Sunday, May 20, 2012

Random Things From My Childhood Part 5

1. Ring Pops
It was a ring, and yet it was also candy. But it couldn't be candy for long, because once it was unwrapped, you kind of had to start consuming it, or else lint and fur would start sticking to it, and ew. Then once you licked it all down, you were left with a piece of plastic with a pokey thing on top. You think they could've at least hidden a diamond-shaped thing IN the ring. No. Once you were done licking, it was nothing but a useless piece of plastic! Okay, now I'm depressed.

2. Berenstain Bears

Once upon a time, the Berenstain Bears made for some pretty good reading. The bears had relatable, middle-class problems, and together they would find the solutions or work things out amongst themselves. But like many series with hundreds of books (you know, all two of them), the quality of the BB books deteriorated over time. 

After I passed through childhood, the Bears added a baby cub to the family. This never did make any sense to me. The children are already named Brother Bear and Sister Bear. Unless you want to tell me about a third, unknown gender, there are just simply NO NAMES LEFT! What are they going to call her, Sister Bear The Second?

Well, that's just great.

Oh, but check this out;  from their Wikipedia page:
"In the early 1960s, the Berenstains sought to enter the field of writing for young children. For their first children's book, they chose to cast bears as the main characters, primarily because the animal held wide appeal and could be drawn easily. 
The Berenstains' first bear story, titled Freddy Bear's Spanking, arrived on the desk of Theodor Geisel.... Geisel took on the manuscript, but spent the next two years ruthlessly challenging the Berenstains to make improvements to the writing and structure and to connect with their characters on a deeper level. He asked questions such as "What kind of pipe tobacco does Papa Bear smoke?" and urged them to analyze the relationship between Papa Bear and Small Bear, to which Stan responded, mystified, "Well, he's the father, and he's the son"."

And thus, history was made. Kind of just makes you want to cry, doesn't it?

3. Fluorescent

In the late 80s and into 1990, it was absolutely essential for any respectable child to own at least one item of clothing in the following colors: hot pink, hot orange, neon yellow, and/or neon green. AKA: The Fluorescent Colors. Electric blue and red existed, but they weren't part of the Core Four. And heaven forbid your fluorescent article of clothing should fade and become light pink or pale yellow. Noooo! Goodbye, radical awesomeness!!!! Brightness reigned supreme for a few short years. I loved those years.

4. Magic Slate

Before Magna Doodles, we had Magic Slates. I had a couple of these when I was little, and while they were fun, it saddens me to think how many of my (certainly brilliant) childhood drawings were lost to the ether.

Also, why is Superman defending the world against a giant straw hat?

5. "I'm Not A Chicken -- You're A Turkey!"

Elementary school kids were (well, are) always on the lookout (listenout?) for a good insult to use against bullies and siblings. All kids of the 80's were called "chicken" at one time or another. Then along came this PSA, letting us know that not only should you say "no" to drug dealers, but IF you are in a bind AND the drug dealers are calling you chicken, it's perfectly acceptable -- nay, CLEVER -- to come back at the dealer with the name of ANOTHER BIRD. No, not penguin. A TURKEY. 

Everyone knows turkeys are worse than chickens. After all, they have those dumb waddle things and look like a hand. So... that'll teach the drug dealers! That'll keep em at bay! You tell them, kid! And in case you're skeptical about it all, kids of America, the NINJA TURTLES ENDORSE IT. So nya nya nya, bullies. You've been burned.

P.S. Drugs r bad.

6. Back To The Future II

Back To The Future II was nothing short of incredible. Not only was it a sequel to the amazingly cool first movie, but parts of it were set in the year TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, where there were FLYING CARS and HOVERBOARDS. After after Marty and Doc went to the future, they traveled back into the 1955 territory from the first movie, bringing back fond, nostalgic memories and making everything even MORE crazy awesome!! And then if THAT wasn't enough, THERE WAS A THIRD ONE!! THEY'D MADE A GOSHDARN THIRD MOVIE!  COMING TO THEATERS NEXT SUMMER!

To put it simply:



7. Goofus and Gallant

Who should you aspire to be like -- an insufferable goody-goody, or a selfish little heathen? DISCUSS.

8. Film Projectors At School

Because only FANCY schools had VCRs.

It seemed like we were always watching these. Film in, lights off, 5-4-3-2-hey, where's the 1?

As I recall, most of the films looked and sounded a lot like this.

9. Karate Kat

The theme songs for Rainbow Brite, Smurfs, Mighty Mouse, and others, entered my young brain one day and set up camp in the Land Of Repression. In my twenties, they surfaced, springing into my consciousness with fury.

I doubt I even saw Karate Kat more than a couple of times. It aired as a segment in a TV show called The Comic Strip in 1987. And yet the melodic "ka-RAH-tee kat!" remains lodged in my brain to this day. And now that I've watched the opening theme on youtube, I expect I've given it another thirty or forty years of shelf life.


10. Unicorns

I really don't think I need to say any more.

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