Sunday, October 21, 2012

Random Things From My Childhood Part 6

Random Things From My Childhood, Part VI

1. Lunchables

Cheese. Meat. Crackers. The ability to create your own miniature sandwiches on the spot. A kit of comestible creativity, if you will. Lunchables trumped mom-made tunafish sandwiches every day of the week.

But Lunchables weren't cheap. And if you didn't like one of the ingredients (for me it was cheese as a child, then meat as a teenager) you were sort of screwed. Until, of course, the Oscar Mayer company started making Lunchables with things like mini pizzas and throwing in Capri Suns and tiny candy bars for dessert. But alas, Lunchables were still expensive, and to this day, I have never felt compelled to buy one.

But that ONE TIME my parents bought me one to take on a field trip... I enjoyed the heck out of it. And I made some pretty awesome little sandwiches.

2. Tarn-X

When I was three or four, they used to run Tarn-X commercials during cartoons and kids' shows for whatever reason. I LOVED THE COMMERCIALS. There was one with a man and one with a woman. The woman dipped a coin in Tarn-X and I think the man dipped a small bell. I would've given anything for a bottle of Tarn-X. It made everything magically SHINY! To this day I have never polished silver, but I still think those commercials are amazing. (Though I suspect tricky camerawork may be afoot.)

3. Strawberry Shortcake

There are toys I remember receiving not because I asked for them, but because some relative of mine just thought I should have them. So while I never got the Snoopy Brusha Brusha Toothbrush or the Sesame Street Phone as I desired, I did receive a heck of a lot of Strawberry Shortcake dolls. And they were great, I mean... they were colorful, they smelled good... and there was the TV show, which I remember watching. Anyway, I must have given off some vibe that I was into the big-headed fruit children, because by the time I hit my seventh birthday, I'd acquired not only a dozen little dolls, but a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox, a baby-sized doll, bed linens, a pillow, and curtains.... It was madness. 

What might be even more mad is that I think I still have most of that stuff in storage. 

Oh, and then there was the Atari Game. I played it once at my cousins' and enjoyed myself. Looking back... wow, that was some serious crap.

4. Fruit Roll-Ups

I really don't know why, but when I was about five, Fruit Roll-Ups were amazingly delicious. Better than cookies, ice cream, birthday cake, or any kind of candy. I think maybe because you could sort of fold them into shapes? I don't know.

Nowadays I rarely touch them. I mean seriously, what's the appeal?

5. Mr. Sketch Scented Markers

These were the best. No, these still ARE the best. Markers each with a distinct smell. Some are eh-okay (see: orange), others are wildly delicious (cherry, I'm talking about you.)

Drawbacks? Instead of getting down to the business of coloring, you'd spend a great deal of time sniffing them. Then you'd wind up with little colored dots on the tip of your nose, not realize it, and walk around like a dork for the rest of the day.

Oh gosh, look at those markers. Look at their colorful beauty. I'm dying of happiness just thinking about their smells! Must... go... buy... a pack....

6. Glowsticks

I have three glowstick-related childhood memories. They are as follows:

1. Being about 5 and at a lodge near the beach with my relatives. Finding a dying glowstick on the ground. My older cousin taking it away from me. Me harboring a grudge against said cousin for years.

2. Going camping with family friends around age 9. Their mom giving us each a green glowstick. Me sleeping in the back of the truck at night and being mesmerized by the thing, feeling like the luckiest kid in the world.

3. "Night games" at youth group retreats, where we had to find glowsticks in a forest... in utter darkness.  While avoiding the adults trying to find & tag us.

Ah, youth?

7. Kites

As an adult, I really think kites are cool. Some of them are made by talented artisans who really care about their craft. And watching them sail through the bright blue sky can be breathtaking indeed.

But as a kid, the idea of kites was much better than the reality. Michael in Mary Poppins made flying one look all easy. In the real world, kites often failed to go up, and even when they did, they quickly ran aground. They were diamond-shaped instruments of disappointment. Plus we were constantly being warned by teachers and the television that kites could run into power lines and cause an excruciating death (and then alternately being told that Benjamin Franklin had once flown a kite during an electrical storm, but that was okay.)


8. Tootsie Pops

I don't get Tootsie Pops. Perhaps I never will. The fruity outer part is okay, but when you get through that, suddenly you meet up with this blob of pseudo-chocolate. Blow pops were a lot better. They had gum, man. GUM. Not some weird brown core. 

I remember there used to be this rumor around the elementary school that if you found 10 Tootsie Pop wrappers with little Indians shooting an arrow at a star, you could send them in (to the Tootsie Pop company?) and win something, but nobody ever did. And the Indians weren't that hard to find anyway.

According to Wikipedia, kids who sent in their wrappers got sent... a story... about an Indian. Yay?

9. Whatever The Heck This Thing Was

A Fisher-Price Toy for babies, it had fun activities on all four sides, top, and bottom. I just remember thinking that was really neat, having a different thing to do on each side. Annnnd apparently I was easily impressed.

10. Child-Size Record Players

I had one of these as a wee lass. It was light blue and I think it had Raggedy Ann or somebody on it. I had my own collection of RPM-45 records with storybooks, including The Night Before Christmas, Frosty The Snowman, and a Walt Disney collection of nursery rhymes. This may be why I felt like kicking the guy in a writing class a few years go who mentioned record players, looked at me (I was the youngest person there, circa age 24), and made some comment about how I probably did not know what records even were. Jerk! 

Meanwhile I loved how my little record player had two speeds, so I could make people sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks whenever I felt like it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I seriously needed a laugh. Fun to go back in time for a bit. The markers... I need to get me some of those. I miss them.