MCF's Old School 100: Part IV

I'm still reliving my “old school” days, and with my crazy brain and the occasional friendly reminder(Thanks B13!), MCF's Old School 100 should be complete in another week. Here's another twenty for the list:

61) Highlights for Kids, a stapled staple of any dentist or pediatrician's waiting room. (I was always more Goofus than Gallant.)

62) Dynamite!, the ultimate repository for all pop culture from my childhood.

63) The first generation monochrome Gameboy, and its most addictive game, Tetris.

64) The Disney Afternoon....DuckTales started it all for me and Darkwing Duck was also cool, but Gargoyles rivaled many of my favorite ‘80s cartoons....I wish they could have put that whole series out on DVD.

65) The ‘90s animation renaissance:Batman: The Animated Series. The aforementioned Gargoyles. The Tick. Spider-Man. X-Men. Superman. Big Guy and Rusty. Batman Beyond. It was a good time to be a comic book geek.

66) Mac Tonight, one of the creepiest fast food mascots ever. In Hell, I expect he and the Burger King will fight over my soul....

67) Remember when potato chips first came in stick form? Best elementary school snack EVER.

68) Thriller.

69) Choose Your Own Adventure books. I used to keep my fingers in the pages so I could backtrack to other choice points when I hit dead ends. My favorite was one called “Hyperspace” which included two pages of text that could only be reached by flipping randomly in the book--no other pages would ever direct you there.

70) McGurk mystery books, which first made me want to be a detective, and The Three Investigators, who would reinforce that desire up until middle school, when I got beat up for carrying a magnifying glass around and one of the school security guards told me, “What did you expect?”.

71) Being called in from playing in the neighborhood for dinner. My mom and my friends' mothers would simply open a door or window and shout out our name, and we'd either come running or shout back a futile, “FIVE MORE MINUTES?” In those days, kids didn't have cell phones, so we had to play in earshot. We didn't know it then, but those were good days.

72) The old drive-in movie theater. I regret never actually going to a movie there, but I fondly remember being in the car with my folks as a kid when we'd go shopping and drive past those big screens at night. There's an indoor stadium theater on that site now which is pretty nice, but I imagine it's not the same.

73) The Big Wheel. I used to ride that thing around my basement for hours as it clacked away, imagining I was The Fonz and I was rescuing Pinky Tuscadero or whatever girl I had a crush on in second grade.

74) Wearing baseball caps backwards.

75) Portable basketball hoops with plastic bases that you filled with water to weigh them down.

76) Keepaway. (Why did my mom send me to school in a Winter cap for a pom-pom on the end of it? Those things were like beacons, begging for the hat to be snatched from my head and tossed back and forth between two of the cool kids....)

77) Cartoon machines in malls, outside supermarkets, or in arcades. For a quarter you could watch a few minutes of some old show like Heckle and Jeckle.

78) 75¢ comic books.

79) Keeping money in my sock because my shorts didn't have pockets.

80) Rotary phones. (Up until 5 years ago, my parents still had one in their kitchen...)

The final 20 to come next week!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm betting that some of the same issues of Highlights I read in doctors' offices were still around when you came through, MCF.

Speaking of issues, I was around for the very first issue of Dynamite! I think I was in seventh or eighth grade. It was a huge improvement over its rather dry predecessor, Weekly Reader.

I was a huge Three Investigators fan. As a kid, I was very much a Jupiter Jones, although my own short-lived brush with TV fame came much later in life than did Jupe's. I imagine you as more of a Bob Andrews.

And here's old school for you: When I started reading comic books, they cost twelve cents. (!)

3/16/2010 10:58 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

Darkwing Duck!!!! I thought it was brilliant.

3/17/2010 7:03 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

They're bringing Darkwing back as a comic book:

Batman Beyond too:

And I actually remember seeing a few 65¢ comics on the shelf, but they were 75¢ when I started collecting and went up to a nice even dollar after that. It made it easier to figure out how much of my lunch money to set aside for my habit. By the time I stopped collecting after college, they were up to $1.75. I *think* I've read that a regular monthly 22 page issue is now $3.99 and up, which is insane to me.

3/17/2010 10:18 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

Oh, and I have one 12¢ comic in my collection that my uncle found in his attic. It's a beat-up Amazing Spider-Man in which he fights Medusa of the Inhumans. It's probably the oldest book in my collection; too bad it's torn and yellowed, but I still like it.

3/17/2010 10:19 PM  

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