I like to be able to focus on one thing for extended periods of time, like writing, or knitting, or something even racier, but too often, my mind has an interesting way of zipping around untethered. As I’m sure others have written about, following the trails of the brain can be kind of like web surfing.

So when my husband mentioned some excellent type of Italian Nutella-esque thing he heard about today, I recalled that I’d seen a Nutella fan group on the dreaded Facebook. When I saw it before, I didn’t join. But tonight I decided that, in addition to Nutella and Fritos, I would search for Screaming Yellow Zonkers. I found a fan group. I joined. Junk food nostalgia night.

Then Screaming Yellow Zonkers brought the Freakies into my memory, for some zippy reason. Try explaining the Freakies to someone who never saw or ate them, and they would think you were nuts. It sounds like a dream, or a novel outline that was written post-glue sniff, but no, it was a breakfast cereal.

From the Freakies Wikipedia entry:

The Freakies were made up of seven creatures named Hamhose, Gargle, Cowmumble, Grumble, Goody-Goody, Snorkeldorf and the leader BossMoss. In the mythology of the Freakies, the seven went in search of the legendary Freakies Tree which grew the Freakies cereal. They found the Tree, realized the legend was true, and promptly took up residence in the Tree which then became the backdrop for all the TV spots and package back stories.

My novel, The Watery Girl, takes place in the early 1970s, so I’ve been cooing about that era lately, or more accurately, about my child-memory of it. I had many of the little toys and magnets that came with Freakies cereal. I know I could find them on eBay, I’ve actually looked, but they wouldn’t have been on whatever refrigerator we had back in 1975. The Freakies were bizarre along the lines of H.R. Puffinstuff (“puffinstuff”? really?) but even better, because you could eat them.

(p.s. None of these companies have paid me to endorse their products. If only!)

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