Giant flake a freak of nature

Terror at the breakfast table

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Terror at the breakfast table

Craig Thurmond of Westfield woke up one morning recently and encountered a terror at the breakfast table. As he sat down with his wife and prepared to eat his morning meal, he ran into a freak of nature: a gigantic Kellogg’s Frosted Flake.

It wasn’t just twice the size of a normal flake; it was much, much larger. It was 2 and five-eighths by 2 inches, in fact. It was as if this one flake had been bombarded with the same radiation that turns Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk.

“Was the Frosted Flake really that big, I wondered, or had someone merely switched the bowl and spoon for a tiny one?” he said. “My head began to spin. Was this some strange dream brought on by those magic mushrooms from the night before? No, I thought, Frosted Flakes are Grrrrrrrrrrreat, not magically delicious.”

Sensing he had a major find on his hands, he extracted the flake from the bowl and put it aside. Not knowing what else to do, he began looking on the Internet for help.

There he discovered that other giant foods were fetching a hefty price on Ebay, the online auction house. A giant french fry recently sold on Ebay for hundreds of dollars and a giant Cheeto also went for a high price. So Thurmond figured, why not try his luck with Ebay?

While the item description on the site is hilarious, the giant flake had only reached $5.50 by Monday morning. “I just wanted to see if people would really bid on it,” Thurmond said. “I’d thought that a flake that big would have been destroyed in the packing and shipping.”

He also tried to sell the flake back to Kellogg’s, in case the cereal giant wanted to put it on display somewhere. He received a somewhat frosty e-mail back saying the company would not be interested in the giant flake.

While I’ve never come across a giant Frosted Flake, I’ve seen my share of unusual food items. I’ve eaten microwave pork rinds. I’ve tasted kraut juice, surely one of the most disgusting food items ever. I once taunted my friends with a can of Hormel Pork Brains in Milk Gravy that I bought at Big Lots.

And I’ve had to deal with bizarre surprises in food. For years, I couldn’t make popcorn without one of the kernels coming out with an uncanny resemblance to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

I once purchased a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos that held about three chips and a baseball-sized chunk of cheese flavoring. After briefly sampling the salty mass, I hurled it against my dorm wall, where it stuck like glue. When I moved out of the dorm, the cheese mass was still there. For all I know, it may still be there, scaring the hell out of freshmen at Read Quad in Bloomington and warning them not to eat junk food.

The scariest breakfast I’ve had recently involved the new McGriddle sandwich from McDonald’s. Its advertising bills it as “bizarre but yummy,” although I only found evidence of the former.

I happened across this concoction honestly. I was on an antibiotic that needed to be taken with food. I was running late to work and McDonald’s seemed like my only option for breakfast. I’ve long admired the ingenuity that went into such foods as the Egg McMuffin and Breakfast Burrito.

I decided to give the McGriddle a try, despite the warning that “the syrup is baked right in.” When I received it, I was horrified at what I saw. It was a greasy, pale sandwich shaped like a hockey puck with the consistency of warm Play-Doh. Occasional brown streaks broke up a color scheme of slate gray. Now, I didn’t get to my current size by being afraid of food.

But once I held the McGriddle in my hands, I was scared to bite into it. It was unlike any food product I’d ever seen. Overcoming my fears, I bit into the thing. It tasted like someone had poured a few tablespoons of Log Cabin syrup into a jar of Elmer’s School Paste, added a dollop of vegetable oil and then forced me to eat it at gunpoint.

The addition of two bacon strips and an egg-like substance only increased its level of strangeness to me, although at least they resembled what I know as food. The McGriddle sandwich itself showed no indication of ever having contained organic food matter.

If the word dilemma is defined as having to choose between two unappealing alternatives, then I was in a breakfast dilemma. But I had to eat it or face the punishment of antibiotic-induced stomach cramps. I almost opted for the cramps but reluctantly chose the McGriddle.

More of a form of punishment than a breakfast food, the McGriddle is easily the most disgusting item ever added to a fast-food menu. I’d rather have eaten a fried liver patty or braunschweiger omelet than the McGriddle.

It tasted just like it looked. Once inside my body, the McGriddle made its presence felt with each of my digestive organs. It’s definitely a food that leaves its mark, put it that way.

It’s one of the few foods that cause buyer’s remorse within seconds of its purchase. It makes Hormel Pork Brains in Milk Gravy sound appealing by contrast.

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