Monday, April 10, 2006

The Bride of Chocula Stripped Bare

...the most important meal of the accursed day

Owing to my recent success in reviewing Newton’s alchemy and my work in emergent genres, General Mills’ advanced
CARPA Expermental Marketing Division reecently asked me to sit in on a “catalysistic synergy session” concerning new cereals for extreme narrow band emergent demographics (XNARROWBED). Though “all intellectual property rights to notes, images, exchanges (verbal, or written) and experiences” are entirely retained by the General Mills Corporation, and, strictly speaking, we are not supposed to release any information, I have decided to reproduce my notes here as some of this material is already out on the web and my suggestions in particular were universally classed as “thinking endpoints”, so I do not believe that any of them will be employed, adopted or any way enter into production.

First of all, it’s a dark cereal. And when I say, dark, I mean DARK. It’s way darker than Count Chocula. It turns the milk black and ideally, little things that you didn’t know were in the cereal come floating to the top, like dead rats after a flood. It's like having a bowl of toner; when the spoon goes in you can’t see it. When kids show each other their tongues, they’re black and cold, like they’ve been dead a long, long time.

This is the sort of cereal that David Bowie would eat if David Bowie ate anything.

What should it taste like? Ashes. Mildew. Very faint traces of old, papery flowers. The mildew is important, because Bride of Count Chocula as a signifier is never really fresh, yet never really old. It’s ageless, like dried bones are ageless. In fact, can it have dried bones? Not like you don’t use them anyway in Sugar Crisp -yeah, right, tell me why there’s a bear on the cover.

I know you’re thinking of the Elvira thing for the cover: forget it: your cereal will look like an off brand of dildos and get pulled from the shelves in a week. Think Wednesday, the little girl in the Adams Family. It will fit better next to Chex and at the same time, it is infinitely more disturbing in its ramifications. In fact, I think there should be several Brides of Count Chocula. Because he’s that kind of guy. Sure whatever, I’m sure that the Bride of Frankenberry becomes Mrs. Frankenberry (or does she?), but I’m telling you, Chocula ain’t like that. He’s got like a stack of coffins, each with a different beautiful village girl, each with a different moral failing that let him in. Check the novel, or the movies. And he’s still looking for that perfect bride. This is all implied in the cereal.

So each Bride is different. One is blonde: this one tastes like stale cornflakes. One has brown eyes and a long neck and tastes faintly of pepper. Another is has sanguine red hair: It tastes like grape nuts and wine. But the best one has the deadest eyes and curly black locks. It tastes of nettles. It cuts your tounge. It’s got fiberglass like Skoal.

On the back of the box there is a mirror; kids watch as their reflection grows fainter and fainter as they consume the Blood of the Bride of Count Chocula -Count Chocula’s Bride Blood Feast -yes I’m going with that -they slurp up the cereal and their image vanishes as their soul withers away. I don’t know how it’s done. Something with mylar or computers, or their souls withering away.

It opens with a creak, and agonizing creak: this cereal is not going to give up its secrets easily. It’s the only cereal that does that, because it’s the only cereal that comes in a coffin shape. Because it’s the only cereal that comes in an actual wooden coffin from Romania. Like for a baby.

You want something that people are going to remember? Or do want some crap like “Yummy Mummy”, “Sir Grapefellow” or “Waldo the Wizard” that no one is going to remember? The Quaker Oats guy? Yeah , everyone remembers him. Trust me, people grow up just to get away from that guy. They stop eating breakfast entirely and starting lighting up and having a cup of black coffee, just get away from the complacent face of the Society of Friends.

This is sort of cereal people will scratch into their arm. This the sort of product that will be the only thing that somebody eats for a week before they shoot the president. This is the sort of cereal that will replace stolen eucharist at the Black Sabbath. This is the ceral that DEA agents are crunching underfoot when they raid Meth labs. Brand loyalty? This is like Fugazi or David Koresh. People won’t buy or steal anything else. Because they know they’re already dead, but cannot die.

NUMBER 56, WEEK 43; WORD COUNT: 47,922


grigorss said...

I also think the little girl (AKA The Devil) from Fellini's 'Toby Dammit' would also make an excellant cereal box model. She always made me hungry.

For something.

Anonymous said...

I haven't eaten breakfast in years, but I'd give your choculas a try. However, is it a fortified cereal? Will I get my US RDA of riboflavin?

Jordan said...

Blood can be very nutrient rich depending on the health of the "doner."