In November of last year, the Trix rabbit was dead found in the woods near a popular swimming hole, his usual floppy ears wrapped tightly around his neck and hanging from a branch of an oak tree.
This… is Cereal, where each paragraph we uncover new clues to a case that went overlooked by the mainstream media.
But first, a discombobulated background, followed by a haphazard run-down of the facts:
A necessity, really, for any productive member of society, and by far the most important meal of the day – breakfast. And the greatest kind of breakfast? The easiest? The most interesting? The most delicious? There is only one answer. And it’s spelled with a C, two E’s, and some other letters. That’s right, it’s CEREAL.
The word cereal comes from the the Roman goddess Ceres and her association with the might and edible grain, which she would caress sensually when her husband took too long getting back from Abyssinia, where he says he was just looking for slaves. But he never comes back with any slaves!
As we say at the meetings, Thank Ceres for Ceres, and Thank Ceres for Life.
Honey Nut Cheerios got me through my childhood. Each month I was allowed to buy one junky cereal, and the beautiful cartoon bee gave me the comfort that my mother never could. Lucky Charms taught me about deception, when I first encountered the sneaky cousin who would dump out the box, eat all the marshmallows, then dump the second stringers back into the box to be found by unsuspecting hopefuls. Raisin Bran taught me maturity, and the economics of buying the smaller box, which still contains the advertised two full scoops. Has anyone seen the scooper? I’d like to see the scooper. Porridge transcends it all, including the telling scene of Dickins’ Oliver Twist, and still it cannot compete with its modern counterparts.
And what is the greatest of the new creations? Ever since the great James Caleb Jackson created the first breakfast cereal New York in 1863, the question has arisen throughout the land, and the sea. Wink. Cereal is for everyone, from the toothless wonder in the Missouri backwoods sucking down Shredded Wheat, to the elderly executive munching on Corn Pops and worrying about the Dow. Heck, Gerald, even you love cereal, and you’re a bazullionaire!
But for all the power that the beautiful plant holds, there is a sinister side to the cereal industry. Mascots are not always the positive, excitable characters we see in commercials. They too have goals and tempers and conflicting views, which can and does lead to tragedy.
Inside the cardboard is calm and steady, but outside the safe confines of the rectangular prism is utter chowse (sp?).
Now back to the dead bunny:
It’s absomurderlicious. The difficulty in getting the beloved Trix rabbit to the high tree branch suggests the culprit had an accomplice. Or maybe two. Was the victim subjected to a snap of the neck, his vertebrae crackling as his skull popped out from his neck? With such a public and statement-making display, the murderer (or murderess! or murderers!) clearly wanted the corpse to be found. A warning to other, perhaps.
The underbelly of the cereal mascot world is for the most part unknown. The hierarchy, the alliances, there’s no mention of the corrosive system in the marketing. It’s a boys club, with no prominent female heads of cereal. The Count’s syndicate is not featured prominently on promotional or product materials. There’s too much of that sweet cash involved.
Each mascot holds true to many of their values but always have some underlying issue that’s related to their corresponding brand. Until recently, it was a peaceful time for the mascots. They’d all seen what could happen when [insert major cereal mascot war], and they were getting along. There was enough grain for everyone, and the rise in cow happiness had led to more delicious milk. Sales were high, almost all around the community. But it wasn’t enough. It never is.
[Editor’s note: At this point I’ll point out that the interviewer is acting under the assumption it was a cereal-related murder, but the evidence on that front is not as hard as they’d like it to be. I’ll need to create a canonical world where everyone has a different Trix story, a different take on him. Obviously they’ll need to interview the different mascots, and whomever is pulling the mascotic strings.]
Out of the primary suspects, some knew the rabbit intimately, some only as a passerby. You see, Trix had recently been voted favourite cereal among children aged 5-10, the most important demographic. The cereal they eat sets the tone for the rest of their lives. Every week, we search for the truth. What really happened to Trix? One of these suspects knows, fo’ sho’.
- Cap’n Crunch: a neighbour. “Of course he was annoying. He was always bouncing around at all hours, wanting to carouse and dawdle like a menace.” “Was I jealous? Jealous? Hah! I’m a simple man, and a steady man. My business is like the – like some other ones. Sales for me do not follow inflation. I’ve got my loyal followers, and am not threatened by that maniac or anyone else.
- Sugar Bear: the only one with an actual criminal record. “You’ve had some… experience… with the justice system. You were actually found guilty of a felony a few years back but your lawyers got you off on a technicality.” “It wasn’t me.” Maybe he’s a bit more like Shaggy than we gave him credit for. Sugar Bear normally wore a blue turtleneck sweater with his name on the front, and in the 1980s a bite of Super Sugar Crisp would turn him into the muscular “Super Bear”, an alter ego used to fight monsters trying to steal his sugary crispy cereal. He would often use mere casual gestures to outsmart the aggressive tendencies of his rivals, like when he lit a smoke while riding an elephant into a jungle of feisty tigers, or when he matadored for a raging bull and separately romped with rhinoceri. His consistent nemesis, however, was an elderly bony woman by the name of Granny Goodwitch. The two would engage in elaborate contests, often involving trickery, magic, and high technology, in order to determine who would gain possession of a box of the cereal. While none of this may seem relevant right now, it’s data collection time, and as we all now, murders are solved with clues, not statistics.
- Honey Nut Cheerios Bee: The bunny had a red bump on his arm. Was it a sting? Or track marks from another dose of the heroin-substitute that is easier to get than booze around these parts.
- The perpetual deviants Toucan Sam, Count Chocula, and that Lucky Charms leprechaun are all suspected anytime anything goes wrong in the land, and this is no exception.
Anyway, without giving away too much, in the end, the murderer turns out to be Aunt Jemima, known to all as “Mammy”, who isn’t part of the rest of the story at all. She was sick and tired of all these sugary cereals taking over breakfast and knew only this way to lash out. She’s manipulative, and maybe was playing god by messing with the crime scene, etc., making all the mascots blame each other.
Or is that just what Life wants you to think?..
[Editor’s note: If any of you made it this far, please put your screen aside and go outside. There is a world out there, and by the lord of all that’s full of holes, it has to be better than this. Parts of it had potential, sure, but the lack of coherence kept even me from reading it in its entirety or providing helpful insight. Anyway, if I get suspended without pay for admitting this, it’s still better than the alternative of pretending this can be fixed with a few strokes of the electronic pen.]