Nostalgia is a powerful thing that seems kind of difficult to define (without the assistance of Merriam-Webster) for some people…
I was thinking back the other day to my childhood and specifically playing with my brother growing up.
He’s one and a half years my junior and we were always very close. Although adulthood (boo) has driven us a little farther from each other, I still feel very close to him. He was my first best friend and the first person that made my life a living hell at times. Ah, sibling love.
Anyway, I was remembering the games we used to play when we were growing up. We obviously used to play with his Hot Wheels/Matchbox. He had little suitcases filled with them. I’ll preface the remainder of this post by saying this: we were weird kids but I’m pretty sure nothing is unbelievable if you think back to your own childhood. So, some of the cars had names. Not like…Gravedigger or something badass like that. One of the cars was an old roadster and it was a brick red and black metal flake/glitter color. We used to call it Goldie (the reason eludes me now since there was no gold on this toy…underdeveloped prefrontal cortex and such). When we played, we would take all of the cars out of their cases and pile them into the center of the floor and pick, one at a time, until they were all gone. Then we’d line them up through all of the little places my brother had acquired: a car wash, a fueling station that had a surface where it would fling the cars out from the fuel pump, a McDonald’s, etc. His car, my car, his car, my car… He also had one of those cool road map rugs in his room so we would use the roads and position the establishments around the roads.
Goldie was always one of the first ones to get picked, obviously. There were several others that were at the top of our lists…he had a Smokey and the Bandit car (a black Trans-Am with an eagle on the hood…if you didn’t know this car before my explanation just now, just lose my number), some yellow sports car (a Camaro? Really, my computer’s internal spell-checker doesn’t recognize the word Camaro? Communism!), a pretty phenom silver Mercury Grand Marquis (same car our parents used to drive) with a lightning bolt on the hood…I can see you’re jealous, dear reader.
Apparently, this car, Goldie, had a rough life because the paint had started to chip from the roof of it, leaving the matte, grey skeleton. Instead of leaving it, shamed and scarred, one of us had the idea to fix it. I had Smacker’s nail polish that was BASICALLY the same color as Goldie…how lucky were we?! We’ll just fix that sucker RIGHT up. I wish I had a picture to show…you couldn’t even tell.
Yeah, no…you could definitely point out our piss-poor doctor job. When the green sheriff car would go through the McDonald’s drive-thru, that damned deputy would always order the most ridiculous shit, holding up the line and inevitably pissing everyone off. The Bandit just wants to get his apple pie and get the hell out of there, man! After placing his ridiculous order, dotted with foods that were never, aren’t and hopefully never are on a McDonald’s menu, the deputy would then proceed to ask, “and how about that trip around the world?” This, I assume, was the first idea my brother could conjure that would give the impression that the deputy was obviously not finished holding up the line. The disrespect of some people, honestly.
I understand the above describes VERY LITERALLY the most boring way to play cars ever. I think it was the result of my not wanting to play cars the way my brother did so he took what he could get.
He also used to play Barbies with me (if you were part of a brother-sister combo, you know all brothers played Barbies) and I had quite the Barbie collection. I had three Jeeps (two of which were remote controlled), a three-wheeler (when they were still badass, legal and astoundingly dangerous), a camper, the dream house, a Corvette, the gymnastics barbies (along with their respective pieces of equipment), a jacuzzi, a full above-ground pool, the grocery store…I mean, I had it all. When we played, all of the Barbies were part of a big family and they all lived in one house. My brother always used to make Ken into an idiot drunkard and shitty father so G.I. Joe would come into the picture, kick his ass and usurp his family. It usually worked out pretty well after that except Barbie wasn’t the biggest fan of how Joe’s right hand was always stuck in a “trigger” position…bitch got over it, though. I feel like our Barbie household mimicked Married With Children, The Simpsons and Full House…kind of f*cked up but SUPER hilarious.
I think my favorite toys that I really remember
are were my Lite Brite and my Easy-Bake Oven. I’m not linking to anything external with these. If you don’t know what they are and are still hanging around here after the Smokey and the Bandit reference, go the hell away from me.
I had all kinds of other templates for my Lite Brite but I specifically remember the Mr. Potato Head ones…great times, that light bulb contained in a tin box and I had.
My Easy-Bake was maybe my favorite because it was my “in” with my dad. Daddy liked cake and cookies and guess who has two thumbs and could supply the demand? This gal. I can’t believe he’s not a full-blown diabetic looking back…
Jesus, I was a boring kid. Along with my lame version of cars and my Lite Brite, I liked playing office. Yep, we’d find a keyboard (Casio or otherwise…not lying) or a calculator, some paper, pens…etc. and we had intercoms (which was the only badass part of it) and would “work.” The lameness of this isn’t a surprise, I guess. It was WAY more fun than a real office environment, though.
To counteract my lameness, my brother and I would occasionally beat the shit out of each other. It kept our childhood exciting and bruised because what’s growing up without physical violence? How else were we supposed to learn how to defend ourselves once we got into the WWF ring?! We were in training.
And, on the rare occasion, we’d play G.I. Joes but I’d be more interested in twisting their little rubber-band-middles around and around to see how fast I could get their legs to untwist. Back then, it was “curiosity” as opposed to “sadism.” You know…apples to oranges or whatever.