« Pondering Along

A box of delicious childhood.

by Mark Cartwright

I don't particularly enjoy grocery shopping, for a couple of reasons.  First of all, my wife and I always end up going on a Sunday.  Now, depending on where you shop, that can be an experience somewhere between bad and horrendous.  Walmart on a Sunday is not for the easy going personality.  Things raise my blood pressure, particularly the morons who can't figure out how to put their cart to one side of the aisle, so I can go around them.  Don't clog the aisle!  If you don't have the courtesy to move your cart against the smoked oyster shelf while you painstakingly weigh the benefits of generic tomato soup,  don't be surprised if somebody walks by and wipes a booger on your box of Little Debbie snack cakes.  I'm not saying I will, I'm just saying it's probably happened to someone, somewhere, at some point, by someone I know.  So anyway... this Sunday, my wife and I stopped into the local grocery store to pick up "a couple things."  Those of you who shop know that "a couple things" can sometimes mean a couple hundred dollars in groceries, and that was indeed the case on Sunday.  But as I shuffled in a half aware state, past the "shelves of which I know I should not shop," as well as the ones I know are good for me, I passed down the cereal aisle, and there, staring me in the face, was one of my childhood heroes.  I thought he was long gone!  He was just as I remembered him!  He was still as poorly drawn, with no attempt to modernize him, or make him three dimensional for today's kids.  It was a box of Quisp cereal.  Quisp!!  I believe my hands even started trembling as I reached for the box.  It was the last one on the shelf.  Was it the last one in existence?  I couldn't take the chance.  Sugar be damned!  Nutrition?  Who cares!  It was a box of Quisp, and it was going home with me.  Once home, I couldn't wait to get to the crunchy box of mini flying saucers.  I opened the box, then the bag.  Yes, it still smells exactly the same, still floats on top of your milk, still roughs up the roof of your mouth, and tastes every damn bit as good as it did forty years ago, when Quisp, and his cohort Quake, adorned my breakfast table every morning.  And now, it's available again for folks just like you and me.  Oh yeah, I bought some healthy cereal while I was there, but I couldn't tell you what it was.  Quisp wins again.