Throwback: Six things we loved back in the day
Every decade is usually filled with fads, styles that are here today and gone tomorrow, unlike Peter C Lewis’ curly wig. Some of them were horrible, and some were just plain crazy, but they were memorable and defined a time when if you fell asleep with your front door open, it wasn’t that big of a deal.
There were the butterfly clips and skettel clips that the girls would place in their hair. Fellas would get laughed at if their pants were tight, because baggy was cool. Every fella had a Kenshi shirt and Super Mario brothers was the most talked about video game. The cool toys were caps guns and slinkies. We’d go to the shop to buy penna cools and sucka bags and everybody had a Pokemon nickname (mine was Clafery).
Cell phones weren’t the norm. So if you had to call your boyfriend or girlfriend, it was either take your buff when mummy sees the phone bill skyrocket, or change your dollars to quarters or get a phone card and hit the pay phone. No matter what, we can all look back at times past, and the things we loved, and smile. Here are some of my faves.
1. Showtime Magazine
Everybody used to wait for Friday to buy the hottest, weekly news and celebrity gossip around (Oh hell no! Justin can’t be dating Britney, right?). In a time when everyone didn’t have cable, and the Internet wasn’t yet viewed as a utility, it was where we got all our celebrity news, with the addition of song lyrics for your favourite hits, and a huge centrefold that we’d use as wallpaper.
2. WWF Monday night RAW
I still don’t have a reason as for how or why this happened, but there was a period in Trinidad and Tobago when everyone was a wrestling fan. In the schools, offices and sidewalk cafés, all you would hear was talk about Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock (before he got all marshmallow on us). And of course there were the people who would shout, “Suck it!”, with the lowered ‘Do So’ sign at random moments. All that scripted dialogue and fake fighting entertained our bloodthirsty side.
3. Outdoor games
Rounders, red light green light 123, hide and seek and scooch were just a few reasons we looked forward to recess. Hand games were cool and socialization skills were easily developed. Some of these games were dangerous as hell though. I mean where else would throwing a cork ball at someone as hard as you can be considered fun. It was hella fun though. All that running and sweating and crying and screaming have been replaced by online versions, but kids today can’t compete with the fun of actual physical activity. In fact, I’d be surprised if they even knew how to play. Snakes and ladders and hula hoops have been replaced by iPods and PSPs, and if you ask a child today if they want to play football, there is a high possibility that they’ll make their way toward their Nintendo Wii or pop in Fifa 2010.
Yeah! You know you had one. Everywhere you went somebody was holding one of those pocket-sized, electronic pets. They would be feeding them, playing with them or letting them use the bathroom. If you had a gigapet, you were cool and everyone knew it. Plus they were adorable, so tiny and cute. Mummy and Daddy happily bought you a gigapet, so that you could learn some type of responsibility without having the drawbacks of an actual pet.
5. Club Zen
Now you might complain that this wasn’t back in the day, but you know coasting on the people who couldn’t get into Zen was fun. It seems so long ago that Zen opened and people were hesitant about getting ‘brace’ by the door that they didn’t even bother to go. Zen was the ‘in’ place to be for every ‘high falutin’ limer and their socialite girlfriend. It had that exclusive vibe that said if you got in, you were a VIP. These days everybody, their mama and their 14-year-old cousin can get in. And unlike the grown and sexy vibe you used to find at Club Celebs, Upper level or ‘Nuts, if you go to Zen you somehow leave feeling like you were in a Bishops dance.
6. School supplies
School wasn’t all about doing well in test or even playing the noun game (better known as Boy, Girl, Animal, Place, Thing). It was about who would come out after the August holidays coasting the best stationery. I’m talking the pencil case that was actually shaped like a pencil, the erasers that smelled like fruit, and mechanical pencils. There was the pen with the eraser at the end and those huge pencils that made no kind of sense to use, but someone would still be enviable about it. Mead made real dollars on Trapper Keepers, as everybody had one. Copybooks used to be plastered with those little, textured stickers and fountain pens were the flick. We took comfort in these little items, and felt sorry for the kid who didn’t follow the trend. Even colourful shoelaces were popular as bag accessories.
Every once in a while it’s good to experience a little blast from the past because even though it might seem embarrassing now, it was cool back in the day, and boy does it bring back great memories. I used to have the Captain Planet theme song as my ring tone just to remind me not to litter. What do you remember from back in the day? What was unforgettable to you? Any fellas willing to admit they used to watch He-Man, and She-Ra?