Oof. This hasn’t been my favorite week. I want to turn this week into a person and beat it up.
All of your Spooky Die-O-Rama entries have been received, and they are amazing. Seriously, WOW. I’ll be working on choosing winners and showing off everyone’s entries this weekend. Thanks so much to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for another Halloween contest!
Stay tuned? Hrm.
Though lacking the intense production value seen with Halloween Crunch, General Mills has unleashed its own collection of Halloween cereals. (APPLAUSE.)
The problem: The “theming” doesn’t go much further than the box art, and you have to kinda squint to notice that the boxes are Halloweeny at all. It’s as if General Mills was contractually obligated to Halloweenize certain cereal brands, but didn’t really want to.
Couldn’t they have put a bit more into this? A limited edition “Orange and Blackberry” Trix comes to mind. Don’t they care about negative reviews on idiot blogs? Surely the multimillion dollar expense of producing and marketing a wholly new type of Trix would’ve been well worth it to avoid comments like “FUCK YOU, RABBIT” on errant websites written by old people.
But even a half-assed Halloween Trix isn’t without its macabre merits…
The back panel features a cutout “Trix O’Lantern” pattern, thus enabling us to achieve our collective lifelong dream of carving a company-approved likeness of the Trix Rabbit’s head into the side of a pumpkin. Now all we have to do is win the lottery and shoot hoops with the guy who played Samson on Carnivale.
It’s a bogus bonus, but it’s better than nothing. Given that it’s the cheapest possible “special feature” that General Mills could’ve included, the cynic in me wondered if they even expected anyone to bother with this. Surely, no board meeting full of creative execs would’ve unanimously agreed that customers be lining up for a shot at making a Trix Rabbit pumpkin.
I had to know for sure. Was this a real jack o’ lantern pattern, or just some lazily designed bullshit that looked reasonable enough to pass as one? Fortunately for us all, the supermarket where I found this Trix also dabbles in being a crappy pumpkin patch.
Creating a Trix O’Lantern was the most infuriating thing I’ve ever done. I’m not so great with pumpkin carving patterns in general, but this was a whole new breed of pain and suffering. I mentioned earlier that I was having a shitty week, but even with those assorted stresses, nothing put me on the verge of tears. That didn’t happen until I decided to carve the fucking Trix Rabbit’s head into a pumpkin. Now I am bantha fodder.
The process begins by cutting the pattern off the box’s back panel. Easy enough, but that’s where the “easy” ends. Your next step involves cutting out the Rabbit’s eyes, nose, ears and so forth, with no clear method of doing so without cutting portions of the pattern that you’re not supposed to cut. One false move and you’ll completely destroy the pattern. This was akin to the most dramatic “WHICH WIRE DO I CUT TO STOP THE BOMB” movie scene in Hollywood history, only without the neat soundtrack.
It gets worse.
If you’re successful at the scissors portion of our game, you then have to somehow attach the pattern to a pumpkin and trace in your future “carving lines.” If I may quote Oswald Cobblepot: “A little patience, and a lotta tape.” If I may quote Oswald twice: “French flipper trick.”
Granted, I would’ve had an easier time had I traced the Rabbit’s facial structure onto a more malleable canvas and used that to get the pattern onto the pumpkin, but seriously, you’re in such a mental sea of shit when you’re making this thing, it’s not like your mind is rife with initiative and forward-thinking.
I traced on the carving lines as best I could, and prepared for the kind of fruit-cutting joys that cantaloupes only wish they could provide. Braving the foul stench of pumpkin guts and my assorted issues with touching said guts, I cut, I sliced and I scooped.
By some miracle of God, my finished Trix O’Lantern really didn’t look too bad. I don’t suspect that I’ll win any contests with this pumpkin, unless I devise one myself and disallow anyone else from entering. On the other hand, it does sort of look like the Trix Rabbit. In more artful hands, perhaps this pattern could be a winner after all.
I’m not sure why I chose Trix over the three other General Mills cereals with mascot pumpkin patterns, which are all a bit cooler than this one. The Cookie Crisp wolf dude is especially desirable, because he’s so blah and unpopular that you wouldn’t necessarily have to let people know that you’ve been getting jack o’ lantern ideas off of cereal boxes. To most, that’d just look like any random, normal, smiling wolf. With a Trix O’Lantern, I’m pretty much branding myself as an asshole without room for rebuttal.
Visceral Verdict, Ah Ah Ah: I can’t complain about a cereal box that gave me hours worth of enjoyment and screaming, but I would’ve been much more satisfied with a two-pack of bat stickers free inside. I would pretend they were bat lovers.