Donovan's Child of the 80s MemoriesSubmitted by ryandonovan at 2002-03-10 17:21:44 EST
Rating: 1.83 on 52 ratings (52 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
YOU WERE A BOY GROWING UP IN THE 80s IF…
I have seen dozens of these “Nostalgic 80s” chain emails going around, and while some of them are pretty enjoyable, they don’t really bring back personal memories for me from the 1980s. So I came up with a similar kind of list, but one that included things that described the 80s that I knew as a boy born in the mid-70s. All of the items on the list are original; they are not stolen from other 80s lists. Let’s see if they describe your childhood as much as they describe mine…
You noticed right away every time they modified KITT slightly.
You were always looking for an opportunity to say “I love it when a plan comes together.”
When your neighbor got an Apple computer, the best use for it seemed to be creating “Happy Birthday” banners with Print Shop.
You clearly remember that in the original arcade version of Punch-Out!!, the Mr. Sandman was the final opponent, not Mike Tyson.
Alex P. Keaton was a perfectly acceptable role model.
Although you don’t remember the actual day, you know May 25, 1977 is a momentous date in history.
You had no idea when President Reagan was shot, but you totally aware when Simon Le Bon almost died in a boating accident.
You thought all along that Prince was lame, but you had no problem with Boy George.
It did not seem at all weird that both Sean Connery and Roger Moore came out with James Bond movies in the same year.
There were never-ending arguments between your friends about who “discovered” G.I. Joe, Transformers, or Masters of the Universe.
If you turned on the TV and The New Zoo Revue was on, you knew you had gotten up too early for Saturday morning cartoons.
Your dad would roll his eyes when he told you to do something, and you said, “What ‘jou talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?”
You thought Disney cartoon movies like Snow White and Pinocchio were coming out in theaters for the first time.
You played with Legos sometimes, but looking back, you don’t know why you didn’t play with them exclusively.
The only reason you wanted to get cable was so you could watch MTV. That was also the only reason your parents DIDN’T want to get cable.
It was strange, but not unheard of, for a boy to have a Cabbage Patch Kid. And if a girl didn’t have at least two, her parents were poor.
By never missing an episode of The Cosby Show, you helped establish NBC’s Thursday night as Must See TV.
You couldn’t wait until you were older so you could get a mohawk like Mr. T or a scar like Rambo or a pet alligator like Sony Crockett.
Jem and her rock ‘n’ roll Hologram friends were babes.
You were so happy when you got Intellivision so you brag to your friend who still had Atari. But almost right away he trumped you by getting ColecoVision. Years later, it wouldn’t matter because everyone got Nintendo.
You got in trouble at a sleep-over for sneaking downstairs to watch Friday Night Videos or Saturday Night Live.
The remote control for your new VCR was actually attached to the VCR by a cord.
G.I. Joe could fight Star Wars, because the figures were the same size, but not Masters of the Universe, because they were too big.
You begged your parents to take you to see E.T., then got mad at them when you had to wait in line at the theater for what might have been days.
You snickered at the programming executives at NBC because you could tell right away that the new Saturday morning cartoon The Snorks was just a cheap underwater imitation of The Smurfs.
After everyone else got to have their birthday at Showbiz Pizza, your lame parents had your birthday at Chuck E. Cheese’s.
As far as you knew, Ronald Regan had been and would be President for your entire life.
Every dime of your allowance went toward Garbage Pail Kids, which your parents reluctantly allowed. 1st Series cards were very rare. You would have completed the 2nd Series set if it hadn’t been for the impossible-to-find “C” version of “Fran Fran”. You cried foul when someone tried to trade one to you that had been peeled off then poorly stuck back on. By the time the 7th Series came out, you had had enough.
Whenever an action figure launched an afternoon cartoon, you lamented how it “sold out”.
You never solved Rubik’s Cube by peeling off the stickers. Instead, you took a screwdriver and popped out all the pieces, then re-assembled it correctly. Your dad actually bought a how-to book to solve the damn thing. Some kid always brought the next Rubik-like incarnation (pyramid, chain, snake, globe) to school and got it taken away by a teacher. And you didn’t give a rat’s ass when you heard that Rubik was some Russian guy that didn’t make a dime off his invention.
There was nothing unhealthy about having Transformer sheets and pillow cases.
While your friends had cool ones, your mom bought you a Trapper Keeper with a picture of a hot air balloon on it. So you cut the clear plastic cover down the side, removed the picture, and put sports pictures under the plastic instead.
You wondered what would happen if you put a Twisted Sister tape in your little brother’s Teddy Ruxpin.
You thought the 1984 Summer Games were the first Olympics ever. Because of them, you thought Track and Field events were cool for about a week.
You asked your mom why you weren’t allowed to wear a bandana tied around your pant leg at school.
You could finish singing the line of this TV theme song with no problem: “Here we are, face to face, a couple of…” But you probably can’t do it anymore.
You wondered why people called the Dallas Cowboys “America’s Team”, because for as long as you could remember, they sucked.
You don’t remember Pac-Man being as much of a defining symbol of the 80s as people make it out to be today. Besides, Ms. Pac-Man was a much better game.
You never watched Airwolf, but the neighbor kids thought it was the shit.
Magic Shell was a miracle of modern science.
You didn’t understand why Song Of The South was banned forever.
Someone actually wore a single sequined glove to school, and regretted it for the rest of the year.
You shouted “The Libyans!” every time you saw a Volkswagen van.
Some of your friends weren’t allowed to watch “inappropriate” shows like The Dukes of Hazzard.
You figured the guys from Wham! got a lot of chicks.
You couldn’t wait for the next Superman and Rocky movies, even though you had never really seen the original ones.
There are some Empire Strikes Back glasses from Burger King somewhere in your parents’ attic.
Everyone in the neighborhood got a Huffy, but you were stuck with your banana-seat Schwinn. Several years later, everyone got a Powell Peralta, and your parents got you a Nash.
You thought working in a little Fotomat hut in the middle of a parking lot would be pretty cool job.
The kid with the new refrigerator always had the best cardboard-box fort.
You were the last one to own a see-through Swatch, and the last one to still be wearing one six months later. To your credit, you never lost the rubber face guard, which made the watch impossible to read at 12:00.
By watching Danger Mouse, you thought you were more sophisticated than kids watching regular after-school cartoons.
The first guy in your school to get his left ear pierced was either really cool or really dangerous.
Every T-shirt you wore in junior high either advertised a brand of surf gear that you had never used or a Hard Rock Café location that you had never visited.
The Greatest American Hero was quite simply the best superhero ever, with the best theme song to boot.
Although you despised the Care Bears, you had to go along when your mom took your sister to The Care Bears Movie.
When you role-played Magnum P.I., everyone wanted to be T.C. and fly the helicopter. Ironically, you had never seen an entire episode of Magnum. You also had no idea what your mom was talking about when she made wistful comments about wanting to “brush the rug” with Tom Selleck’s mustache.
You knew nothing about marketing, but even you could tell Energizer’s commercial spokesman, the loud and bald Australian hulk Jacko, was a bad idea.
You made fun of kids who were into Thundercats.
You had an “Avoid The Noid” sticker on one of your notebooks, not really understanding what the Noid had to do with pizza.
You couldn’t say “Who you gonna call?” without getting an emphatic response.
Your sister dressed up as Princess Leia for Halloween, and your mom spent an hour trying to get the buns in her hair just right, but ended up giving her a French braid instead.
The Garfield TV specials were reasons not to go play outside. You hotly anticipated every new Book Of Garfield, trying to predict what color it would be, what the title would be, and what kooky quip Garfield would be saying on the cover. Your cousin, obviously an idiot, preferred Heathcliff.
Although you didn’t watch The Great Space Coaster very often, you totally bought into Speed Reader’s inhuman ability (even though he flipped the pages from last to first), and you repeated “No gnus is good gnus with Gary Gnu” too often at school.
You read a few MAD magazines even though most of the jokes were over your head.
You never had enough pegs of one color to make the Lite-Brite picture that you wanted to.
Your sister burned the crap out of her Holly Hobby Shrinky Dinks in the oven.
You couldn’t believe they took Manimal off the air after such a short period of time, since it was such an awesome show.
You learned the meaning of the word “plethora” from The Three Amigos.
You didn’t know what a “soldier of fortune” was, but it was exactly what you wanted to be when you grew up.
You couldn’t figure out why Alanis was supposed to be the cute one on You Can’t Do That On Television.
You felt like a badass when you shouted “By the power of Grayskull!”
Coca-Cola Classic never quite tasted like Old Coke.
You loved Presto Magix, but you never had the patience to complete a scene.
Even though they were meant for girls, you wore a couple of black plastic bracelets. You dad hoped it was just a phase.
You lamented that the Tron action figures never really caught on, considering how rad the movie was.
You wondered what Gargamel had against the Smurfs, and what the hell happened to Azrael’s mangled ear.
You tricked your mom into letting you see D.C. Cab, telling her how it had to be okay for kids since Mr. T was in it.
You pretended not to like the song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. You also thought Guns N’ Roses sang it.
All you knew about Dynasty, Dallas, and Falcon Crest was that they were on really late at night.
You were excited when your mom bought you a Kodak Disc camera for your birthday, but only used it once, to take out-of-focus pictures of your cat.
You wanted to get in on the game when your parents had adult friends over to play Trivial Pursuit. After about 15 minutes of not understanding the questions, you got bored and wanted to play Chutes and Ladders.
Hands down, Intellivison had the most complicated video game controller ever.
You pouted when your mom wouldn’t let you hang a Spuds MacKenzie poster on your wall.
You called the hide-and-seek game “Ghost in the Graveyard”, but your cousins from out of town called it “Bloody Murder”.
You were always jealous of watching adult shows that aired after your 8 PM bedtime, especially Cheers, because you could always hear your mom laughing from downstairs while you were trying to fall asleep.
You hated the “cliffhanger ” format of Underdog and never managed to see the conclusion.
All your friends were either Celtics or Lakers fans. You didn’t really care about basketball, but you still wanted a pair of Air Jordans.
You were reminded of yourself when you saw Splash and watched John Candy drop things as an excuse to look up women’s skirts.
You and the neighborhood kids had huge G.I. Joe versus Star Wars battles that always ended in the lame kid not playing by the “rules” and going home mad with his toys… and some of yours. The kid with overprotective parents made him put his initials on the bottom of the feet of his action figures. He was only one that got all his figures back.
You watched in amazement when your friend’s older brother won Dragon’s Lair on a single quarter.
You thought you were pretty tech-savvy when you learned how to make the screen “snow” on your dad’s brand new Radio Shack computer.
Your parents still regret the day they allowed you to watch Poltergeist.
You stopped whatever you were doing to watch Pepsi’s Max Headroom commercials, but thought his ensuing TV show was terrible.
Schoolhouse Rock was for pussies.
You hated Russians. You believed your dad when he told you Sting was a pinko commie for singing a song about them.
You didn’t see the movie Wall Street until the 1990’s.
You never thought Bon Jovi was cool.
You didn’t see what all the fuss over Ricky Schroeder was about.
You couldn’t wait to save up enough Proofs Of Purchase to send away for a Hooded Cobra Commander. You were hoping you could pull off the hood to see what his face looked like.
You had no idea what Speed Racer was when you saw it on older kids’ T-shirts.
You and your friends unanimously agreed that McDonald’s had the better burgers and Burger King had the better fries.
Your mom knew The Fridge was a football player, but she didn’t know his real name nor what team he played for.
Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton made funny movies.
The foolish parents of the dangerous kid on your street let him have an actual Rambo knife, which he claimed contained explosives in the handle. You never admitted that you had never seen First Blood because it was rated R.
You could never tell if Smurfette was getting it on with Handy or Hefty, but assumed she had been inappropriately touched at some point by Papa Smurf.
You once secretly tried on your sister’s Wonder Woman Underoos.
You hated the San Francisco 49ers because they never freakin’ lost.
You knew Eddie Murphy had a hit song, and you recognized it when the slacker kids sang it in Summer School.
You didn’t know what the word “gay” meant, but you thought it described Michael Jackson perfectly.
You couldn’t wait for the first day of school so you could show off your new folders, which bore the pictures of Hannibal, Face, Murdock, and B.A. Baracus.
You taped Van Halen’s Dreams video off MTV because you thought the Blue Angels were wicked.
When you got G.I. Joe toys on Christmas, you only mildly concerned yourself with how Santa Claus got around copyright infringement laws by making them in his workshop. When you asked your dad about it, he made some joke about “outsourcing to Hasbro” that you didn’t get.
Your family always rented movies from a tiny video store that was named after the store owner, and he was always out of the new releases because he stocked only one copy of each. He had plenty of Beta new releases, though.
Not long ago, you were thankful for Napster so you could download songs that you hadn’t heard in a decade and finally figure out who sang them, like One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head, I Beg Your Pardon by Kon Kan, Puttin’ On The Ritz by Taco, At This Moment by Billy Vera and the Beaters, You Spin Me Round by Dead Or Alive, Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant, and Pop Goes The World by Men Without Hats.
You thought it was silly that your parents made you read for an hour before your bedtime every night. It was even sillier that comics didn’t count as books. And your friends made fun of you for it.
Transformers would kick the crap out of GoBots.
You were confused every time they talked about Reagan’s “Star Wars” on the news.
KangaROOS seemed really useful, even though the pockets were barely big enough for a penny.
You thought She-Ra was a pretty weak female spin-off of He-Man, but nevertheless, she was kinda hot.
You gave yourself a bloody nose trying to spin a guitar ZZ Top-style.
You weren’t just quoting the movie when you said, “Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero.”
Only the weird kids thought D.C. was cooler than Marvel.
Every time you picked up a kitchen utensil you said, “Now that’s a knife.”
You cried on Halloween because your dad said a Johnny #5 costume would be too damn hard to make.
Your older brother still had KISS posters on his wall.
Your mom would yell at you when your G.I. Joe accessories got stuck in the vacuum cleaner.
You loved to say “Psyche!” when faking somebody out.
You scraped up your back trying to breakdance on your driveway, realizing that a cardboard sheet would have been a good idea after all.
If you lived near Chicago, you recall Van Halen’s Jump as the Cubs 1984 theme song.
Thanks to Miami Vice, you will always associate pink flamingoes with drug dealers.
Only the spoiled kid down the street had the Millennium Falcon.
You knew a guy in school that claimed he could do the Moonwalk perfectly, but never wanted to show anybody.
You asked your mom about the process of legally changing your first name, because you were seriously considering “Bad Attitude”.
Your friends made fun of your Scooby-Doo sleeping bag, because who the hell watched Scooby-Doo anymore?
Although you always rooted for the Autobots, you figured the Decepticons would win in real life. I mean, Optimus Prime was just a truck, but Megatron was a big-ass gun.
At one time or another, people told you that you looked like every kid in Stand By Me except River Phoenix.
Your Moon Boots wouldn’t fit in your locker at school.
Tone Loc’s Loced After Dark was your first – and last – rap album. It was also your first CD.
You liked making Dungeons & Dragons character sheets but didn’t actually like playing the game. You never figured out what the hell the white crayon was for that came with the dice, but you still have one rolling around in the back of your desk drawer.
Your mom wouldn’t buy you a Hoth playset, but instead made one for you out of styrofoam and toothpicks.
Alan Hunter was the best MTV VJ.
You liked your camouflage pants, but they were nothing compared to your T-shirt that had a picture of a fiery skull and the words “AIR FORCE PILOTS DON’T DIE, THEY JUST GO TO HELL TO REGROUP.”
You incorporated your sister’s Barbie into your G.I. Joe game so Flint could get it on with a proportionately 12-foot-tall civilian.
About 20 minutes after opening a new set of Play-Doh, you always ended up with one color: brown.
For a portable video game, Head To Head Football had pretty sweet graphics, which amounted to flashing dots representing the players.
You thought stuffed animals made by anyone other than Dakin were inferior.
The creepy, lazy-eyed guy on the block who fancied himself a trendsetter was the only moron to get a Betamax. Years later, he also bought a Laser Disc player.
When you learned that Catherine Bach, the actress that played Daisy Duke, had a baby in real life, you were jealous of the baby because it got to suckle the boob of the most gorgeous woman in the world. Although you thought you were totally normal, you were correct in assuming that you should never mention that to anyone ever.
Your sister washed the hair of her Strawberry Shortcake figures to see if they would stop smelling like fruit.
You were disappointed when Burger King revealed what Herb looked like.
Only the coolest kids got to see the opening midnight showing of Return Of The Jedi. You had to see at a matinee.
Freezy Freakies gloves never changed colors no matter how cold it was outside.
The liner came out when you took off one of your Moon Boots one time, and you haven’t been able to fit it back in since.
You assumed Zips would revolutionize the shoe industry by phasing out shoelaces altogether.
You had no idea what love was, but you still knew the significance of Alex and Ellen at the train station.
You wished your jean jacket was stone-washed.
Captain Lou Albano seemed like he would be a pretty cool – albeit surly – dad.
You had no problem fitting an entire pouch of Big League Chew in your mouth.
Your uncle thought he was original every time he made a joke about the spot on Gorbachev’s head.
You didn’t get weepy at the end of Charlotte’s Web. Honest.
You had no idea that Inspector Gadget, Tennessee Tuxedo, and Maxwell Smart were all the same person.
Matching up a Star Wars figure to its original gun was impossible.
You forgot to watch for Halley’s Comet.
You plotted the destruction of your sister’s My Little Ponies and Monchichis.
You ate plenty of green M&M’s, yet never hit a home run in Little League. Years later, you discovered that they didn’t work on dates, either.
You had a subscription to Dynamite magazine so you could read the latest interviews with Gary Coleman and the cast of Square Pegs.
Your mom yelled at you when you stuck Wacky Packages stickers all over your bedroom door.
You thought it was hilarious the first time you filled out a Mad Lib with dirty words, until your mom found it.
You badly misquoted the following line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night… I guess it’s pretty serious.”
You had a Miami Vice theme birthday party and fought over who got to be Sony Crockett, clearly the biggest stud that ever lived.
You were actually the right age to enjoy WWF wrestling, and tuned in to Wrestlemania specials to watch Hulk Hogan, Junk Yard Dog, Iron Sheik, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Macho Man, and Nikolai Volkoff.
While other kids had Hot Wheels, you were stuck with Matchbox.
Every time you played with Lincoln Logs, you ended up building the same thing: a log cabin.
You thought George Lucas was only taking 5 years off after Return Of The Jedi.
You were horrified when you saw that the visitors in V were really alien reptiles in human disguises, but you loved it when they ate mice.
Of all the unknowns in The Outsiders, you predicted C. Thomas Howell would make it big.
Between you and your friends, you managed to collect all the Mr. Men books. But you only read a fraction of them.
In the summertime, a Slurpee was the solution to almost every problem.
You and your friends had long existential conversations about why Snake Eyes didn’t talk and whether Destro kept his mask on while he slept and showered.
You knew that by the time Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo came out, the fad was already over.
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