Part of This Complete Breakfast

Oh, and I might as well mention the cereal.

tta cereal front

Our script sale snagged us some… interesting fringe benefits. One of them was a letter each of us got out of the blue from Quaker Oats, followed by a big box filled with a case of the new Tiny Toons cereal.

Yes. They sent us each 12 boxes of cereal.

Letter from Quaker

In the video below, Cereal Time TV mentions Tiny Toons cereal being similar to Alpha-Bits, but I don’t remember it tasting quite that way (although I do also remember the Alpha-Bits of my childhood tasting differently than they did years later).

To me, it was like a less-sweet version of Cap’n Crunch, and Thirteen loved the stuff. (Thank goodness, since, y’know, 12 boxes.)

We have 9-1/2 boxes left. I think I could live on Tiny Toons cereal. And milk, of course.

tta cereal box
Scan of the box. (Source)

I was sort of surprised to see that there’s an entire YouTube channel for breakfast cereal nostalgia… but then again, I’m of the Oregon Trail generation, which can still somehow be surprised by niches found online.

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In the Money

By early March 1991, our lives were getting mostly back to normal. There were still plenty of interviews for various venues (sometimes in person, sometimes on the phone), but by that point we were pretty blasé about all that. Thirteen’s journal entries often mention doing an interview that day for “some radio station” or news program or what have you, but there’s usually not even a mention of what or where it was. Another day, another interview… and March is also the first time in my journal that there starts to be mention of getting a little tired of it all — not just the interviews, but getting recognized in the drugstore, getting letters like the one from our senator, waiting on things to air or be published, waiting to find out if we had any more publicity trips coming up, and most of all having to answer the same sorts of questions (whether from reporters or teachers or just people in our hometown) over and over and over.

I’m supposed to get my hair cut tomorrow. I shudder to think of how all the hairdressers are going to react to me.

One other thing we were tired of waiting for: our checks.

We’d originally been told we were going to be paid their standard rate for a story treatment, which, if I remember correctly, would have been $900 total, split three ways. In the end, though, they (whoever “they” was, in this case) paid us the rate for a full script — $3900, divided three ways.

Well, mostly. As Thirteen resentfully noted:

They’re going to take taxes out of our money. Can you believe it? I mean, we’re kids — we’re not even working yet! Can’t they wait and guzzle all our money then?

Filing a tax return wasn’t the only red tape we’d have to deal with. Since we weren’t members of the Writers Guild of America, we had to sign some kind of document as a waiver for having sold a script without being part of the union. I don’t remember the details of it, but I vaguely recall it boiled down to a legalese-worded promise that we didn’t intend to do that and weren’t going to do it again. Or something. I’m sure some legal departments got a day’s work out of it, anyway.

At long last, though, we had our checks. I think our parents all kind of followed the same basic pattern — we were allowed to spend a certain amount of it and the rest had to go in the bank. You’d think I’d remember what I bought with that money, but I don’t. (Probably I went to Suncoast at the mall and bought a bunch of Looney Tunes tapes and some posters.)

I like to quip now that this was my first writing sale, though I guess technically it was my first job, period…

wb check copy small