Imagine old Charles Foster Kane sledding mirthfully down some snowy hill on his
beloved Rosebud, in a happier ending to Welles' film.
Now in his forties, Jim Leff is a food critic whose tastes run toward the most exotic
and rare ethnic dishes. But when he was a child, it was Quisp cereal that held his
gustatory eye. Quisp were those little golden flying saucers of sweet crunchy corn,
pitched on tv by a pink, propeller-hatted space guy in cartoons by Jay Ward, the
creator of Bullwinkle. Quisp and Quake (a competing cereal) fought mercilessly for
kid's attention in quazy cartoon combat, and Jim loyally backed Quisp.
...and his archrival "Quake"
But Quaker (the company that sold the stuff) slowly phased Quisp out of production.
Jim would happen upon a box here or there throughout his early teens, but eventually
he began to suspect that Quisp was no longer. He never fully abandoned hope, though,
of finding his childhood favorite, his breakfast Rosebud. Each time he'd travel to a
new city (as he often did in his other career as a jazz trombonist), he'd comb
supermarket aisles looking--hope against hope--for his treasured Quisp, jaw quivering
in dejection when, as always, he'd fail to find it. Though he had recurring dreams of
finding stacks of blue Quisp boxes in some grocery, Jim eventually came to accept that
it would forever remain a dream.
Then one day, while surfing the Internet, Jim discovered that he was not alone. It
seems that many share his hankerings for Quisp; there are websites with downloadable
1971-era Quisp advertisements, there is active trade in Quisp boxes and premium
paraphernalia. There are bands called Quisp, there are scientific principles bearing
the name. It seems that many of Jim's generation remember and treasure this cereal.
Best of all, Quaker has apparently started to make it again.
Quisp is now available only in three cities, on a test basis. They are far away, but
Jim adamantly refuses to let friends send him boxes. He must make his pilgrimmage,
walk up the aisle, and find Quisp, just like in his dream. He will buy cases of it
(just in case it disappears again), and bring them home and serve the cereal--on fine
china with the best organic milk--at a black tie dinner party attended by his most
ardent Quisp friends.