Brian Matuszak column: Brian celebrates 150 Budgeteer columns. It’s g-r-r-r-r-re-eat!So I was going through my highly detailed, painstakingly updated database of Budgeteer columns, and after counting up all the hastily scrawled notes on the backs of old Menards receipts and Blondie cartoons, I realized something momentous: This week’s column is Number 150!
So I was going through my highly detailed, painstakingly updated database of Budgeteer columns, and after counting up all the hastily scrawled notes on the backs of old Menards receipts and Blondie cartoons, I realized something momentous: This week’s column is Number 150!
This is an important milestone that deserves a topic as significant and impactful as that distinguished number implies. Bu-u-u-u-t that sounds like a lot of work ....
Let’s talk cereal instead.
When I was a kid, my world revolved around three things: playing outside, Saturday morning cartoons, and chocolate-covered, sugar-soaked breakfast cereal. When my mom brought home the weekly groceries, my brother, sister, and I would fight over which sickly-sweet cereal was going to be opened first.
My personal favorite was Quisp, a crunchy concoction that came in a bright blue box featuring a squiggly cartoon Martian demanding that you devour Quisp until you turned into a squiggly cartoon yourself. Sadly, Quisp is no longer on your local grocer’s shelf, probably because the Surgeon General became too concerned about the insides of children’s mouths being scraped raw as they sucked every molecule of sugar out of every delicious morsel.
There seem to be a few cereals that have disappeared over the years. For example, I remember when the ghostly breakfast trio of Booberry, Frankenberry, and Count Chocula were available every day of the year, but nowadays you can buy them for ONLY a limited time around Halloween. I tried stocking up a few Octobers back, but they don’t seem to stay fresh very long, which is surprising since they’re probably crammed with more preservatives than Jay Leno’s jokebook.
Another favorite around the Matuszak household was the Value Pack: tiny boxes of yummy cereals sold in one gigantic, vacuum-packed tower. When a Value Pack was discovered in Mom’s grocery bag, we ripped it open like jackals with an antelope carcass, frantically grabbing handfuls of miniature boxes and stashing them in strategic locations throughout the house.
Sometimes a flying elbow or devastating hip check was delivered, but this was war; my siblings were NOT going to get my itty-bitty boxes of Frosted Flakes and Sugar Smacks. We were going to be staying with our grandparents the rest of the weekend and I needed that sugar buzz to carry me through the next few boring breakfast days of Cheerios and Shredded Wheat.
Well, I could talk about breakfast cereal all day, and I could eat breakfast cereal all week, but I’d better wrap up now. I have to get ready for my dentist appointment. Turns out, I need another thirty-year-old filling replaced. Man, I have bad teeth.
Can’t imagine how that happened.
Brian Matuszak is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre, founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and the only unsugared breakfast cereal he will eat is Grape Nuts, which is neither grapes, nor nuts.