What’s with the Cereal… and Cereal Shots?


TBOX Cereal Shot Montage - Chicago 12 Bars of Xmas Pub Crawl by Festa Parties

WHAT’S WITH THE CEREAL is the #1 most frequently asked question at TBOX. If you have not been to TBOX, it will be very difficult for you to understand, even if you read this whole page. But once you HAVE been to TBOX, you will instantly feel like you knew this your whole life, and wonder how you ever got by without this knowledge. Either Read On for ALL The Details… OR Watch this 2-Minute Video that will Get You Up to Speed!!

The Story as Told by Chris Festa:

It all started back when I was in high school in Vero Beach, Florida — at my High School in Vero Beach which has asked to remain nameless (Hint: it is the High School in Vero Beach that is not Vero Beach High School) — I had started to become aware of “beer” sometime around the middle of 10th grade. Believe it or not – and please do not be shocked – I was not one of the “Cool Kids” — but at one of the first parties (“keggers”) I went to around St Patrick’s Day that year, in order to initiate me, the cool kids hosting the party made me and my other fellow geek/newbie partier friends drink an entire bucket filled with green beer, topped off with an entire box of Lucky Charms they poured into it. We had to eat/drink it as fast as possible, and you can imagine the results later (“technicolor yawn” was a great old term that needs to be brought back!)

What are Cereal Shots? Watch this SEXY Video!

The cereal thing remained dormant throughout my college years, until one night 7 years later or so, also on St Patrick’s Day when I was briefly living in Miami. Some of my old friends came down for the weekend, and just on a lark, we took a box of Lucky Charms with us out to the bars that night. And WOW! Literally, like EVERY GIRL in the place came up to us asking us for cereal. We were the center of attention, I got all kinds of phone numbers, people thought it was incredibly cool, and we  couldn’t believe it.

The next year when I moved to Chicago, just for fun, I started taking boxes of Cap’n Crunch with me to the small bar crawls I had for my Accenture co-workers throughout the 90s, and again, everybody loved it. So when the first TBOX came around in 1996, OF COURSE I took 2 boxes of cereal with me, right from the get go, at Bar #1 of TBOX1. At that point, the ostensible — and still valid — reason for the cereal was to have something to snack on and line your stomach for the long, long day of partying. Nothing like processed flour and 500 grams of sugar to keep you vertical through 12 bars! And it was cute and fun, and everyone who came to TBOX started bringing cereal.

But then in the Year 2000, it suddenly became something much, much more. At the first bar of TBOX5, seeing my friend Tammy waiting in the elevated seats by the front door of Sheffield’s, I decided to surprise her by not just handing her some cereal, but pouring the entire box into her mouth. And thusly, “THE CEREAL SHOT” was born. It was like, why just a handful? Why not the whole box? I think I had been somewhere earlier that year where they had “Upside Down Margaritas” — and I just adapted the concept. I felt that with the LONG day of partying, doing CEREAL shots was an “innocent” way to have fun without emphasizing excessive drinking — and had the dual benefit of providing nutrition and a sugar rush, along with a very “cinematic” way to add excitement to the event. And from then on, the volume, the velocity, and the intensity of the Cereal Shots grew and grew… and at TBOX2010, it was estimated that over 17,000 boxes were purchased for and consumed at the event. Cereal Shots are administered to The Royal Court and Number One at the Opening Ceremonies, and starting in 2009, at each bar, our TBOX Bar Hosts give any registered participant who wants one a Cereal Shot with a Clean, Sanitized Food Scoop.

So what we’re saying is… BRING CEREAL!
Festa Parties provides over 600 boxes (and growing) of cereal for the Bar Hosts and Ceremonies, but we encourage you to also bring your own. We have established permission with almost all the bars that you have free reign to do as you wish cereal-wise during TBOX, and it is an integral part of the enjoyment of the day. The only guidelines are… SUGAR must be the first or second listed ingredient, and, there has to be as little fiber as possible. And for Goodness Sakes, NO HOT CEREAL!


Tips for Cereal and Cereal Shots

As the photos illustrate, there are MANY WAYS to do a cereal shot. No one is forcing you, but doing a full-on cereal shot at TBOX is definitely something that should be on your “Bucket List”! Some of your options include…

  • Taking a Shot from The Scoop from one of the Bar Hosts or Royal Court Members
    This is probably the safest for beginners, and a nice way to ease into the whole thing. If you’re into “Portion Control” and not ready to go all the way, then this is the way to go for you!
  • Straight from the Box, Shallow Angle
    If you don’t have a scoop handy, any friend or fellow TBOXer can administer the shot directly from the box. Make sure to FULLY UNZIP the plastic liner and fluff it open, OR, in advance, take all the cereal out of the liner, dump it back in the box, and dispose of the liner. This ensures a cleaner and more streamlined path from box to mouth.
  • Straight from the Box, 90 Degrees
    If you are ready to go all the way, then take the entire box, follow instructions above, but get ready to take THE WHOLE THING. Be certain to either wear Protective Eyewear or at least CLOSE YOUR EYES, and OPEN YOUR MOUTH AS WIDE AS POSSIBLE. Try to relax your throat muscles, and have a beverage handy to help wash the whole thing down. If you’re wearing loose clothing, try to cinch it up beforehand, or you’ll end up with Froot Loops in your Fruit of the Looms.
  • Group Shots
    Feel free to do a 2-on-2, 1-on-3, 3-on-1, or ANY COMBINATION you choose. We’re all about freedom of expression and individuality at TBOX! The more cinematic, and the more theatrical, the better!
  • Recording Your Cereal Shots
    Position cameras in at least 3 angles to capture the shot from every key point of view. It’s best to have at least 3 timed shots: “The Anticipation” / “The Deluge” / and “The Aftermath”
  • Chew and Swallow
    Hey, don’t waste food! No spitting out! This is your nourishment for the day and you need to keep your blood sugar up!
  • Beware the Powder
    Be warned, if you are getting to the bottom of the box, you might end up with a faceful of cereal powder. If you are GIVING the cereal shot to someone who hasn’t read this, then it’s a great way to punk your friends… they’ll end up looking more like the just partied with Charlie Sheen than the innocent fun they’re really having!



Mr. Festa Rates His Favorite Cereals for TBOX

The only issue left is… what cereal to choose? Below are Mr. Festa’s personal comments on some of the most popular TBOX Cereals.

Cap’n Crunch (Regular)
PROS: It’s the Classic, and the Original. It has a Delicate, Oaky Finish and a Wonderful Consistency.
CONS: It will rip the inside of your mouth to freaking SHREDS if you’re not careful. Remember, Milk is not in the equation here.

Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch
PROS: Really Filling, Really Rich. Complete, Robust Flavor and Nutty Finish. If you have the munchies, this is the way to go. And, mercifully, they are ROUND and SMOOTH, unlike the original CC, and pose no hazard of sharp edges.
CONS: Peanut Butter Breath. And after a huge mouthful of this stuff, you’re going to really want some Milk, and at TBOX, as Ron Burgundy might say, “Milk is a BAD CHOICE!”

Crunch Berries
PROS: Combines the Straight-Up Sugar Shock of Regular CC with The Color Dynamic and “Fruit Flavor” of the Berries.
CONS: Having both the Square “Pillows” of the CC and the Round “Berry Balls” in your mouth at the same time can confuse your chewing angles.

Capn Crunch (Christmas Crunch)
PROS: If you can find it, fantastic! Thematic and everything.
CONS: Tends to be particularly apt to “Powder Shots”

PROS: Trix are really, really colorful and show up fantastic on film. They’re just the right weight and density. And we think they contain 1% Real Fruit Juice, so you might get some Vitamin C out of the deal. And who doesn’t love the Trix Rabbit??
CONS: These babies tend to really get stuck in your teeth, and if you don’t check your smile in the mirror, you’ll end up looking like some kind of freak or Carny.

Cereal at TBOX / 12 Bars of Xmas

Who could resist a smile like this?



Fruity Pebbles
PROS: Small, Light, and REALLY Colorful; Aerodynamic; Sweet, Citrusy, Almost Floral Bouquet.
CONS: If you’re hungry, they’re a little too light and don’t really fill you up. And for Outdoor Shots, they tend to blow in the wind and may miss your mouth. And, they can also really get stuck and make your dental work look like a kaleidoscope.

Lucky Charms
PROS: Really, really great tasting, super-colorful, and the marshmallows are divine. Many feel that having Lucky Charms actually brings good luck. And who doesn’t love the Leprechaun?
CONS: Although they’re great at TBOX, personally, I (Mr. Festa) like to save them for St Patrick’s Day. They’re just so perfect for that, and there are so many other good cereals for TBOX.

Froot Loops
PROS: Really Colorful, Really Tasty, the Ring Shape is Great! And who doesn’t love Toucan Same?
CONS: Though they are round, they tend to have rough edges that can scrape your mouth. Also, if you’re hungry, the straight fruit flavor can be overpowering and doesn’t go great with beer.

Reeses Puffs
PROS: Tastes Like Candy; Full Body and Aroma
CONS: They tend to blast out of the box and pelt your face like Buckshot; the monochrome brown/tan doesn’t show up well on film.

PROS: Filling and Tasty
CONS: These things are freaking gigantic, and if you have a small mouth, you aren’t going to fit many in.

Apple Jacks
PROS: If you like apples, this is the cereal for you!
CONS: Why have just apple when you can have 5 flavors with Froot Loops?

Franken Berry/Boo Berry
PROS: Less Filling! The berry turns your beer blue!
CONS: Personally, I (Mr. Festa) like to save them for Halloween, because they’re so perfect for that. Also, the images on box may scare young children.

Cookie Crisp
PROS: Tastes like real cookies!
CONS: This is one cereal that I just really, really, really like to have milk with. Milk & Cookies – come on! Also, like Honeycomb, they are HUGE and are good for snacking, but bad for Shots.

Cereals Not Recommended for TBOX

Frosted Flakes
Sorry, Tony! But FLAKE Cereals do NOT do well at TBOX. You’re welcome to bring them, but they have a bland appearance for shots, and the flakes have sharp edges. Same goes for anything in flake form that may claim to have health benefits, like Product 19, Special K, Total, Wheaties, etc…

Grape Nuts, Granola, Etc.
Dear Lord No. You’ll Put Your Eye Out!!!!

Fiber One
This is an issue we have to address, as Fiber One has, despite our best efforts, become one of the newest TBOX “Memes“. Our very own Big J, legend of TBOX, decided as a joke in 2007 to go “against the grain” and bring a box of this wonderful product, which is in every way THE ANTITHESIS of the TBOX Cereal Experience, and as Un-Sexy as you can get. It’s hard to strike up a conversation with someone you’re hitting on when all they can think about are your bowel movements. But the sheer hipster irony of the Fiber One just would not die. So at TBOX2010, we embraced the notion and memorialized Big J as the Mayor of “Fiber Island” – the secret TBOX2010 Team where you were exiled if you were kicked off one of the other 4 Cereal Teams (FrootLoopTopia, LuckyCharmLand, TrixTown, and CrunchBerryKingdom) – so if you’re misbehaving at TBOX, be careful, you might just end up on Fiber Island!

Fiber One

Sick and Wrong.

Fiber Island

Fiber Island – A Place You Don’t Want To Be.

Everything you need to know about TBOX!

What in the World is TBOXsm Anyway?

The History of TBOXsm... and How it All Came to Be

What's with the Cereal... and Cereal Shots?

Dressing Properly for TBOXsm

TBOXsm Opening & Closing Ceremonies & "Wire to Wire"

The TBOXsm Royal Court... and How to Get on It

TBOXsm Badges & Numbers

Stickers, Stickers and More Stickers!

The TBOXsm Frames

Being a TBOXsm Virgin

TBOXsm Teams & TBOXsm Themes

TBOXsm Photos & Videos

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3456 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60657

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