition)

By Andrew Blumetti

Crap news everyonesummer’s pretty much kaput.

Nearly a week into September and as the calendar inches closer and closer to greet autumn, the telltale signs of the season around us are awfully difficult to miss.

The glowing evening sun drops a bit earlier now into the snowcone-colored horizon, the sound of giggling children running around under a sprinker in the warm afternoon heat is absent, the once brightly-blooming red and pink flowers have become less thirsty, the whistle blow is about to kick off the new football season, and spooky Halloween costumes and decorations have started to fill the aisles of the local Party City.

In no time, we’ll be pouring glasses of tangy apple cider, raking crunchy leaves, and carving scary faces into big bumpy pumpkins.

Ready or not, we’re on a head-on collision with fall.

Another all-too obvious sign– the nighttime mercury is slowly dipping lower and lower as the days pass.  Granted, it’s not quite chilly enough yet for the polar bears to come around to raise their frosty paw to greet you hello, but a cool smack in the face when you’re used to mild temperatures and air conditioning for the past four months.

There’s still time to enjoy some warm afternoons, but caution you jacket-wearing haters, it’s a warning sign;  a realization for all of us to take that last gulp of a dwindling summer, because it’s going to be totally gone before we have time to blink.   Before you know it, the Jets will be 0-6, it’ll be dark at 5pm, and Jenny McCarthy will be a daily fixture on The View.  Better pop the top down on that convertible and enjoy the breeze, blast some Beach Boys, enjoy wearing shorts, and enjoy one more delicious summer ice cream cone while you still can.

Just tread carefully– As the warmth dies down and the frozen treat business begins to hit the autumnal breaks, the ice cream parlors may have a slightly weaker selection than we were used to back in the balmy summer months.

Be prepared like a boy scout, and have a backup flavor on hand, cause if you get to that counter, taste buds all ready and mouth salivating, just to find out strawberry’s done for the season, you may be stuck with one of these disgusting dairy disasters:

 

(For part one of the “Hey, This Looks Gross.” series, “The Gummy Edition”, click here.)

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LOBSTER ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  5

Why’s it So Gross?:  In the crustacean world, this pinchy red fella reigns supreme.  He brings the “turf” in a surf and turf platter, makes for a costly dinner, and looks mighty delicious… despite his hard-to-avoid spider-ish features.

Well, at one Phoenix ice cream parlor, its “Maine” attraction is a fresh ocean-caught lobster… mixed with milk, cream and ice, and stuffed in a cone for you to suffer through for three licks, just to have an ice breaker story to use on girls at cocktail parties.

I guess it could be worse… lobster is tasty after all, but if you can’t wear a bib, what’s the point really?

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GREEN PEA ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  3

Why’s it So Gross?:  Because you belong in soup!  Or at least being hidden in some bratty kid’s napkin so his parents think he willingly eats his veggies.

Also, pay attention, because if “pea” on the sign is a typo and should’ve been spelled “pee”, you’re in for a world of disappointment…  and nonstop vomiting.

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RAW HORSE FLESH ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  10

Why’s it So Gross?:  Saddle up!  This is the surefire winner at the Kent-yucky Derby…

This slop sure makes pea ice cream sound like a Heaven-sent treat, doesn’t it?   I don’t know what country serves this equine mess, but the vanilla and chocolate have to be just plain terrible to have to resort to chomping on Mr. Ed for a refreshing summer treat.

Run like Secretariat in the other direction.

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“DRACULA” GARLIC ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  4

Why’s it So Gross?:  Warning:  If you’re gonna have an interview with this vampire, you may want to wear a gas mask.

Makes you wonder how bad the breath was on the cows who provided this milk.  The whole Twilight vamp-trend has gotten way out of hand when we’ve stooped to this level.

Actually, putting Dracula’s name on the carton is a bit of a head-scratcher, seeing as how this is the last thing he’d want in his freezer, right?  It’d go perfectly right next to a bag of Sun Chips, steaks, and the “Silver Bullet”- a can of Coors.

The big downfall to this stinky dessert is that aside from keeping vampires away, it’ll keep the ladies at an even further distance.  Fangs for nothing!

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CHUNKY BACON ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  0

Why’s it So Gross?:  I don’t know if it is actually.  Bacon rarely lets you down, and despite the initial reaction to the strange taste marriage, this might boil down to some simple cardiac-nightmare food math:

bacon = delicious

ice cream = delicious

bacon ice cream = delicious

… and this timeless quote from John Travolta’s lips to your ears:

“…but bacon tastes good, pork chops taste good…”Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction

Pass me a spoon.

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WHALE MEAT ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  8

Why’s it So Gross?:  Hey, Willy didn’t get freed just to end up on a cone at a Friendly’s in the Far East.  This might have sold better if they used a clever name like “ShaMOO”.  Ya know, a whale with a cow?

(insert elbow nudge)

Move over Fudgie the Whale.

Oh, don’t start spouting out judgment on me now.

Thank you, thank you, please tip your waitress.

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CICADA ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  9

Why’s it So Gross?:   Look, not to be mean, but I don’t want to listen to the guy’s music, why would I want to eat his ice cream?

Wait… what’s that?

Correction: It’s just come to my attention this is actually referring to a cicada, the nasty ear-shattering humming bug with the wings the size of a coffee table, not Jon Secada, the Latin pop singer.

Hmmm, well, that really changes…  well, nothing.

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SOY SAUCE ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  3

Why’s it So Gross?:  Let’s crack open the fortune cookie–  Confucius says:  If the goal of your dessert is to eat it, get full, then become hungry an hour later, this is the frozen treat for you.

Eater beware- soy sauce may look like chocolate syrup, but tastes like pure concentrated salt.  This stuff will have you downing water till the cows come home.  And of course when the cows come home, they’ll just make more stupid soy sauce ice cream.

It’s a vicious cycle really. 

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PIT VIPER SNAKE ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  7

Why’s it So Grossssssssss? (see what I did there?):  “I’m sick of these $@#! Snakes on this $@#! plate!

FACT: In Tokyo, nine out of ten times when someone vomits, it’s followed by, “Man, it must’ve been that snake ice cream I had earlier”. 

Apparently, this is considered an aphrodisiac in Japan, but they also gave us Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa, so I don’t know what to believe anymore. 

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BAY LEAF ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  1

Why’s it So Gross?:  It’s not gross, but more deadly to be accurate.  Honestly, do you really want your eventual coroner’s report to read like this?

The deceased choked to death when their airway sealed up from a razor-sharp bay leaf that never softened.  The bay leaf was inside ice cream they willingly purchased, level of sobriety being questionable at best.  So it’s a safe bet the deceased was not too bright in the first place.  No real loss.”

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OX TONGUE ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  8

Why’s it So Gross?:  You know these X’s and O’s stand for anything but kisses and hugs.

Do we really need a reason why this stinks?  Throw a dart, and you’ll hit either of the magic words–

1.  “ox”

2.  “tongue”

Because nothing screams out “refreshing treat” like another tongue touching yours. Bring the whole family!

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BREAST MILK ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  11, 12, 13… Don’t stop counting actually…

Why’s it So Gross?:  I never thought I’d have to say these words:  I’d rather eat a whole gallon of horse flesh ice cream before I touch this heinous stuff.

Some boob (huddla huddla) in London decided this was a good idea to serve, but there’s a microscopic chance this people-food doesn’t come back up and end up painting the tile floor in seconds.

I also read that Lady Gaga became angry about the name, “Baby Gaga” and considered a law suit against the makers of this scream-worthy ice cream.

Makes sense, we wouldn’t want anything weird to be associated with Lady Gaga. 

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