The sudden chill as you turn into the cereal aisle; the soft, lilting voice at the periphery of hearing, musing on breakfasts long ago; the ephemeral taste of berry-like flavor on the tip of your tongue — all these are Boo Berry, the Monster Cereal forever trapped between this world and the next.
I must say I was suprised when you all voted for this wayward spirit as the next soldier in General Mills Monster Cereal army for debriefing. I would have thought you'd go for Fruity Yummy Mummy or Frute Brute, two cereals decommissioned long ago. Or perhaps Franken Berry, who debuted alongside Count Chocula in 1971.
But no. You chose this wayward soul. Perhaps you heard him whispering in your ear from somewhere beyond the veil.
Boo Berry was recruited into General Mills monster force in 1973. Judging by his Dobie Gillis hat and bow tie, I put his death somewhere in the late 1950s to early 1960s. Unlike Count Chocula, he is not ancient, nor is he evil. He is simply lost.
What mission did Boo Berry leave unfinished in our Earthly realm that ties him to this place, lingering in a sub-planar limbo that is neither heaven nor hell, yet provides tantalizing glimpses of both?
Perhaps his purpose on this Earth was to create a cereal that truly tastes of blueberries. For though his sweetened oat incarnation flirts with the idea — and truly, it was the first such food to do so — the flavor never quite comes to fruition, teasing the taster but never offering true gratification.
The scent of berries is there. The look, to an extent, is there as well.
But the taste — the taste never comes.
Are we meant to be experiencing a sliver of Boo Berry's eternal torture? To linger so close to the people, places and things he loves but to never feel their touch, taste their sugary sweetness or inhale their heady scent?
He sits and watches us eat him in spirit. His lip quivers with every raised spoon, eyes widening with the hope that someone will finally taste the message he's been trying to deliver for 40 years.
Forever lost in deep blue shadow.
Tomorrow's Monster: Frute Brute
Snacktaku is Kotaku's take on the wild and wonderful world of eating things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands. Past critiques can be found at the Snacktaku review archive.