Memory Lane 2: Pop Culture Boogaloo

Memory Lane 2: Pop Culture Boogaloo

Posted on March 23, 2011 by Brad

Last week I decided to make what is probably the pop culturiest article to date for this site/blog with a look back at stuff from childhood. It was meant to be a photographic journey down memory lane, but for some reason I couldn’t stop talking about everything I posted a picture of and it sort of became a big pop-culture filled rant entry!!! So I decided that I am now doing part II in a yet-to-be-determined-but-possibly-endless photographic journey through childhood! Same rules as before: I must have 3 drinks (this time some of my home-brewed Irish porter!) and go on a rant about stuff that was cool when I was a kid. Like before, I’ll wait til the next morning to post it to weed out grammatical errors, and probably think of things WAY better than the selections I’ve made, but I’ll be forbidden to include anything else b/c that’s how it works. So here’s part 2 of our trip down memory lane

In my childhood I got to own a dog, a cat, a fish, some crayfish that I once caught and kept in an aquarium that turned to cannibalism b/c they didn’t eat fish food or anything else I fed them, and ants. Ant Farms were bad ass!!! I never once sent in that stupid mail in offer where they send you a colony of ants in a tube complete with a queen. I was hardcore and caught my own ants!! Some of my efforts strait up sucked. I accidentally created a war/massacre between the nice red ants and a nearby colony of fire ants when I accidentally brushed a fire ant bed (For those of you that don’t live in the south, fire ants are one thing you’ll be proud not to have around as they are truly the worst-insects-ever to grace God’s green earth). I also didn’t read that bit about not mixing colonies and causing massacres from within my ant farm, but when i did it right I had some pretty awesome ant beds going….until they escaped and had to be vacuumed up. Geeze now that I think back on it, I was horrible to ants!!! I feel sorry for them, I’m going to start being good now b/c I have a feeling if I was to go to Hell I’d have all those ants I’ve wronged thinking of appropriate punishments for me. On an unrelated note, I used to think ants viewed me as a mythological god when I mowed, I’d mow over their bed and I can only imagine how catastrophic a lawn mower above them would look, also I’d have everything mulched so they would have a ton of already cut grass land on their ant bed as well. hmm moving on now…Remember Gak? It probably wasn’t fun after a while, because really because really this is all you can do before reaching it’s full play potential: Stretch it out in all it’s slimy glory, make the sneezing-and-pretending-gak-is-snot trick and making it make farty sounds with it inside the container….that’s really it, other than that, there was also that unhealthy urge to lick it too, but none-the-less it didn’t really seem to have much playing potential. I remember that our school would have pseudo-gak in the prize closet, but it was nothing compared to the original.

I didn’t really like the ass-backwards outlook on these. It was OK to sniff these markers but it’s not OK to sniff glue or spray paint??….double standards!!! Really though, the meeting to green-light Scented Markers had to be a really tough thing to pitch. I imagine things were said like: “It’s markers that kids can sniff!!”…”what’s that??”….”No it won’t be like model glue, this will smell like strawberries and watermelons” …..”Kids will know to only sniff markers and not paint, it’s a foolproof plan dammit”….”What do you mean the black marker smells like the rotten inside of a butthole and not liquorish???”

I’m kinda cheating on this one a bit, b/c I was like 15 or so when we got one, but HOLY HELL was this thing fun!!! Before we were legally allowed to drive real cars, I had something like this. It was a blast, but we had a go-kart that was obviously never ever able to withstand the off-roading adventures we (my brothers, our friends and myself) had in store for it. I swear ours got “totaled” no fewer than 3 times (and instead of making it stronger faster and better, the welding job only held it until our next great adventure), and I think we lost the back wheel at least 5 times that I can remember. But when it wasn’t being driven into pieces literally, a spin out contest was always a good way to have some fun!!

Slip & Slide may have all the glory in pop culture, but I was more partial to Crocodile Mile. It not only contained the slip & slidey part, but you slid through a ribbon-flagged croc and into a pool of water at the end. Not only did it beat the heat on really hot Texas summer days, but it had a cooler payoff. Did I mention that you slid through a ribbon flag mouth of a crocodile??!!! Between this and adding Crocodile Dentist on last time, I’m starting to think I loved the shit out of crocodiles back in the day.

Oh yeah!!! This game allowed you to play detective. Guess Who? was a pretty fun game. Nowadays, I think it’ll be even more fun by “hacking” it to make the characters into people you know, and then you can ask really personal and embarrassing questions. One thing that was annoying is you couldn’t ask “Is your person Bob??” “What about Sally?”, anyway cool game.

Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers. I can only remember the following from the show: Some of the words to the theme song, one episode where there was a mouse cult that loved soda that had a catchy as hell song (“Come along, you belong, enjoy the fizz of Coo-ku cola….”), another one with a bee-lady that took over a punk rock concert and tried to hypnotize people and had bees at her command, the evil Fat Cat, the one human bad guy that was like a mad scientist that one time wanted to destroy the world by powering a doomsday machine by static electricity by machines that got the electricity by petting poor unwilling kittys…stuff like that. As for the characters, I remember Monterrey Jack was a fat Aussie rat that loved the hell out of cheese and would endanger the missions over his cheese addiction, Chip was the Harrison Ford type chipmunk and Dale was supposed to be Magnum P.I., but then I didn’t know who the hell Magnum P.I. was, so I assumed Dale was kind of a goofy lovable idiot that wore a Hawaiian shirt, Gadget was the only girl on the team and the only one that wore pants, and for some reason, despite the others not wearing pants, Zipper The Fly kinda grossed me out because he didn’t wear any….I’m not sure why, maybe it was because he wore a sweater? I do recall one time either aunts or my older girl cousins talked about Chipendale dancers and I being the nosy bastard I was as a child eavesdropped and thought it was awesome there was Chip & Dale Dancers, I thought it was like a cool Disney show with dancing….It would be years later that I would realize why they thought it was SO hilarious that I’d be into their Chipendales discussion so much. Wait a sec Coo-Ku cola?? Kinda sounds like Coca-Cola! Did Pepsi make that episode?? Speaking of Pepsi….

I honestly can’t tell you that I remember how this tasted at all. I know that you can still buy some on eBay. I drank it once, but I can’t honestly remember the taste for the life of me. I do however, remember one of the best arguments for Crystal Pepsi from one of the kids on the playground being “It’s good b/c if a cockroach gets inside of your glass you can see it, you can’t see it with regular Pepsi!”. That alone should have kept Crystal Pepsi on the production line!!! They could even make it part of their advertisements. I can’t tell you how many times I would drink a nice soda and having a pesky cockroach ruin my nice drink (btw I’m living in Colorado now, so I’m not allowed to call soda’s “Cokes” anymore). Brilliant!!

Ask any product of the 80s such as myself about Duck Hunt, and I can guarantee that they will not talk about the ducks at all. The unanimous response will be centered on that bastard f***ing dog that will mock you for not being able to shoot a duck!!! Worst of all you can’t shoot the dog (even if you save all 3 shots for him)!!! This game was my first with the legendary Nintendo Zapper and it’s perhaps the best game a zapper has ever been used for (take note Wii and remake this game!!!! maybe then I’ll buy that stupid Wii Zapper).  Anyway, Duck Hunt was awesome, they even tried to add a clay pigeon game into the game, and unless you were pretending to shoot UFOs like I would, it would be pretty boring.

Very rarely have I ever got frustrated with a book. Books aren’t like movies or dreams, so seldom do they ever disappoint. These books broke that mold and disappointment came in the form of bad choices that you wouldn’t realize you’ve made until you skip to page 47. I tried to be a noble and fair reader of Choose Your Own Adventure Books, but it wasn’t long where if I made an obvious bad choice, I’d look around to make sure nobody was looking at me and pretend I didn’t read that page. There wasn’t really much of a warning that choosing the wrong option would cause you to slowly die over the course of 3o years or making a choice that leads to a happy ending. Even if you wanted to be funny and try to make obvious bad choices, sometimes you’d actually do better.

You cannot claim that you grew up in the 90s without reading Goosebumps. Adults had Stephen King, we had R.L. Stine (who’s name reminded me of Frankenstein). From Haunted Masks to Monster Blood to Living Dummies, I loved Goosebumps!!! Nowadays it’s the bit on the cheesy side when re-reading it, but can you imagine if they did a gritty movie version (like Batman Begins) of “Stay Out of the Basement”??? I would pay thrice to see that movie in theaters!!!!! I remember the only one really really being kinda freaky was “Welcome to Dead House”, mostly because that one involved dead kids, and they even killed the dog!!! Goosebumps was and still is awesome.

So far hopefully all 3 of you that reads this probably remembered stuff I ranted about so far, Here’s probably where it gets really freakin obscure and alienating. There was once a time when I loved Ewoks, it was called the 80s! I was a child, and I thought Ewoks were less annoying murderous muppets that distracted from the ultimate showdown on Return of the Jedi and more along the lines of “Yay I wuv Ewoks!!!! Hahaha”. Ewoks sold out majorly, apparently there was a movie that I vaguely remember (which probably is along the lines of the Star Wars Christmas Special) and then there was Ewoks on Ice!!! I remember seeing it, I don’t remember much, but I had a pennant in my room for several years from the show and I remember something about evil tree monsters. I kid you not, this really happened. Kinda makes the Phantom Menace look awesome huh? Sadly now days I only have fun with Ewoks when I’m killing them in Star Wars Battlefront.

Well that’s all I can come up with tonight/feel like ranting about (plus it’s almost 2 am and I have work in the AM at the time of writing this). Again, if I left out any of your precious childhood memories, please comment below or say something on the facebook page. Also if this is the first trip down memory lane for you, check out the previous article here.

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