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The Chris Chandler Show

  • Cracker Jack Cure

    Crackerjack Cure

    By: Chandler, Rockstroh

    What did we dream of when we dreamed of sea monkeys?

    I remember thinking of the magic worlds that would unfold like the pages of Aqua-man and Nemour form Atlantis as I clipped the order form for the miraculous looking beasts from the pages of a comic book.

    But is that the same thing I wanted as I emptied entire boxes of Sugar Smacks and Apple Jacks into a large salad bowl in search of a prize at the bottom.

    I remember filling out the order form for the Cap'n Crunch Treasure Chest and camping out by the mailbox until it arrived.  Only, it never did.  I remember searching in the bushes and in the drainage pipe that ran beneath the drive way clinging to hope. After 6 weeks my father — not the kind of man to normally contact a corporation to complain - finally did so.  They promptly replied that they had too many orders and that the Treasure Chest would arrive soon — restoring my hope — Hope for a Treasure Chest that never would arrive.

    But I did finally get my prize

    I remember being at the Circus with my very first box of Cracker Jacks while sequined beauties flew through the air— flipping somersaults with no nets and exotic animals leapt through rings of fire as I searched for MY prize.  I missed it all. But I did get MY prize...

    And while attaching the temporary tattoo of a butterfly to my arm I was oblivious of the magician that released an entire flock of live butterflies from his vest pocket.

    What was it I wanted

    What I wanted was a world where all was possible,  I was dreaming of  the visitation of angels

    Like the Greeks who stared out across the horizon and dreamed of and believed in a land of Monitors and one eyed giants and islands of sirens existed just over there — just beyond where anyone could get to.  

    Why do our gargoyles come from outer-space now?

    We as children thumbed through and beyond the pages of our own Cartoon Universes to a world of black and white ads — each containing there own mysteries: mysteries of decoder rings, air powered pellet guns, green glowing stalactites and the most mysterious of all sea monkeys.

    I realize I haven't changed one bit  

    as I search for a prize contained in the Caramelized pages of a catalogue boasting of an adult prize adornments for our corporate Camelot steering us towards some Cracker Jack Cure but nothing leaves us as fulfilled as I as I ripped open the brightly colored package with images of sea monkeys waving to me as they swam by. I ripped open that package and dumped the contents into a gold fish bowl and watched breathlessly as two Brine Shrimp Larva made there most un-sea-monkey-like decent to the bottom sink lifelessly to the bottom.

    But still I think I must be missing something for I am still searching through catalogues clinging to hope.  I can't help but feel that somewhere out there there must be that elusive Catalogue — I search through Catalogues of Catalogues — now electronic catalogues broad band internet e bay catalogues.

    I log on to where I can order Cracker Jack boxes from all over the world and I can dig threw mountains  of stale Carmel popcorn reliving over and over again my first Cracker Jack Prize as I stare at the computer monitor — still missing the circus.

    But all of this is not to say that a prize cannot be found.  For there was the time that I opened a catalogue and ordered a  pair of warm wool socks - oatmeal khaki.  Perhaps those socks contained my prize — for that is how I discovered the ability to sit by the fire and gaze out the window at winter's perfection eating a bowl of cereal — not looking for a prize.

    I would love to end this tale by saying that as I gazed out that window an armada of golden spacecrafts arrived commanded by a race of Alien Seamonkys bearing the gift of my long lost Cap'n Crunch treasure chest.  

    Instead I find that the miracle is not in the miraculous.  Through all of the searching for the stupendous — the Lotto tickets, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?  all I can say is thank God we are not given what we want — No, instead all we are given is each day — and each day is a prize — a gift hidden amongst junk.