Long before drive-through restaurants began promoting “Happy Meals” with a toy in every box, cereal manufacturers came up with a similar lure. In this case, Kix cereal ran an irresistible promotion with a miniature state license plate in every box. You could attach these little license plates to your bike and you could try to get all 48 states.(Yup. Only 48. Alaska and Hawaii were territories. Maybe that was Trump’s problem with Obama. He thought territories were foreign countries!)
So after endless begging, my mother capitulated to our request, buying Kix cereal. Of course, we needed her to buy a lot of Kix cereal boxes in order to collect all the plates. I don’t remember if there was only one plate to a box or if several came at once. All I remember is promising my mother that we would eat all the Kix cereal that she bought. So she stocked up on what must have been six months worth of Kix cereal.
Sixty years later I still feel queasy when I pass a box of Kix at the grocery store. We only ever ate cold cereal for breakfast, and true to her word, my mother bought no other cereal until the Kix was gone. Each morning my brother and I ate a big bowl of Kix, grimacing as we chewed, ruing our decision. We wondered why we had insisted on getting the whole series, and we fought over who got to attach the Wyoming plate to their bicycle.
We never bugged our mother again for any cereal box premium!