Back to the Past

I was born 34 years ago. I share a birthday with a natural disaster. A mere two years, down to the minute, before my birth, Mount Saint Helen erupted. You would think that on the 2 year anniversary of this tragic event, my birth might have stirred quick a ruckus. You would be quite wrong, but thank you for thinking so highly of me.

That little tid bit of useless trivia has nothing to do with the journey I will take you on, if you will grasp my hand Random Citizen. It merely sets the time in our history that I wish to share with you. In case you are not as morbid as I and do not keep up with natural calamities, our journey begins in the early 80s. I have to warn you, I was always way behind in the technological race so not everything you will see here may be from that era but past me had a hell of a good time with these gems anyway.  Are you ready? Let’s dive right in!

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This ladies and gentlemen is a Polaroid Camera. For those of you who are not familiar with this technological marvel, let me explain it. Basically, you loaded the camera with these nifty cartridges with film all ready to go. You pressed the red button and POOF! Out popped your picture. Legend has it that you had to flip it back in forth in your hand like a paper fan in order for the picture to develop faster. If you are into myths, those said that you could place the picture on a table and it would develop all by itself, like magic.

My mother was a bit of a camera freak. I say that in a loving manner, I assure you. Ok, maybe in a loving manner but she really got crazy with that damn thing. You never know when you would be blinded by the light. You could be coming out of the bathroom. You could be blowing out your birthday candles. You could be deep asleep. It could be Christmas morning. Who knows when she would strike? I swear she was a ninja and the good ole Polaroid Camera was her weapon of choice.

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Ah He-Man, the Master of the Universe. I did not have the honor of owning this dude but I do remember watching old reruns on VHS tape. I want to say they were my uncles, but I have to admit, my early years are a bit fuzzy now. My brothers did have a kick ass set of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles complete with Master Splinter.  The Turtles saved my dolls from wayward mayhem, runaway dump trucks and other hazardous conditions that we threw at them because what else are dolls for? They do not come with cool ninja swords or little strips of plastic that resemble zip ties that you slide through their backs to make them talk. No, they come with shoes that don’t fit their funky feet. Brushes that don’t go through their synthetic hair that looks like crap as soon as you take it out of the box. Sounds like a ton of fun. Count me out, my feathered friends.

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Speaking of cartoons, Saturday mornings was pretty much the only time they EVER came on television unless you were lucky and had some fancy cable package. Growing up, we did not. There was nothing but the trusty rabbit ears to tune our television that was the size of a car but not in the cool way of modern brothers. It was more wood and hardware than actual screen and you were the remote. I remember ours had three dials on it. One to turn it on and adjust the volume. One to adjust the color. You had to be careful with that one or everything would be green, red or in black and white. Finally one changed the channel. It only moved in one direction so if you over shot the channel, around the dial you went again. This was especially annoying if the channel decided to come in just as you changed the channel only to swing back to it, one painful CLICK at a time, only for it to refuse to come back in.

Some of my favorite shows growing up were The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (duh), X-Men, He-Man, Scoobie Doo, and of course Inspector Gadget. The good inspector was insanely cool. With one hearty “Go go gadget” whatever, he could wrangle up the bad guys in an array of unusual gizmos. His shoes has roller skates. His arms could extend out of his body. Come to think of it, his neck and legs could as well. There was even a wooden mallet that would pop out of his hat. The only hiccup in his git-up was that his contraptions did not always work as planned. What usually ensued was a wacky sort of mayhem that was not only lovable but hilarious. At the end of the day, though, Inspector Gadget triumphed over evil and saved the day. Kind of nice to know that no matter how goofy you may be, you can still make a difference.

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GREAT SCOTT!! Saturday morning has become Saturday night. You know what that means kiddies? That’s right, it is time for the Saturday night family movie. Tune those rabbit ears just right and grab the popcorn because we are going Back to the Future.

I adored Michael J Fox as a child. It was not a crush, but I thought he was awesomeness incarnate and could do no wrong in my eyes. I do admit, the whole insulated vest puzzled me a bit. Growing up in the deep South, we never had to bother with such items of clothing so its attraction was beyond me.

Anywho, nothing was more of a ball than taking a ride in the DeLorean alongside Marty McFly. Put the medal to the metal and lets crank this baby up to 88 mph so we can get that 1.21 gigawatts needed to go on an adventure! Where do I sign up? I’ll fight past Biff, alternate present Biff, hell even future Biff for a chance to travel with you McFly. You will always have a warm place in my heart my time traveling friend.

Well, there you have it. Like that useless tidbit about my birthday, this probably will not help you further your career or solve your foot fungus problem. It was, however, fun to think back to a time where I had no bills, no worries, and best of all no responsibilities. Until next time…….

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