Posts Tagged ‘chains’

Chains, Bubblegum, and a Yo-yo.

So I was walking through the Wal-mart ™ the other day and I get another spontaneous urge (as if I didn’t get enough of those). Now, I’m typically a pretty random guy, but this time I noticed a pattern in my odd shopping list. I realized I’m a complete 80’s child! Yeah, really. Now, I was born in the 90’s, and I love the 60’s, 70’s; even the 40’s and 50’s! But I never really gave a second thought to the era of the Eighties. I mean, the music of the Woodstock era, the birth of Rock and Roll, and the smooth, jazzy age of the Chicago mob always caught my attention, but the 80’s never really sparkled to me. I realized that this was because I have no idea what happened in the 80’s. I don’t know about them because I wasn’t there, and I never learned about them because I really didn’t care. But ladies and gentlemen, today I bring you my favorite bits of the 80’s.

Item #1- Bubblegum is delish. End of story. It’s amazing to chew, great for passing time, good for exercising the jaw (as if some of us needed any help) and as the name suggests, is fun to blow bubbles with! But even though the origins of this sticky morsel began long before the 80’s, it’s popularity grew significantly during that time. Names like Hubba Bubba, Bazooka, Bubble Yum, and (my favorite) Bubblicious still survive, but the older brands such as Care*Free, Freshen Up, and Binaca Blast outlive all in the childhood memories of those that lived through it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to get sentimental about gum, but those folks that actually made it through their childhood think it’s some pretty darn good stuff.

Item #2- Yo-yo! Probably one of the most enjoyable toys ever played with by the likes of man, and perhaps one of the longest lasting. The origins of a yo-yo are highly debated and was said to have begun as a Filipino weapon in the 16th century where they tied a cord to a rock and threw it at their prey. The cord allowed for easy retrieval upon missed attempts. This is considered to be an urban legend (but it sure makes for a good story!) However, the true origins of the yo-yo are said to have been around 500 B.C. where it was made from terra-cotta as a child’s toy in Greece. When the child came of age, the toy was “offered” to the gods as a symbol of the child growing into man/womanhood. Regardless of it’s beginning, the place it ended up is probably the most outstanding. Nowadays yo-yo’s are made with metal and take-apart bodies, automatic clutch transaxles, ball-bearing axles, and crazy body designs that are the envy of any professional yo-yo fanatic. Rising to it’s popularity peak in the 50’s and it’s re-birth in the 80’s, the yo-yo is a pretty entertaining piece of plastic, and deserves some mad props.

Item #3- The rise of the Punk era. From the music to the fashion, it was a time of anti-establishment and anarchist ideals where the superior whim was creativity and a DIY attitude. It started off in major cities like New York and London and was borne on the backs of groups like The Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash. The thing about it’s music was that it wasn’t so much about skill as it was about the desire to express yourself through the music. The voices were characterized by a more nasally tone with lack of pitch or volume shifting and the lyrics were typically shouted and screamed as opposed to the conventional singing. The music wasn’t usually prone to complex guitar solos or difficult riffs, which were considered to be more of just “fluff” and not really necessary. It wasn’t necessarily the best music out there, (my parents [mom] called them “wimpy, rich-boy, wannabe posers who just wished they were the big names”) but the raw passion and emotion makes it that much more enjoyable to listen to and even be a part of.

Now I know what you’re thinking: The things you picked aren’t really relevant (or weren’t really a big deal in) the eighties, but to me these are the little things that cause me to think about them good ol’ days when rock wasn’t necessarily king, but it still rolled just as hard. The days when bubblegum wasn’t just a hobby, it was a lifestyle. When yo-yo’s weren’t toys, but obsessions wrapped up in string and plastic. The Cold War raged and politics weren’t choice, but these years were essential in the addition to our interesting and fantastic past.

Comments? Did you survive the 80’s or barely make it through? What are some of your favorite childhood/80’s memories? I want to hear your story, so tell it here.