Friday, April 5, 2013

Missing the Prize

Dear Diary,

Flashback to childhood in the '70s, where joys came from simple and next-to-free activities:

Coloring books
roller skates
macrame belts
listening to grooved, black, vinyl discs on a turntable while studying the album cover and reading every word on the jacket.

And ranking near the absolute joy of
                                Saturday morning cartoons
the prize in the cereal box

I was suddenly reminded of these trinkets this morning while eating my cereal.  The box I used had a picture of those rubber wrist bracelets -- the kind Armstrong made popular.  Except these said BREAKFAST ROCKS or something.

I thought, wow, it's been a long time since I've had to dig for a prize out of a cereal box.  On closer inspection I discovered these bracelets weren't in the box, they were a mail-in promotion:  collect a couple of labels with codes, go to the website and register, and then you are eligible to receive this latex-free bangle (probably after you send in your $4.99 for shipping and handling).

When did cereal prize retrieval get so complicated?
Why did it get so complicated?

I had only one sibling, and yet I gained some valuable life skills negotiating or sneaking my way to that one prize in the box!  And there was no post office nor allowance money involved.

The same goes for Cracker Jacks.  At least it still has a prize, even if it is just a joke about a banana or an elephant.  Or my favorite: a tattoo of a flower or some random object.

So, just as I mourn my kids' lack of Saturday morning Warner Bros. knowledge (and Schoolhouse Rock Jingles), I also silently bereave their lack of useless prizes from a box of Sugar Pops.

Perhaps I shouldn't get so upset. 
They are bagel eaters anyway.

Nostalgically yours,


  1. I remember a time (I think I was about eight years old) when Golden Grahams had a free watch in 1 out of every 30 boxes. Guess who found a watch one glorious Saturday morning?! I thought I was big stuff and wore it everywhere...until it probably broke a week later. ;) Seriously...this must be the kid in me, but I miss those prizes!

  2. That's what I'm talkin' about! We remember those simple pleasures! I will never forget entering a Tucan Sam coloring contest for Fruit Loops. I thought mine was SO AWESOME it was BOUND TO WIN! Never saw that picture again.