October 09, 2006
HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN: SKELETON #23
Place of Origin: Box of Cap'n Crunch
Rib Count: 12
Celebrity Look-alike: Take your pick of the famous pirates with one eye and one leg.
Description: This skeleton taught me a valuable life lesson. The year was 1998, and the world was naive.. stupid even. Geri Halliwell shocked civilization when she announced her departure from the Spice Girls, optimistic Star Wars fans waited hours as the first Episode I trailer downloaded on dial-up internet, and President Clinton answered the age old question.. "What would happen if an Arkansan took the oval office?"
I'd been hearing a term thrown around the toy shows.. "bla bla bla sold it on ebay." And as fate would have it, a position I'd recently accepted came with fresh internet access and a personal email account. Soon I found this so-called ebay and I put it to the test. Suddenly dozens of my various collections were reaching completion, materialistic childhood dreams were coming true left and right, and I even obtained my holy grail.. the Weebles Haunted House (see future post.)
One day I was scanning my brain for lost relics of my youth when I remembered one of my favorite cereal prizes of all time... that's right, a glow-in-the-dark, snap-together skeleton puzzle that came out of Cap'n Crunch. I typed in a few keywords and like magic, an auction popped up.. "Cap'n Crunch Premium/Prize Glow Pirate Skeleton Puzzle." There was nothing that my new powers could not accomplish. I bid. I won. And then in the longstanding tradition of mail order goods I became confused when I received an envelope instead of a box (see also Life-Size Frankenstein, or 101 Toy Soldiers.) Here's what I got...
There was no false advertising about it. This was a Cap'n Crunch Premium/Prize Glow Pirate Skeleton Puzzle indeed. If you turn out the lights you see a pirate skeleton standing in that blank doorway. Why wasn't this discrepancy obvious to me from the picture? There was no picture. As you may recall, in the early days any photos on ebay were extremely rare. Users who could accomplish such a feat were looked upon with great awe. At the time, I thought that plucking an image out of reality and getting it onto a computer monitor was only possible with the aid of one of those lasers from Tron. In fact, I considered such an ability to be of the "black arts." Well, the seller was not to blame and I clearly had no choice but to accept the item. Thus was my first in a continuing series of "ebay wounds."
A couple years later fate stepped in once again and while attending a then-endangered Toy Show I saw the elusive prize, the 'real' one, Mint In Package in a glass display case for a mere two bucks. And that's the story behind skeleton #23. So what valuable lesson did I learn? Neither the cardboard skeleton puzzle nor the plastic one was capable of putting an end to all of life's problems.
Additional Info: "Great transaction...fast payment...highly recommended...A+++"
Cause of Death: Scurvy