Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The 80's had some awesome toys

I grew up in the 80's and people always talk about how dangerous some of the toys were. Yes, there were snap bracelets that lacerated wrists. Sure the pogo ball was a ticking time bomb just waiting to snap a supple young ankle. And I'll grant you trampolines destroyed many a summer for us young pups.
But there were also some good wholesome toys that really lived it up in the 80's. We had Lite-Brite, Operation, and Monopoly to name a few. It surely was a great time to be a youngster.
On a seemingly unrelated note. I went to the doctor with a tummy-ache the other day and to my surprise was rushed to the hospital for an emergency surgery.
I think the procedure looked somewhat like the scene when Australian fishermen catch a shark, then hang it upside down and cut the stomach open to reveal the contents. Only in this case the shark was a rather stupid 8 year old boy. They pulled out two greens and a red, an X and a triangle, a small metal top hat, and what appears to be two packs of Big League Chew.

Monday, February 26, 2007

whats in a name.....VIOLENCE!

Lately i've been having a lot of violent urges against people who have violent urges.  Like the time I wanted to destroy dereks face when he wanted to destroy my tv with a basketball.  I always wonder what it is that stops me from doing these things, then I realize it's the fact that it never happened, but it could have.


Lately I've had a lot of sudden violent urges. Like the time I felt like crushing that old lady's legs between my car and the one in front of me. Or a couple of days ago when I was thinking about how fun it would be to dropkick this group of teenagers down the escalator. And even yesterday when I felt like throwing Kent's basketball through his TV. I wondered what it is that keeps stopping me from doing all of these things. It's not a fear of jail, or punishment of any kind. No, what I think it is, is that in the back of my mind, I'm sure I'll fuck it up and it won't be as fun or funny as I thought it would be.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bucket #6 wins your freedom.

As a child I hated waking up early unless it was for cartoons. Waking up at the crack of nine o'clock on a Saturday morning was a weekly ritual for me. I had my favorites. The Transformers and Ghostbusters still affect my moral decisions to this day, but there was one program that really warped my little mind in so many ways: The Bozo the Clown show.

I wasn't a huge fan and rarely made it through a whole show. I don't like clowns at all and, while Bozo and his sidekick Cookie were on the low end of the terror-ometer, my phobia wasn't the reason I couldn't sit through an entire episode. The real reason is that it was fucking boring. Bozo would throw pies and try not to get hit with things propped up on doorways. Kids would scream with glee, there'd be a cartoon, more screaming, blah blah blah. The set looked like it took place in an old auditorium on the bad side of town. I'm sure there were used needles and condoms under the bleachers where the kids sat. If you were raised in the 50's, the production values would have been acceptable but I'm from the generation of Lazer Tag; I needed a little bit more

Even though I was bored out of my skull there was one part of the show that captivated me. I'd flip through the channels until this part came on then I'd shut out all distractions around me and glue myself to the screen. If you watched the show then you probably know the part I'm talking about: the bucket toss. Oh how I loved the bucket toss. The premise of the game (which will now officially be known hereafter as The Toss) was that a kid was picked out of the audience and taken over to Bozo who was standing in front of six buckets lined in a row. There was a line at one end and the kid took his or her place there. Then Bozo would give them a ping pong ball and they'd have to toss the ball into the first bucket. If they made it, Bozo would get Cookie to show them what they'd won and then make them toss another ball into the second bucket. Repeat cycle. The further you progressed, the better the prizes got. By the sixth bucket you were winning bikes, candy, board games, all sorts of crap. The best part was you got to keep all the previous prizes too!

I loved it and hated it at the same time. I loved the concept of prizes. I hated that I would never be able to do The Toss. Why? Was it because I'd never be in Chicago? Nope. Theoretically I could convince my parents to take me there. Was it because I was too old? Hell no. When this was going on I was right in my prime Toss years. The reason I couldn't do The Toss was because I was Canadian. That's right. Canadian. At the beginning of the show (or the end, I can't remember) it said anyone could be a contestant but then had a sub-clause that you had to be an American to play.

Come to think of it, this is probably where my dislike of Americans began. I was already pissed at the prejudice being hurled my way due to being born in the wrong country but, on top of that, I had to watch these kids, these American kids win? I remember what they were like. Have you ever watched the movie "A Christmas Story"? They remind me of the kid who stands in line behind Ralphie at the Santa line up. The one who wore the goggles and smelled of tapioca. Bozo's audience was filled with kids just like that. They were winning bikes while I sat and ate cereal. Or, even worse, they weren't winning bikes while I ate my cereal. I used to get so irritated watching these kids screw up. I remember being absolutely livid when one of them couldn't even get the ball in the first bucket. I literally got up and screamed at the screen with anguish, "You didn't even try!!!"

It was so frustrating seeing these kids fail, especially when I knew I could do better. I have a hard time watching someone else do something and do it badly and that's when nothing is at stake. You put a bike up for grabs, phone in your effort, then march around in Bozo's Grand Parade smiling like nothing happened? Fuck you, you're now my enemy.

As a weird aside, I think I attached a bizarre stigma to the kids who participated in The Toss. To this day I still feel that the kids that made it to bucket #6 went on to lead successful lives and are vastly superior to the majority of the population. The ones that failed miserably are either dead, burn-outs, or on third rate reality TV shows. Perhaps that's why it was so upsetting to know I would never get to play: it was my barometer for future success and I was denied knowing my future simply because I was Canadian. Later in life I would learn that not being an American is far better than being one but at the time it seemed unfair. Health Care? Screw that, I wanted a bike.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Super Freaking Smart.

The other day I got my first look at what the Apple iPhone can do for me.
Lets just say, I was blown away. That thing is amazing. It can do nearly everything. I couldn't stop thinking how smart those people who made it must be. I'll bet they wear pretty big hats.
I was lost in thought of Steven Jobs and his crew of brilliant wizards when my mind began to wander. I thought of the geniuses through time. There is this new Apple-gang, Einstein, Newton, Edison and so on. Then I thought back and back, who is the smartest of them all? Who would I most like to meet?
And it hit me!
I don't know who it is or when it happened. But, I would like to shake the hand of the individual who first looked at a cow and said, "I'm going to eat that!".
I'm sure that must have been a long time ago, long before guns and slaughter houses. So that only makes it even more impressive. I know if you plunked me back X-million years I'd certainly be a vegetarian, simply because I wouldn't know how to kill anything. Small things would be too quick, and large ones too dangerous.
I'm not sure how "he" killed that first cow. But in my mind it looks a little like Rocky II. Only at the end of the fight Rocky doesn't win the Heavyweight Belt, he eats Apollo Creed.

Friday, February 2, 2007

My cereals may be dull but my shoes are flamboyant!

I turned 25 a few days ago and, since I've been home all week with a bum ankle, I started doing a little self introspection. I wouldn't go so far as to call it soul searching though I do plan to continue doing that. I'll find that damn soul someday. No, what I was doing wasn't serious enough to be considered much of anything.
It did have a serious start, what with me trying to figure out what the Hell I'm doing with my life but quickly devolved (de-evolved?) into the usual brand of "entertaining only to me and maybe Adam" style of thought. I could see the cereal stash from the couch and started studying it. Let's see: Raisin Bran, Fibre One, Shreddies, All-Bran, Multi-grain Cheerios, and, the wild child of the gang, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. That's a health conscious bunch. At least 3 of those could be found in the cupboards of old people concerned with prolonging their life. Looking at them, all I can think is, "When the fuck did I get so boring?"

Suspending reality for a minute, if you cut me in half, you would see a series of concentric rings similar to those you would find in the trunk of a tree. Rather than the usual procession of light brown/dark brown, these rings would be a harmony of pastel and primary colours from all the cereals I've eaten whilst growing up. There's your standard shades of Fruit Loops or rather, Froot Loops seeing as proper spelling was tossed to the side once they added a fourth colour. There are miscellaneous blue rings from all those times Kellogg's and General Mills got riske (French hat over the e) and hauled out the forbidden blue food colouring. I realize blue isn't so forbidden now but I am a child of the 80's and back then blue foods were considered taboo. I have another rant about this and blue Kool-Aid but I'll save that for another day. Also in this veritable rainbow are bright red Crunchberry rings and bright purple ones from Frosted Flakes. I realize that technically those should be brown but I've always imagined it turning purple in my stomach so that's how it's going to be. Remember, we left reality's well beaten path and started blazing our own a while back.

Those are not healthy cereals. I'm surprised I didn't get diabetes from eating all that crap. My pancreas would take yours in a Death Match. I guess that's only if the pancreas is responsible for insulin. Which it might not be. I forget. Anyway, You could look at these rings and as they got further from the centre, the colours would start fading until it was looking just like a tree. Our study done, we may now put me back together with no ill effects and slide down to reality again.

"When the fuck did I get so boring?" I know those cereal choices are much better for me than the sugar frosted death crunchies of old but they're so dull! So grown up! And you can't put a cartoon character on a box of Fibre One because it makes other people uncomfortable. What would you even put? A poop with racing stripes and a watch? That's just irregular (yes that's some pun-like wordplay). Even the Honey-nut Cheerio Bee can't go on other boxes of Cheerios. People with no imagination would call him on it. "Hey... bees have nothing to do with apples or cinnamon... what the Hell are you doing here? Get out of here Honey-nut Cheerio Bee!" and then he walks away slowly, lonely, and probably having suicidal thoughts.

I guess we weren't quite back to reality.

Don't get me wrong, these cereals do taste kind of good but it's a different kind of good. I'm just lamenting the lack of fun they suffer from. In the end, I suppose I have to accept the fact that, while I am an adult and I can eat whatever I want, I am an adult and will die a young death unless I start following the lead of seniors everywhere and eat dull, earthy, and healthy cereals.

I refuse to start stealing Senokot though.