sugar shakes and superheros
by Michele Christopher
Woke up. Roll out of bed. Drag a comb across my head. Well no. Really, i just like that song.
Anyways, Saturday morning! You are a kid! Whatcha gonna do? What did you do? No doubt it involved some sort of ritual. Something about sugar, or eggs, TV, maybe washing a car or two if your dad was dick, but we all had rituals.
These were ours.
Keep in mind these were when we were kids. Don't ask us about later in life cause it all goes downhill from here.
Here we go!
Grab a bowl and toss it on the table. The only thing i can think about is the TV. And milk. And food. Well not food. I don't think you can call this shit food. 10 essiential vitamins my ass. Quaker can explain to my parents why my bones kept breaking while I sued his Amish ass in court and took his buggy and whip. I always wanted a buggy. I already have a whip but thats for novelty purposes. But i need sugar. Pure sugar. Like a dope addict craves a needle or turtle craves "24", i needed sugar. Tv warming up. Scatch my eyes and look what we have here. Toasted "o's". That's a bad sexual reference. Frosted Mini Wheats. Another reference. Althou I think that one is more of a bukkaki like move. Keep looking. Pirate. I need the pirate. Was the pirate here? Did he leave on another mission? Did he go off on some weird adventure involving the Soogies again? Or did mom just forget to buy it at the store? Its gotta be here. The yellow box smiled at me. It was Saturday. The Cap'n was here. He had landed ashore.
Don't ask me what the hell they were supposed to be shaped like. They say treasure chests. I say pillows. Little golden pillows. Meh. Why split hairs when pure sugar was involved?
The sweetness of the cereal was shoved back into my throat. Chew and swallow. Shake. Chew and Swallow. Shake. The sugar was being sucked in. I could feel it in my veins. Blood running pure fucking sugar and corn. So much sugar in me that my blood would kill some begging kids in Ethopia. Pure fucking sugar. My hands were shaking out of control. I needed another bowl. Needed something to calm me down or pick me back up. It was either gonna be a beer of more sugar. And I was a little young to be drinking. This ride was gonna end in a crash. Hell, I knew it. Even back then. I knew I had a problem with chemicals. I ate more and shook more. Milk was for pussies. It just got in the way. I needed the pure pirate. Straight dope. Fist in the box. Just shoving it back. Yelling at my parents if they turned the channel. I always ended up just grabbing the box and watching TV til the buzz wore off. Head spinning. I need a rest. Went back to bed and slept like a junkie that had been up for three days.
But, those hours were the best part of my day. That kick. Those cartoons. I would shove back cereal and think about how I was going to be the next Batman. Make fun of kids who wanted to be Aquaman. I mean fuck. C'mon. "I want to talk to dolphins." How gay is that? I'd rather have a utility belt that blows shit up rather the swim with the Sea Urchins. Fucking Urchins. They should've revoked Aqauman's hetreosexual pass back in the 70's. For all I know he is telepathically communicating with squid to suck his "white coral" off by now. Gay underwater fish sex. That's a new one.
Superfriends and Cap'n Crunch. I wasn't a nudist back then, so I did have some kind of sweats on, but I am sure I was at least shirtless. My dog on my lap as I feed myself so much sugar it could kill a diabetic. More and more. Calvin had "Chocolaty Covered Sugar Bombs". I had the Cap'n. If Calvin could shake and watch cartoons all day, I could too.
As long as the sugar high was flowing, all sails were set.
Me and the Cap'n. The Cap'n and me. With the help of Batman we would control the world.
And we could bring Aquaman along too, but only cause he knew how to cook. - T
Saturday morning. I wake with the sun. I was always an early riser. Yea, one of those weird morning people. I still am. Well, I was until I started keeping up with someone on California time. But when I was a kid, it was weird. Everyone slept in on a Saturday. Not me. Saturdays were made for living. Get up. Enjoy the day. Seize the moment!
Seizing the moment meant heading for the cupboard. During the week I was forced to eat a “good” breakfast like eggs or oatmeal, but the weekends were made for sugar. Kaboom! Oh yea, cereal that spoke the truth. Because when you ate this crap, it was like a bottle of sugar exploded in your system. KABOOM! I could tear up the house after two bowls of this. But my true cereal love was Quisp.
That stuff rocked. It was shaped like little bowls so you could catch the milk in the cusp. It was like eating a tiny bowl of cereal in each bite. Bite. Slurp. Get every ounce of the sugar-fortified milk down. Because I needed that sugar rush for what came later in the day. But right now? Grab a pillow, head for the couch, wipe the milk off your face and settle in.
Ok, I have a confession to make here. See, this could be a lot of years I’m talking about. Maybe I was eight. Nine. Ten. But...see...I was still doing this when I was 14. Understand, when I was 14 I had already started hanging out behind the 7-11 smoking and drinking Miller Lite. But Saturday mornings? That was little kid time. That was time to stuff my face with sugar and my head with cartoons. 14 is a weird age. I was torn between wanting to be a teenager and wanting to stay a kid. So on Saturdays, I hung onto my childhood for all it was worth.
I don’t know exactly what shows I watched all morning. I know which ones stick in my mind though. Honk Kong Phooey. Jabberjaw. Grape Ape. Wacky Races. Bugs Bunny. And Monster Squad. Which wasn’t a cartoon but kicked all kinds of ass. I think cartoons were in a downspin at this point. This was after the great days of the Jetsons and Casper and Dasterdly and Mutley, but before Superfriends and Captain Caveman. It was the filler years, I think. But Honk Kong Phooey, he kinda ruled. Number One Super Guy!
So I’d spend all morning on the couch. I’d bring the box of Quisp in the living room with me and just eat the cereal right out of the box. Sugar was my friend. I needed that sugar for when noon hit and the doorbell started ringing and it would be time to put that sugar to work. Grab the bike. It was time to head for the hill. The one behind the school, the one that goes over the parkway. The one that is a steep cement slope that ends at a pure concrete wall into which you would smash and die if you didn't apply the brakes with just the right amount of pressure at the right time. No helmets. No knee pads or elbow pads. Just adrenaline. And sugar. Every time I got on that bike - sometimes with someone riding the handlebars - I'd thank Spaceman Quisp for the sugar rush he provided me. And thank you Wacky Races. Because really, when I was on that bike and headed for what seemed like certain death, I was Penelope Pitstop. Or sometimes I was Dick Dastardly. Sometimes, I was just out of my mind scared that I was going to mess up the braking and hit that wall. I never did, but there was that one time where I lost control and skidded to a halt right before the wall, tires spinning, skin scraped, head bloodied. But when that happened, you had to get up. Shake yourself off. There were a lot of people there on Saturdays. Older kids, kids from other neighborhoods. You stand up and laugh and say something like “head wounds build character.”
We’d tire of the hill after about two hours and head home. About a 30 minute bike ride. So by the time we got back to our houses, we’d be exhausted. Back to the couch, back to the pillow, back to the box of Kaboom. Yea, my mother would be screaming at me to make my bed or clean my bedroom. Eventually I’d go into my room and pretend to clean, but just stuff everything under my bed. Then I’d fall asleep on the pile of clothes that were always on my bed and just kill the afternoon that way. I was waiting for Saturday night. 7-11. It was great to be a kid in the morning. It was great to be a teenager at night. One had cartoons on the agenda, one had hastily rolled joints and Marlboros. But what they both had in common was Spaceman Quisp. That dude fed my sugar cravings in the morning and my munchies at night. What more could you ask from a cereal? - M
SOD - Milk