Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Like Erin Brockovich

One of my secret (and now, not-so-secret) indulgences in life is an occasional bowl of Malt-O-Meal's Berry Colossal Crunch ("BCC"). For you, it might be a glass of wine after filing a brief, a bowl of ice cream after putting your child to bed, watching Grey's Anatomy, or reading Us Weekly. For Denny Crane and Alan Shore of Boston Legal (William Shatner's true calling in life), it was a glass of scotch. All I need is a bowl of budget imitation cereal. With 11 vitamins and minerals, 0 g of trans fat, naturally cholesteral free, and laced with yellows #5 and #6, what more could I ask for?

Imagine my disillusionment when, a few weeks ago, I settled into my very uncomfortable home office chair, ready to stalk the blogs of my unsuspecting "blog-crushes" (A post for another time: do you have blog-crushes, too? Have you found a blog that you adored so much that you read all the archives and checked multiple times a day for updates?), only to have my utopic bliss soured by a single mushy "berry" in my mouthful of BCC cereal. This is an anomaly, I assured myself. But repeated taste-testing confirmed the horrible truth: The purple berries, and only the purple ones, were lacking the familiar crunch I longed for. They were soggy--like wet Kleenex--even though the rest of the cereal seemed perfectly normal.

Today I called Malt-O-Meal. I explained the situation in great detail. Through my handset, the uber-trained customer-relations voice repeated my words: "Only the purple ones? [Typing rhythmically. ] Mhmmm. When did you buy this? Mushy? [More typing.] After adding milk? Mhmmm. I'm sorry to hear that."

And then, vindication: "Yes, we've actually had a few complaints about this very issue . . ."

And then in a slightly amused tone: ". . .although you're the only one who has specified a certain color of berry. I'll have to take note of that. [Mad typing. Pause. Single click. Almost inaudible grunt of satisfaction.]

Fantastic. She just emailed the entire customer care department: I have a nutcase on the line who claims that there is something wrong with the purple berries--only the purple ones!

End result? I get a booklet of coupons for free Malt-O-Meal products, and Malt-O-Meal is probably busy questioning Gertrude, whose sole job on the assembly line is to add a mysterious packet of "crunch" to the purple berry mixer. I know there are closet BCC fans out there, and you're welcome. I've been an advocate for your interests. While Malt-O-Meal works out the glitches, I think I'll go have a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles. They better be chocolatey.


  1. Thank you for championing the cause of the firm purple berries. I am not yet a fan, but I want it to be an option for me later on. It's been an emotional year for me with products being discontinued, so I totally feel your pain (first Berries & Cream Dr. P, now Creamy Italian salad dressing).
    Also, YES I have several blogs that I LOVE and from which I eagerly await updates. I want to hear yours.

  2. Do you really have a snake in your garage--ewww!

    I once called and complained about Angel Soft toilet paper. Got a coupon for a free package. You could live life just complaining and getting free stuff. Wouldn't that be an interesting way to live???

  3. You kill me. You are totally my blog crush. And I have a crazy friend that I love to read, because her life is so perfectly pink and fabulous, I find myself reading and thinking, "No! Is she serious?" Who are are your blog crushes? Oh yes, and the BFF does mean forever, I just didn't know if you meant the forever part cuz you are such a runaway success and I am a partial loser. No need to change the resume.

  4. you advocacy is stunning.

    i've sadly become disillusioned with my childhood crush (lucky charms & marshmellow mateys.)

    any tips on how to rekindle the magic?

  5. Oddly, I grew up hating Lucky Charms and then had a secret love affair with them in my mid-20s. The flame has died down a bit, but I find that if the bowl has a disproportionately high number of marshmallows, I can revive the passion.

  6. ahh ceral cravings - mine are cookie crisp - and not the crappy double chocoalte ones, the traditional cookie crisp! ahh, that is heaven for me.

    blog crushes - totally have them! too many to count. I am addicted to this thing!

  7. I have never heard of this cereal before. I plead Canadian.

    I don't have much for blog crushes, yet, unfortunately. I'm still looking. Maybe I should place a want ad?

  8. I love the sugary cereal. Almost any kind, but especially the generic cocoa puffs, for obvious reasons.

    My problem is they are often so crunchy or brittle or something that they cut the oh-so-tender roof of my mouth. Maybe you could mention this on your next call?

  9. more sugar does the trick? point taken.

    kendall's in china huh? sounds nice...especially if you speak the language like his bilingual self.

  10. That's a hilarious story. I love that you did a methodical tasting of all the berry colors with controls and what-not. Only a lawyer...

  11. Congratulations! You are a winner!

    The great and wonderful Wizard of Oz has just awarded you your heart's desire! No... Wait... There's a man behind the curtain...

    Fudge! It's just the Ancestry Insider giving you an "I *Heart* Your Blog" award. He's a nobody, but he does read your blog, pert' near everyday, and published a link to it in his latest article.

    But at least you get to display a cute graphic on your website and drive traffic to the Ancestry Insider's website by linking the award to him. And if you act now, the Ancestry Insider will throw in seven years of bad luck repellent! Simply forward this chain-letter award on to seven more bloggers. Otherwise all your readers will lose your address, forget you ever existed and park in your parking place at work. For complete contest rules, visit

    With all my *heart*,

    -- The Ancestry Insider