Cap'n Crunch: Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash

Cap'n Crunch and his hearty crew of breakfast mateys.
Cereal Philanderer is a weekly feature in which Jason Sheehan talks about cereal more than he probably should.

Cereal du jour: Cap'n Crunch, America's favorite nautical-themed breakfast cereal. Also, the favorite cereal of grammarians and apostrophiles everywhere.

History: Cap'n Crunch is named after the Napoleonic-era British naval officer Captain Horatio Marleybone Crunch, Earl of Northwesterland--a man best known for his overwhelming cowardice during the Battle of Camperdown, his accidental ramming of Lord Nelson's flagship (which began the 134 Seconds War in the English Channel in 1797), his lusty dealings with various ship's boys, powder monkeys, and bosun's mates, and the invention of a digestive biscuit which he named after himself: Captain Marleybone Crunch's All-Purpose Homewheat Osmotic Catabolist Nuggets. Today, Captain Crunch is mostly forgotten, but his name lives on in the favorite breakfast cereal of stoners everywhere.

OK, that's not true. Cap'n Crunch was actually the invention of one Pamela Low, a flavorist, who based the cereal around a recipe for a brown sugar-and-butter topping her grandmother used to serve over rice. Since that sounded so disgusting to everyone she mentioned it to, cereal developers just decided to take a bunch of nutritionally neutral grain nuggets and coat them with a shit-ton of sugar. They named it Cap'n Crunch because they were all super-high and thought a little dude with a big hat selling breakfast cereal to children would be hilarious.

The Box: The Cap'n is always prominently featured. He always looks very happy to be eating the cereal. This is probably because it tastes so much better than Captain Marleybone Crunch's All-Purpose Homewheat Osmotic Catabolist Nuggets, which was rumored to taste powerfully of ship's tar and ash and could only be choked down when chased with a mouthful of rum.

The Product: Cap'n Crunch is the only cereal out there which is widely known to actually cause pain upon eating. This stuff will cut the crap out of the roof of your mouth if you eat enough of it, but people eat it anyway because it's so tasty. The flavor is of raw sugar, cut with brown sugar, laced with cane sugar, and topped with processed and refined sugar, and also a little malt. I swear there's a honey top note, but if there is anything even remotely resembling a natural ingredient in this stuff, the company won't cop to it. The sugar content in Cap'n Crunch is so high that it has been known to cause instantaneous diabetes in anyone passing within five feet of an open box. Children exposed to Cap'n Crunch too early in life will develop a lifelong addiction, eventually ramping up to even more powerful varieties: Crunch Berries, Choco Crunch, Cinnamon Crunch, and Cap'n Crunch's Choco Donuts--the only cereal in existence actually made of tiny chocolate donuts.

Best Feature: Enough sugar to kill a grown man who hasn't spent a lifetime acclimating himself to its consumption. Also, Cap'n Crunch gets exponentially better when you're high.

Worst Feature: Severe mouth injuries to the incautious; questionable history; worse for you nutritionally than eating a marshmallow, JOLT cola, and lard omelet for breakfast.

Is it better or worse than Apple Jacks: This depends entirely on the state of the person consuming it. In a controlled environment, it is not as good, but in the uncontrolled environment that is the world at large, it can sometimes seem like the most delicious and brilliant invention of all time. Captain Horatio Marleybone Crunch would be so proud.

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