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The Mystery of King Vitaman

by Russ Dimino

It all started with this cereal box. On one of our many outings to the Hilton Big M grocery store, Mark Trimmer, Jeff Fose and myself came across this little gem. A box of a cereal called King Vitaman, sporting a hilarious picture of a kooky old man wearing a crown of spoons and a tablecloth bib. We died laughing. We are pretty easily amused, but, this was an instant classic. On subsequent visits to Big M, we would again check out the cereal aisle for a good laugh over King Vitaman.

But then, one night, there was something different. There were still several boxes with the old man on them, but they were all expired. The new boxes had a completely different picture.

How could this be? The old man, replaced by a cartoon character? Why? How could Quaker do this? We were baffled. We decided it was high time to actually buy a box of the old man version, and, for good measure, we also picked up a box of the new style. We took the boxes across the street to McDonald's, where we met up with our friends Tom Elias, Shawn Eichas, Jeff Coltoniak, and Mike Chojnowski. As soon as we showed them the boxes, they burst into fits of laughter. Apparently, it wasn't just us.

Upon analyzing the boxes, we came up with more questions than answers. Who was this old man? Did the people at Quaker just pull some guy off the street and dress him up, or did he have some special significance? Perhaps he created the cereal. Why hadn't we seen this cereal anywhere besides Big M? Why the change to the cartoon character? Why is some of the cereal discolored on the original box (take look, some of it has a pink tint in a certain spot... other boxes had this discoloration as well, but in different spots and in different shapes. Maybe it spells out a secret message.)?

If anyone out there has any answers to these questions, please e-mail me at or Maybe if we all band together we can uncover the secrets of the King.

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Russ Dimino 2000