Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things I Miss From Childhood

These are the things that made my childhood so cool:

Heck with Rubber Ducky, Mr Bubble made bath time lots of fun for me. My mom would always measure a tiny capful, then when she left the bathroom we would add another few cups of Mr Bubble to the water. If you read up on Mr. Bubble, it was actually intended to encourage kids to take baths. Worked for me - I took a bath every Saturday night until I was 16 (This statement is for humorous purposes only. It is not intended to represent or classify actual time spent bathing).

Oh yeah, these were very cool. I ran around in them all day, jumping from the 4th stair so my cape could flap in the wind a bit and I could feel the thrill of flying for 0.2 seconds. After a full day of super activities in my pj's, I would wear them to bed. I'm sure they had an awful stench.

I'm not sure why these were so popular. I guess they were good for kids like me who didn't learn to ride a 2-wheel bike until later than most children. But the design of Big Wheels seemed a little sub-par. No matter how fast you pedaled, the flat tractionless plastic wheels just kept spinning. If you were riding along with your friends, there was no hope for talking to eachother because the plastic on pavement made so much noise, you had stop just to make sense of any conversation. Plus, the brakes on those...uummmm, I don't think they would have really served you well in a true emergency based on the fact you would still skid a good 5 feet after fully applying the brake pedal. Perhaps that most dangerous part of these cheap plastic contraptions was going down a hill where you could no longer move your legs fast enough to keep up with the pedals and you ended up whacking the hell out of your chins and feet. Way to go on introducing pain to children at an early age Mr. Big Wheel.

Very retro. Padded vest and dorky trucker hats with sensors provided hours of fun. They also used gobs of batteries and after a few stuntman dives across the floor, the guns didn't work so well.

There were two types of Zots. One, (Zotz) were an individually wrapped hard candy available at the local 7-11 that had a fizzy-center filling. The second type of zot was the typical boy invention - pieces of ordinary paper, folded up many times, then folded in half. Often times, we would put tape around them as well. Then, you wrap them around a rubber band and shoot them at each other like a sling shot. We had hours of zot wars in our basement growing up. My moms only requirement was that we wore goggles to protect our eyes. We also used our Lazer Tag vest to protect our core since the lazer tag set pretty much broke after the first few months we had it. We were huge dorks, but it was lots of fun. It was sort of a younger version of "Paint Ball" - we had many welts and red marks from some brutal zot shots.
Thanks for reflecting with me, and thanks to Stef N for the inspiration to write on Mr Bubble.


Justin said...

Your Big Wheel had brakes? I had to aim for the grass and hope for the best! Of course, since it was a totally cool Spider-Man Big Wheel, it was worth it.

Suzanne said...

I had a horrible big wheel accident when I was 6. I couldn't stop going down a hill, and my big toe got caught in the pedal! I had to go to the emergency room.

Carl said...

Some cool reminscing here about childhood days gone by - fun memories! I recall one of my favorite toys was this little metal gun that had a trigger I could pull back - I would insert those little caps (remember those little red strips of paper with little circles of gun powder on them?) - and pretend I was shooting a real gun. I'm sure these days I'd get put in a special school for pretending to shoot my friends with the gun and caps.

Once I also recall deciding it would be a good idea to experiment without the caps and rub one of the circles of gun powder off with my thumbnail - bad idea. I "blew up" my finger. Not really that bad thinking of it now, but it stung like crazy and I had a nice blisterish mark on my thumb from my bravery/foolishness...

By the way, Toby, FYI - I now have a link to your blog from mine. I took the time after three years of blogging to figure out how to add links - I know, I'm impressive. So get ready for a TON of new trafic - I get at least 6 visitors to my site a month so you may want to up your bandwidth to prevent crashes to your server. ; )

Kelsey Donahue said...

I would like to say...I still use Mr. Bubble.

Stefanie said...

A big wheel with brakes? That's luxury.
And now I know what the sound of your snow tires reminds me of- big wheels on asphalt!

And stop lying about how often you bathe. I have it on good authority you're bathing tonight. And I'm willing to bet Mr. Bubble is right by your side.