I love teh interwebz

By Phil Plait | March 11, 2009 5:14 pm

Oh, how I love the future. How else would I be able to relive my past?

Quisp was my favorite cereal when I was a kid. It tastes like Cap’n Crunch, but doesn’t recreate the Battle of Hastings on the roof of your mouth. Years ago, when The Little Astronomer was very Little, we rediscovered Quisp at one of those box stores and I was able to convince her of its superiority to modern (that is, "stupid") cereals. But when we moved from Maryland, that was that. California is a vast wasteland of cereals. Hope was renewed when we moved to Boulder, as I heard that some Albertsons stores in the Denver area carry it. But they won’t return my calls, and the Quisp website is no help.

So. The other day I was researching something, and stumbled on the El Dorado of cereals on Amazon.com. Oh frabjous day! With free shipping (Amazon Prime, baby!) it doesn’t cost any more than buying other cereals at the store.

I hope you’ll pardon me now. I have something I must attend too. You can ignore the loud crunching sound.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Humor

Comments (61)

  1. Speaking of breakfast cereal, check out this online comic book Breakfast Of The Gods.

    http://www.webcomicsnation.com/poyorick/botg/series.php?view=archive&chapter=10960

    Click on the pages to go to the next one.

  2. Saturday mornie: Quisp, Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes and The Lost Saucer.

  3. blurayven

    where do i go to find nerd cereal. like the candy but its cereal. any one remember that one

  4. DTdNav

    Quisp! Very cool for you. But I want to know where I can get some Krinkle, or Roman Meal.

  5. DTdNav

    I forgot, I want Freakies too.

  6. Joe, it was Space Ghost and Johnny Quest for me! ;)

  7. It tastes like Cap’n Crunch, but doesn’t recreate the Battle of Hastings on the roof of your mouth.

    Neal Stephenson gives a memorable description of eating Cap’n Cruch on pages 590 to 593 of Cryptonomicon. Yes, 4 pages.

    Battle of Hastings and Jaberwocky in a post that is essentially a cereal commercial. I love it.

  8. Tom Woolf

    We never got Quisp, but we did on special occasion get the Battle of Hastings brand. It was a badge of honor feeling the torn skin in the roof of your mouth after that first breakfast (which ALWAYS consisted of 2 bowls). Day 2 (if there was any BoHbrand left), we’d go to town. By then, though, the mouth had toughened up – no battle.

  9. Oh, sure, you ate Quisp. But did you get the secret decoder ring with the real meteorite inside? Well, I did, so neener neener neener!

    BTW, the master of all sugary breakfast cereals was a tooth-rotter named Kaboom! Seriously, something like 80% refined sugar and a trace of flour. Still makes my gums hurt just thinking about it.

  10. @ DTdNav

    I forgot, I want Freakies, too.

    At my mom’s house there is still a Freakies’ Snorkledorf magnet on the fridge.

  11. Kevin G.

    I remember eating Quisp as well as Quake as a child. I also seem to recall a Quisp spaceship that came in the box at one time. Ahh…the minutes and minutes of fun I had!!!!

  12. MadScientist

    Huh – I never heard of ‘quisps’. I just stick to good old fashioned horse food with cow juice; cheap and good for the kids as well as the oldies. Of course if you buy something like Uncle Toby’s “Quaker” brand horse food you’re paying about 400% of the retail price of good quality horse food; I look for good quality products without the iPriceTag.

  13. Daniel J. Andrews

    Off-topic, but I don’t know your email. Break out your “Doomed” sign again. This time for Turkey. I’d like to know if the editor was removed from her post because of the article (as is implied) or because of a past history of other things.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/03/11/darwin-is-too-hot-for-turkish-officials-evolution-article-gets-censored/#more-1932

  14. MadScientist

    Oh, when it comes to cereals you know you just can’t beat Calvin’s Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.

  15. Brian

    Actually, they’re kind of bland until you scoop sugar on them.

  16. Zucchi

    My brother favored Quisp, whilst I championed his earth-bound, tunnel-drilling rival, Quake. Can you still get Quake? My brother claims Quake died of black lung disease.

  17. I assume most of those commenting here are adults… can you honestly stand those super-sweet kids cereals any more? I’m quite serious here; I recognize most of the brands mentioned in the comments (even nerds, though I never actually ate that brand), but I simply couldn’t eat them after middle school. I look back at the cereals with nostalgia, but I can’t stand them anymore. I’m curious if others feel the same, or if most adults are still into “Calvin’s Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.”

  18. Zucchi

    I’m a 48-year-old diabetic. Much as I’d like to eat Cap’n Crunch or Cocoa Puffs every day, I stick to more sensible stuff. Sometimes I cry.

  19. The BA says: “California is a vast wasteland of cereals.”

    I dunno. It’s not bad as long as you don’t mind twigs, sawdust and bits of tree bark in your b’fast foods. The closest my wife will come to buying “real” cereal is Life. Sort of an adult Quisp.

    BTW, isn’t the character on the box actually one of Jay Ward’s moonmen (Gidsney or Floyd)? That would be some great lifeline foreshadowing.

    – Jack

  20. DTdNav

    @ Lockwood

    “… can you honestly stand those super-sweet kids cereals any more? I’m quite serious here; I recognize most of the brands mentioned in the comments (even nerds, though I never actually ate that brand), but I simply couldn’t eat them after middle school.”

    Neither Krinkle, nor Roman Meal were sugary. Krinkle looked like little pieces of shredded dark-brown paper. I have no clue what it was made of, but it tasted great with a spoonfull of the sweet stuff on it.

    Googling Krinkle cereal only hits on a 1950’s sugar coated Rice-Krispies type cereal. Not what I remember. Maybe I’m misremembering the name. Heck, they stopped making it when I was about 8. Roman Meal is still available though. I guess they just don’t carry it in my area anymore.

    @ kuhnigget

    Tell your mom to hang onto that magnet. Someday it’ll be worth something.

  21. @ Jack:

    BTW, isn’t the character on the box actually one of Jay Ward’s moonmen (Gidsney or Floyd)?

    Ward and Bill Scott created the Quisp and Quake branding in 1965. Quisp bears a very close resemblance to Gidney and Gloyd, the moonmen, from the earlier Bullwinkle show. Quake looks suspiciously like Buzz Lightyear, minus the Snoopy helmet.

    Gee, someone should write a book about spacey pop culture stuff.

  22. James

    Saturday morning: Quisp cereal (two bowls), two hours of Looney Tunes, followed by Johnny Quest, and Fat Albert. Football game around noon, and back home for Spaghettios with meatballs. Good times, good times…

    Im 45, and still enjoy those sugary cereals with my 8 year old son. Its the only way I can get enough energy to keep up with him!

  23. T.E.L.

    King Vitaman, anyone?

  24. T.E.L.

    What I really miss is Big John’s Beans ‘n Fixin’s.

  25. GarfunkeL

    Offtopic, but since Phil has tackled the topic before:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7935663.stm

    UK Science Advisor is urging for more sciencist-based advice for EU, saying that Obama has a “dreamteam” advising him.

  26. Jeremy

    “I assume most of those commenting here are adults… can you honestly stand those super-sweet kids cereals any more?”

    I’m 30 and still love them. I don’t believe I’ve ever had my tastes change to preclude enjoying something, they just get broader with age. Mind you, I don’t eat pure sugar cereals much anymore simply because I know they’re terrible for me, but occasionally I still indulge.

  27. If I could stand to look at milk, I believe I would still relish a good bowl of Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles now and then. Alas, ever since I was 14 or 15 something change that makes milk absolutely disgusting to me. I hate to even watch someone pour a glass, let alone drink it. Not intolerant or anything, it just grosses me out.

    I do love me a good cheese, though.

  28. Hey, there’s a Big Lots not a thousand feet from where I work that sells this stuff! I’ve never tried it, but maybe I will now since I do like Cap’n Crunch and, curiously enough, don’t like having my gums all shredded and boody.

    Oh, and by the way, I live in California, meaning that we can’t be a total wasteland of cereals. Just 99.999%.

  29. Rodney

    Oh man,

    I liked Quisp too.

    But I liked Quakes helmet better…

    So, I suffered through 700, 000 (whatever, it was a lot) Quake box tops, even though Quisp was the bomb, sent them to the infamous “Battle Creek” MI and got the helmet.

    It was a toy miners cap and it WORKED!. Too cool.

    Wow, I’d forgotten all that until you mentioned it.

    Producing one of those, in working order, would probably make me a much richer man, on E-bay…

    To bad I didn’t keep it (YES, I’d sell it now. I’m not quite that big a nerd!)

    Let’s see…Grandma’s gone…who kept all that “stuff” in the old toy box…

    We’ll see,

    rod

  30. @ Rod:

    I had the propellor beanie, the one forever immortalized in Calvin and Hobbes.

    Alas, my Dad threw it all out in a post-college purge. Sighhh…that GI-Joe footlocker would have fetched a mint…

  31. alfaniner

    I used to like having all my saucers concave side up in the spoon, so they would hold more milk.

    The tactile thing I recall about Quisp is that they wouldn’t dissolve right away in your mouth, but there would always be some crunchy residue . Plus, one of the best cereal spokesaliens, ever!

  32. Tim G

    That must be some extraordinary cereal because not too long ago I read another blogger’s account of her rediscovery of Quisp.

  33. TS

    Internet cereal? It will be a great day when you can buy this from Amazon and then proceed to download it into your Kindle-bowl. :-)

  34. kuhnigget Says: “Ward and Bill Scott created the Quisp and Quake branding in 1965. Quisp bears a very close resemblance to Gidney and Gloyd, the moonmen, from the earlier Bullwinkle show.”

    Thanks. I knew they did a lot of commercial accounts (including most of the Quaker cereals), but this looks almost like a direct copy.

    Are you sure about the names, though? Ever since I was 9 I could never understand exactly what they were calling themselves. I suppose I could look it up.

    “Gee, someone should write a book about spacey pop culture stuff.”

    :-)

    Hold your horses. There has been a slight delay in the big announcement.

    – Jack

  35. Ray

    What, no love for Lucky Charms? I’m lactose intolerant and even with the pills I have to be careful with milk, so I eat Lucky Charms dry as a snack while watching TV or studying.

    Tried to eat Cap’n Crunch dry once, just once. Never again.

  36. Phil says, “I love teh interwebz”
    Two thuings about this:
    1)It’s got to be a quote for my site.
    2)It sounds like Yorkshire accent. What my mum would say about ‘t’ webnet’. (My mum is from Yorkshire. Town in UK.)

    Claire

  37. IVAN3MAN

    “Quisp”, Phil? That ain’t no breakfast; THIS is a breakfast: Two cups of Jumbo porridge oats, two cups of whole milk, one cup of water, one cup of raisins, and simmered for 5-10 minutes until thick. Then serve immediately with demerara sugar or honey, and topped up malt whiskey or bourbon. ;-)

  38. IVAN3MAN

    Err… that should read: “… topped up with malt whiskey or bourbon.”

  39. Brian Schlosser, Lurker

    I’m just a tad too young to have had Quisp in its heyday, but I am familar with it through MST3K…

    Kaboom! now… scariest cereal box ever… Though I was pleased to see it in Kill Bill Part I. Tarantino is an avowed cereal junkie. He put a box of Fruit Brute in Pulp Fiction!

    I just finished me daily bowl of Special K… sigh… I like it, but yeah… sometimes I still buy a box of Cocoa Krispies or Apple Jacks…

  40. Deepsix

    One of the best cereals ever, and one of the hardest to find- Boo Berry!

  41. !AstralProjectile

    The propeller beanie was one of my 1st “WANTS”. My mom eventually convinced me that I couldn’t actually fly with one, so I never did send in those boxtops. Like Rodney I did notice that Quake’s helmet actually did something.

  42. Battle of Hastings? Hmm. I’ll have to feed my pets Cap’n Crunch for breakfast, to start the day off with a good round of hurting. Thanks, Phil!

  43. Daniel J. Andrews

    Ivan3Man knows what a real breakfast is. That’s what I have every morning…minus the alcohol…and substitute skim milk for whole milk; Age is conspiring to render my brain soft and arteries hard so I’m not about to help it along. :)

    Keep in mind excess glucose has been linked to accelerated aging so if you’re in a hurry to grow old……

  44. @ Jack:

    Well, according to Wikipedia, font of all knowledge, it’s “Gidney and Cloyd,” but I always heard it “Gloyd.”

    Seem to recall it was a rif on Sidney and Floyd, tho I’ve forgotten just who Sidney and Floyd were.

  45. @ Brian Schlosser:

    Yeah, that Kaboom! box…heh heh. A creepy clown (as if there were any other kind) hopped up on sugar and screamin’ out at you. Start your morning with blunt force mental trauma!

  46. alfaniner

    Quisp and Quest (Jonny) — best Saturday morning combination, ever.

    Added to my Amazon cart…

  47. Arggh-… you’re not going to… eat that are you?

  48. Tom T

    I’ve been trying to remember the name of the cereal with the little alien guy in the commercials. It’s been eons since I’ve seen it. My wife thought I was nuts.

    I now have proof that such a cereal does exist!

    Thanks Phil!

  49. Erin

    @Ivan3Man:
    Two cups of Jumbo porridge oats, two cups of whole milk, one cup of water, one cup of raisins, and simmered for 5-10 minutes until thick. Then serve immediately with demerara sugar or honey, and topped up malt whiskey or bourbon.

    Heck, Ivan3Man, I’d have that for dinner, too! :D

    I wasn’t big on the sugar stuff as a kid, and I’m still not… If I want a dose of sugary cereal, I make rice crispies treats, substituting Fruity Pebbles for the crispies, and get a proper sugar high. That keeps me for a few months. :)

  50. eyesoars

    So who else sent in for and got the Quisp blowgun and dart board?

    /es

  51. Joe Meils

    Funnily enough, the Quisp and Quake commercials WERE done by the Jay Ward company, the same studio that gave us The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and George of the Jungle.

    I had the battery-powered beanie cap too… although my little sister broke mine in a jealous rage about a week after I had gotten it. :(

    Quisp was a really great character. I’m surprised that they never tried to create Saturday morning TV shows for kids out of him, Quake, Boo Berry, Count Chocula, and Franken Berry (my personal fave) But, I suppose, that was the same period that “Hot Wheels” was pulled from the air for being a “half hour commercial for a toy line” (gasp! horror!) If only those well meaning watchdogs could see how things have devolved since then… When people for the Cartoon Network study the marketing tie ins to any show before giving it the go ahead for production.

  52. Thanks for the responses to my question… looks like my distaste for sugary cereals puts me firmly in the minority. That’s OK; I’ve always taken pride in being an outlier!

  53. TS

    @ Lockwood
    Count me out too, I must be more grown up than I want to admit. :-)

  54. As an astronomer, I would’ve expected you to be more of a Cröonchy Stars guy.

  55. PopsicleMud

    This is awesome. Thanks to teh interwebz, an old grade school friend (whom I haven’t seen since fourth or fifth grade) got in touch with me through Facebook. One of the first things he mentioned was that I introduced him to Quisp cereal, which led me to wonder if it’s available any more.
    Good timing, Phil, and thanks for the Amazon tip. I never would have thought of looking there.

  56. doofus

    I’m 45 and will still eat 3 bowls of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch every once in a while when the craving hits.
    Then I don’t feel so good.

    Hey Rodney: I remember that! I think I got a miner’s helmet too. But that was over 40 years ago, so maybe I didn’t.
    Quisp got “squishy” fast. I preferred Quake.

  57. Another Eric

    For DTdNav – I believe you are remembering “Rice Krinkles”
    http://www.theimaginaryworld.com/pax13.jpg

    My favorite was “Puffa Puffa Rice” (I wonder if I’d still like as an adult now?). The commercial is still one of my favorites:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqQMdZDyV3Y

  58. @ Joe Meils:

    Quisp was a really great character. I’m surprised that they never tried to create Saturday morning TV shows for kids out of him

    But if you remember, Joe, the TV commercials back then were more like short serials (no pun intended). I recall several “plotlines” involving the Quisp guy’s various adventures, all involving a yummy bowl of cereal, of course.

    And then when Quaker Oats decided to drop either Quisp or Quake, the whole “election” went on for months, with the commercials playing out each character’s campaign.

    Oh, halcyon days! A far cry from “Apply it to the head! Apply it to the head! Apply it to the head!”

  59. Bruce Gee

    I played with the little red plastic flying saucer, not for minutes, but for years. It had a little grappling hook sticking out the side, and when you pressed down the little Quisp figure inside, the grappling hook shot out with rubber-band power and, in all likelihood, choked a toddler somewhere. I would have great cereal wars with all the stuff that I got from cereal boxes, and Quisp was the captain of the red and blue team (up against the villainous green/yellow team, of course). The armies all disappeared during a move, alas — I suspect mom, but she continues to deny it.

  60. LarryR

    Although I didn’t eat much sugary cereal back in the day, my sister and I enjoyed the Quisp/Quake commercials immensely. We even borrowed a line from one that we use to this day to express a desire not to do something or go somewhere. Quake was going on vacation and the travel agent was trying to book him on a vacation to Planet Quisp (47 year trip one way). After hearing about all the fun to be had there (mainly eating Quisp cereal), Quake leaps into a hole he makes in the floor while announcing, “I think I’ll go to Mammoth Caves instead.”

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