“Top 5 things from my childhood, I wish would make their return,” or “Shit I Miss”
Ahoy there kiddos, Nick the Mexican here, and yes before you say it yes it has been quite sometime since my last post. I hope you missed me because I sure as heck missed you. Where have I been all this time, well I’ve been here sitting around staring blankly at my computer screen hoping for inspiration, when I got super thirsty and started thinking about a drink that used to be around that would always quench my thirst and then being sad it wasn’t around anymore. First I got sad it was gone, then I thought about more stuff. Then it hit me! “Ah-ha!!!” I exclaimed that’s it, that is my new list. So without further ado I present to you my “Top 5 things from my childhood, I wish would make their return,” or “Shit I Miss”
5. Cereal Box Prizes
Where the hell did these things go? I used to beg my mom to go out and buy some god awful terrible tasting cereal I knew I would never eat, just to get some awesome toy. As soon as I got home I opened the box and shoved my dirty, candy sticky hand in and pull out a little plastic pouch with a tiny plastic treasure. It went on this way for years, and years. I would do this all the time, and would be pissed when I would get a double, or occasionally have to send away for the prize, but it was still something. One day I noticed while buying some cereal at the market, that there was no prizes in any of the boxes. What happened? Where is the incentive to buy crappy tasting cereals, like “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves” or that god awful “Adams Family” cereal? Shit, now all we get are these horrible mazes and puzzles on the back of the box. We need these back now.
4. WWF/WWF squash matches against Jobbers.
Okay this is a dual one, and really the first half isn’t that big of a deal anymore, but when the World Wrestling Federation became World Wrestling Entertainment, saying WWE instead of WWF took me FOREVER to get used to. It’s not that I have a major hate against the Entertainment in the name, I’m not one of those wrestling marks, that refuses to see it as entertainment and not sport. I see room for both, my biggest problem is that WWF just flows better and rolls off the tongue nicer than the WWE. Anyways the second part of this is the lack of jobbers, and squash matches. For those of you who aren’t fans, a squash match is a match where there is going to be a clear winner, and a clear loser. Those losers are called jobbers (their job is to lose.)
The reason they used to have these was to build up new talent. To show off these new superstars and get them better acquainted with fans as a heel or a face. There is still the occasional squash match here and there, and jobbers still exist, but when I was a kid there were two shows on Fox every Saturday and Sunday WWF Superstars, and Main Event. There would be a recap of the weeks action, and 4 to 6 matches in an hour with each match lasting about 5 minutes long. Main events would usually consist of two established wrestlers squaring off but every other match would be a quick match to build up new guys. I miss this because A) Wrestling was on all weekend if you include WCW and B) You would get to see these guys evolving each week. Plus I just really miss seeing guys like Brooklyn Brawler, and Barry Horowitz in the ring.
General Mills this is all on you. This is the thing that started the whole list. I was sitting around watching tv when suddenly thirst hit me like a hammer, so I went to the fridge. Grabbed some juice and started thinking about the old days. Randi and I are often bringing up a drink we both loved as kids, and wish they would bring them back, and that drink was Squeezits. Squeezits for those that don’t know were fruit drinks in plastic soda bottle-shaped containers and each different flavor had a different face on the bottle, and name based on the flavor similar to Otter Pops (Berry B-Wild, Grumpy Grape, etc.) They were full of sugar and absolutely awesome. You weren’t shit if you didn’t have these drinks in your lunch box, or bag. Over the years there were many copycats of Squeezits, like Mondos which you can still find at Dollar Trees all over the country. I recently picked some up thinking they used to be almost identical. I was wrong. Bland, unappealing packaging, and the plastic the bottle was made of was like the stuff they make plastic kids toys out of. You had to have the strength of a gorilla to get the actual beverage out. The other huge copycat was another drink that is still made, and available in almost every grocery store around the country and that drink has not only a similar bottle design but also the Kool Aid man as their mascot. Kool Aid Bursts are a the most similar to my beloved Squeezits. Like any kid will tell you when they are denied McDonalds and instead treated to home-made hamburgers, it just ain’t the same. Yeah I buy them from time to time, trying to fill the hole until Squeeze Its come back.
It’s only a matter of time really.
I’m not talking about Gameworks, or Dave and Busters I’m talking about real legitimate arcades that aren’t owned by major corporations, but by creepy old guys instead. There were a few places in Hacienda Heights, where I used to visit my Grandma, and a couple of places in the Inland Empire where I lived where you could head down the whole day with rolls of quarters and not only play games like skee ball, and air hockey, but they had like 3 different Street Fighter cabinets, X Men the arcade game, a wall of pinball, old school Frogger, Pac-Man, Stryder, and the beyond awesome Simpsons arcade beat em up. All these places were poorly lit had shitty snack bars, no clocks and had as many change machines as games. It was like a sleazy underage Vegas. I miss that so much. Again I know places like Gameworks and D&B still have games, but I don’t feel like paying a cover to get in, buying a plastic card with points, and loading $20 dollars on it to play 3 games. Worse is you’re surrounded by drunks and the air smells like piss and air freshener at war. I just want a place I can change a $10 and play some After Burner. god dammit.
Sadly it looks like the days of the true arcade may never come back.Most arcade cabinets are now in places like D&B and Gameworks, a few reside in movie theaters around the country and a few selected Neo Geo consoles in rundown pizza dives across the country with the same Metal Slug/Bust a Move combo that has become so familiar. I was never a huge gamer, but there is something magical about arcades, and it’s an arena where even the novice, casual gamer can get lost in the lights, and sounds, eat some ghosts and save a princess from a monkey named Donkey.
1. Saturday Morning Cartoons.
I’m gonna be an old guy for a minute here and do a back in my day. Here goes…Back in my day we had every reason to wake up early on a Saturday rather than getting the rest our bodies needed. Those reasons were our damned cartoons! We had everything good, TMNT, Batman, X Men, Silverhawks, Transformers, Snorks, Captain Planet, Thundercats, the Smurfs, Bugs Bunny, He Man, Camp Candy, Flintstone Kids, Animaniacs, Mask, Ghostbuster, Muppet Babies, and oh so much, much more. They were also on from like 6 am to noon, across four different networks, and more if you had channels like Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, so if you didn’t like Pro Stars, or Hammerman, you could switch to Eek the Cat, or Super Mario World. What do kids have now? Yu-Gi-Oh? Bey Blade? Some other anime we Americans have watered down into 30 minute inner monologue staring contests?
None of what I just described sounds good. I loved my cartoons so much I would gladly give up sleep if any network brought back those shows in some ultimate line up. Not even new episodes mind you, but just replay all the old ones. I got home the other day at like 6 am and Boomerang was running Shirt Tales for an hour! I was so excited that even though exhausted as I was I stayed up while Randall slept away watching a show I only kind of remember watching. I did this because I watched as a kid and liked it so I figured I should revisit it and you know what it still holds up. It’s for kids I know but there was a certain appeal then and there remains one now. I’ve gone over the past few years and downloaded classic shows I loved, like Rugrats, Batman, Muppet Babies, and others just to see if those shows all held up and they totally do. I want my kids to see these shows one day and know that at one point there was decent programming for kids like them. Teen Nick has recently brought back lots of their old programs from the 90’s, Boomerang is always playing the classic Hannah Barbara shows, and the Hub Network has the Fraggles, Jem and Batman the animated series going. So maybe it’s not too late, but I can only hope it will never be too late, and that maybe just maybe someone like me will come into power as the President of Television and make this wild dream of mine come true. USA, USA, USA…