My kids are busily preparing for a big day of revelry on March 17th. But for them, it’s not about St. Patrick. Thanks to the power of modern marketing, they think all the hoopla is in honor of the “Lucky Charms” leprechaun.
Here’s how popular this cartoon character is in my house: Among the rituals my boys have planned is smudging their foreheads with ashes from charred Lucky Charms marshmallows.
However, this year’s observances may be marred by festering arguments between the kids regarding key aspects of the Lucky Charms canon. For example, they disagree about how tall the leprechaun is. Sons No. 3 (age 18) and No. 4 (age 16) jokingly say he’s taller than No. 5 (age 12). This makes No. 5 positively green with anger, sort of like a leprechaun-sized Incredible Hulk.
This year marks the 45th anniversary since the creation of Lucky Charms cereal, and the recipe hasn’t changed a bit since 1962: Sugar-coated chunks of sugared oats, mixed with “magical” sugar-coated marshmallows that come in a variety of shapes, colors and sugars. What’s been kept under wraps all these years is the secret ingredient that gives the marshmallows their magic: Finely ground bits of sugar-coated leprechaun.
(Note to all the sensitive kids reading this column: get a grip, take a deep breath, and tell your gullible, freaked-out parents that I’m just joking! Everyone knows the REAL secret to Lucky Charms is that critical final step in the manufacturing process, when all the ingredients are stirred together one final time with a shillelagh that’s been dipped in sugar-coated crack.)
Does anyone out there remember the shapes and colors of the marshmallows in their first bowl of Lucky Charms? It might be a bit of a challenge. There have been almost as many marshmallow variations as there are reasons why the Cubs won’t got to the World Series this year. Again. For the 106th year in a row.