Three words to confuse and alarm:

Lucky Charms Beer.

This sounds like something you'd write down in the middle of the night so you'd be sure to remember a really cool dream. You know how you jerk awake, and the whole marvelous narrative is still in your head?

"Woah — I was on the Titanic, with Amelia Earhart, who had landed her plane on the deck, but somehow we all knew it was her even though she wasn't famous yet. And we were all like, 'Wow, we're lucky to see this.' Then I was in a bar with Earhart, it wasn't the Titanic anymore, but it was like an Irish McDonald's. She said, 'Lucky Charms Beer for everyone,' and then flew away without a plane. I wonder what it means."

You write down "Lucky Charms Beer" because that's enough to bring it all back. The next morning, you can't remember anything. You look at the three strange words. What was that all about? What am I going to see tomorrow morning: Salted Nut Roll Enema?

Don't type that into Google; if it exists, I don't want to know. Go ahead and google Lucky Charms Beer, though. It's available this week, at least in Virginia. Ben Franklin once said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." But Lucky Charms Beer suggests God's views have changed.

Perhaps it's good. Perhaps the taste of crunchy sweet Styrofoam chunks is that mysterious enhancement that has been missing from beer all these centuries. Perhaps the Egyptians took a break from building the pyramids to invent beer, and someone said, "It's delicious. But it's not magically delicious." Perhaps cloyingly sweet beer with a hint of polysorbate 80 is the thing that will finally make beer go mainstream, instead of being such a niche product.

Don't get me wrong — I love Lucky Charms. It was my favorite cereal growing up. It didn't just have sugar; it had sugar pressed into dense shapes. You can still hear that Irish spokesgoblin announce the roster: "Vague Moons! Blobbed Stars! Misshapen Clouds! Indistinct Shillelaghs!" Or something like that.

If you recall the commercials, the kids were always trying to get Lucky's cereal. How it came to pass that two unattended children were pursuing a gnome through the countryside with the intention of stealing his property, we never knew; it was just one of those things. "Oi, those kids are after me Lucky Charms," he'd say with alarm. "Oi'll make a staircase up to the mountain," and he'd wave his stick and a staircase would appear — but a step would break as he made his escape, and the Kids would get his Lucky Charms without paying for them. Somehow they were carrying milk and spoons, as well.

Who were we supposed to root for? The kids seemed to be working on our behalf to strong-arm a wizened imp and take his property. Lucky could have pointed his stick at the kids and said, "They're trying to take me Lucky Charms! I'll set them on fire and open a pit to hell," but he didn't. Lucky was the good guy.

All this back story keeps me from trying Lucky Charms Beer. That, plus the fact that it's Lucky Charms Beer.

Technically, it's not. The brewer calls it Saturday Morning Beer, which fools no one. The can's coloring and design is classic Lucky Charms. It's obvious they intend to market this to people who have exhausted all other excuses for drinking before noon.

This is the point where the topic runs out of steam, and the hack columnist says, "What's next, Sugar Smacks Hard Cider? Apple Jacks Daniel?" I am not that hack columnist. I am a different hack columnist who will use the cereal subject to gracelessly transition to another dream-sequence notepad statement:

Has anyone checked with Raisin Bran lately?

Raisin Bran seems to be going through a rather strange period. It's not happy with itself, so it's going through all these peculiar phases and identities. You'd think it was content just to be bran. That's what people want: bran. See also: bran, the scouring power of; bran, nature's persuader; bran, git along li'l dogie, et al.

If you're eating Raisin Bran, the sweet kick of the raisins ought to be enough, plus there's the whole bonus of, "Hey, I'm eating fruit! Now I will live forever." But apparently people want more, so the company came out with Raisin Bran Crunch.

It has some sharp hard stuff glued together and "Clusters," which are just larger agglomerations of crunchable stuff. Nuts, oats, whatever. You find yourself in the supermarket aisle wondering whether you're up for Crunch or Clusters, thinking, "They focus-tested many words, and the winner was Clusters."

Then, with no warning, they rolled out Raisin Bran with Cranberries! You know the raisins hated that. All these years as the headliner, and this miserable red bitter upstart walks in and takes top billing. Didn't stop there. Now there's also Raisin Bran with Bananas. And by "bananas" I mean shellacked poker chips with the "banana flavor" you get from Bonomo Turkish Taffy.

It's a labor-saving addition. Why go through all the work of slicing an actual banana? You could cut yourself with the knife or slip on the banana peel. Instead, have a desiccated slice that tastes like baked playing cards.

It all seems like a cry for attention. Someone should check to see if everything's OK. You don't have to do this, Raisin Bran. We love you for who you are.

You say that, but no one criticizes Lucky when he adds one stupid marshmallow shape after the other. What's he up to now, rainbow unicorns? Red hearts? Purple livers? "I'm no one," he says. "I'm not even trademarkable."

I'm not saying Raisin Bran Beer would be a good idea, but it would give him something to cry in.