We’ll bend the rules of Eats Like A Duck for today’s entry, which was written by fabulous guest writer Chris Morgan, famed pop culture writer and Simpsons fan.
Lenny: Ah, he’s alright, but he’s no bowl of Special K!
-The Joy of Sect (The Simpsons Season 9 – Episode 13)
If you think about food in the Simpsons episode “The Joy of Sect,” you probably think of the low-protein gruel that the Movementarians fed their followers. However, I don’t know exactly what that gruel consisted of. I would assume that it would be strikingly similar to plain oatmeal, but it’s also probably akin to Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel. In fact, maybe the Movementarians just bought a bunch of Krusty’s Imitation Gruel in bulk. In that case, Eats Like a Duck already has you covered, and I don’t have to eat bland, flavorless garbage food. Or harvest lima beans.
However, there is a foodstuff in “The Joy of Sect” that seems to have the adoration of the general public, or at least Lenny, to begin with. I speak, of course, of Special K. Now, when I say “Special K” I’m not using the hip lingo the kids use when they talk about ketamine, and kids are always talking about ketamine. No, I’m talking about the cereal which, if I recall correctly, is marketed as being healthy. Special K is good for you, the thinking goes. When Mr. Burns decides to start his own cult, the first logo he draws is the Special K logo, a spectacular act of parallel thinking.
Eventually, Burns settles on a Christmas tree type logo, but it was all for naught anyway. His fake muscles catch on fire, and Burns ends up falling from his balcony, and his cult sort of died on the vine. Better luck next time, Burnsie. Anywho, Lenny is not overly impressed by Burns’ cult ribbon-cutting ceremony, because, as he says, Burns is “no bowl of Special K.” So, is Lenny right? Is Special K better than joining a cult founded by a power mad old man? Let’s put it to the test!
I’m sure I had eaten Special K before taking on this task, although I did not remember what it tasted like. It’s a pretty basic cereal. They make lots of different variants now, I feel like not all that long ago I had the one with the freeze-dried strawberries in it, but I went with plain, basic Special K. That’s the cereal Lenny is devoted to, and if nothing else I want to follow in Lenny’s footsteps.
The cereal isn’t very exciting to look at. There are no purple moons or green clovers or what have you. It’s just flakes of rice and wheat. Also, it should be noted that I ate the cereal dry. I eat a lot of cereal. I eat two bowls a day at least. I’m like Jerry Seinfeld that way (also because I broke up with a woman for eating her peas one at a time). However, I always eat it dry, because I am lactose intolerant. I know they make lactose-free milks out of soy or almond or whatever. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m all about that dry cereal!
When I took my first bite I was struck by how little the flavor struck me. Special K has a very subtle flavor. In fact, at first I was thinking that it was almost flavorless, and I was wishing for some freeze-dried berries. However, as I ate more of it the taste began to grow on me. It’s sort of a less sugary Rice Krispies flavor, which makes sense considering the rice content of Special K. The comparison you might want to make is Corn Flakes, considering both are ostensibly healthy, flake-based cereals. However, Special K has a couple of advantages over Corn Flakes. First, Special K is puffed, which gives it a much better texture, and makes it a “lighter” meal, so to speak. Also, if you eat Corn Flakes for too long, like say if you have a big bowl of it, it starts to leave a bit of a bad aftertaste in your mouth. It’s probably related to the corn-ness of it all, and also due to the fact Corn Flakes are the worst in terms of getting stuck in your mouth. Special K has basically no aftertaste, and I feel like I could eat a few bowls of it without getting tired of it. I feel like I could because I did. I had three bowls of Special K in a row. I apologize for nothing.
In short, Special K is a pretty good cereal. I’m a Cheerios man myself, and Special K isn’t going to take Cheerios’ place in my heart. However, let’s get down to brass tacks. Which seems better: a bowl of Special K, or joining Mr. Burns’ cult? Well, Special K is a fairly tasty cereal, not too sweet but not straight up bland. Burns, on the other hand, is a miserly old man who once tried to block out the Sun. Plus, his cult seemed pretty slapdash. I have to go with Special K on this one. Now, the Movementarians might be a different story. I could sure use a trip to Blisstonia, and also some leader beans.
Cromulence: 6 Hoverbikes out of 10
No Fuss, No Muss: A Bowl Of Special K From: The Joy of Sect (The Simpsons Season 9 – Episode 13)