Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cap'n Crunch Walks The Plank?

My wife and I usually go out to eat every Saturday morning and today is no exception.But the Cap'n had other plans. It seems the Cap'n and I had a date with destiny and today was it. It all started about a year before my birth in nineteen hundred and sixty three when Pamela Low developed a flavor for a corn and oat cereal. Her grandmother used to serve her a brown sugar and butter recipe over rice when she was a child and this fondly remembered experience as a child led her to develop the original flavor of Cap'n Crunch. The original flavor from 1963 has not changed to this day. Sure,there were other variations of Cap'n Crunch including Crunch Berries, Christmas Crunch, the ill-fated Oops! All Berries, and Peanut Butter Crunch to name a few.But the original was and always will be my favorite "Crunch".

 There is an old school hacker aside to Cap'n Crunch as well. It seems in early 1971 a Vietnam veteran and a friend discovered that a toy whistle found in Cap'n Crunch cereal would   emit a tone at precisely 2600 hertz, the same frequency that was used by AT&T phone lines to indicate that a  line was ready and available to route a new call. This would effectively disconnect one end of the line, allowing the still-connected side to enter an operator mode. This resulted in, among other things, the ability to place free phone calls to anywhere in the world and operator-like control over the phone system. Experimenting with this whistle inspired Draper to build blue boxes, electronic devices capable of reproducing this 2600 Hz tone and other tones required to control trunk lines. He was sentenced in October 1971 to five years’ probation for toll fraud.*taken from wikipedia

In 2009 things started going badly for the Cap'n when  Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale gave Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries the worst nutritional score of any cereal marketed to children and families. Pepsi bought Quaker Oats in 2001 and due to lessening sales of the Cap'n, as well as the recent government-mandated movement to end childhood obesity, PepsiCo and Quaker Oats have quietly stopped actively marketing the cereal. This I can understand ,to a point, it is bad for you but it tastes sooooo good! However the Cap'n will remain on store shelves,it just won't be marketed towards children anymore.
In a recent tweet, apparently the Cap'n is up on all the latest social networks!, Crunch wrote, "I'm hearing the rumors. I would never retire. I love being a captain too much!"

My wife bought me a huge box of Cap'n Crunch yesterday. I am not a cereal eater now. But today as I wait for the rest of my ship to awaken on this Saturday morn, the Cap'n and I share a last meal together. I slowly savor that Brown sugar and butter flavor in a huge bowl of milk and I thank whatever gods that may be that Cap'n Horatio Magellan Crunch will continue to sail on in the memories of my childhood and beyond!

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