The Breakfast of Champions: Quisp
Last night I took Jamie to the grocery store for a few items, and to return a movie. As is usually the case, I decided to buy a couple of extra items that weren't on my officially sanctioned, spouse-approved grocery list.
The boys needed applesauce and crackers for their lunches. I found some Cheez-It's in ths shape of Spongebob Squarepants. Awesome find.
We made our way to the cereal aisle. Neither of the boys, or Jena for that matter, are big cereal eaters. Charlie loves yogurt, and Jamie eats a banana every morning. But I like a nice bowl of cereal in the morning, if there is any. We had a box of Kix at home, but it hasn't really been doing anything for me lately.
I saw a box of Apple Jacks on sale for $2. That seemed like a pretty good deal, and it's one of my favorites, so the box made it's way into our cart.
Jamie and I went down a couple more aisles, but then we wound up turning around. This was still a fairly new supermarket for us, and bread (which was on my list) was on the other side of the store. We were passing the cereal aisle again, mid-store, and I had turned my head in the direction we came and saw a display in the middle of the aisle that I hadn't noticed before because we had approached it from the rear.
That's when I saw the blue boxes with the propellered alien on them.
For those of you who are not familiar with the cereal, here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
Quisp and Quake were two sugar-sweetened breakfast cereals originally released in 1965 in the U.S. by The Quaker Oats Company and generally advertised together (during the same commercial) as products competing against each other. The very successful ads were cartoons created by Jay Ward of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame, and used some of the same voices, including Daws Butler as the voice of Quisp (an alien) and William Conrad as the voice of Quake (a miner).
In 1970, a contest was held by Quaker Oats to see whose cereal was the more popular of the two. In 1972, Quisp won, and Quake retreated underground. Quake, the cartoon character, reappeared in a new cereal called Quangaroos where he obtained an orange kangaroo as well as putting his mining helmet down in favor of an Aussie motif.
In the late-1970s, Quisp was removed from grocery stores due to low sales. It re-emerged in the mid-1980s, and finally was re-introduced in the 1990s as the "first Internet cereal" and is still in limited distribution.
Starting in early March 2008, many Dollar General stores (especially in, but not limited to, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and much of the Northeast U.S.) will begin selling Quisp (as well as other classics such as King Vitamin, Crunchy Corn Bran, and Honey Graham Oh's).
Needless to say, that box of Apple Jacks went back on the shelf and Jay Ward's propellered alien came home with us - much to Jena's chagrin. "You had better not let Charlie see that box," she warned. (Neither of us want to see him get hooked on sugary cereals anytime soon).
No worries. The box is already empty and in the trash.