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Things that were great when you were a kid… November 17, 2015

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, Questions.
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….but suck in hindsight.

This post was prompted by the comment thread on this post from Quixie.

When I was a kid in the 1970s, there were things that I liked.  Stuff that was just great.  And in hindsight, some of it was really great, but now when I revisit it, it turns out that a lot of it is awful.  Just really painfully terrible.  So bad that I wish I hadn’t revisited it, and just kept the memories of how great this stuff was back then.

A few examples from me, and then I’d love to hear some from everybody else.

Spaghetti-O’s.  The “neat round spaghetti you can eat with a spoon” turns out to be way overcooked.  I liked this stuff?

Kool-Aid.  I remember being excited by Kool-Aid, now I just see big glasses of red dye # 40, sugar, and citric acid, just waiting to permanently stain a carpet.

Saturday Morning live action children’s programming from Sid & Marty Krofft.  This was ubiquitous.  H.R. Puffinstuf, Land of the Lost,  Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monster.  Did I really look forward to Far Out Space Nuts?  (Essentially Gilligan in space.) (OK, I still have a soft spot for The Bugaloos.)

Sugar Daddys.  Sometimes I was given these on Halloween.  Who does this?  It’s sort of caramel, but too hard to bite into without breaking your teeth.  And it’s not quite hard candy either, so it’s too awkward to just suck on it.  It’s too large to pop into your mouth to soften up, plus there’s a stick in the way.  Did anybody actually like these? (Could have been worse, I guess, could have been Necco Wafers or Good & Plenty.)

Animated Star Trek.  OK, I admit that we were in Trek withdrawal, only having three seasons of the original series to watch over and over until we had them memorized.  But really, this was the best they could do?

 

animated trek

And of course, the copious reading material available for kids in every doctor’s and dentist’s office.  Looking at these now, they are the complete opposite of fun.

I’m sure you younger people have stuff from more recent eras.  Tell me!

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Comments»

1. Midori Skies - November 17, 2015

Lost in Space. That show was old when I was a kid, and I remember always wanting to watch it so much, but everyone else always wanted to watch other stuff. Which makes sense in retrospect. It’s actually pretty boring and slow. The ‘special effects’ are always worth a good laugh, though.

Reader Rabbit 2, Treasure Mountain, and all the other ‘edutainment’ games I played when I was a kid (except for Super Solvers: Challenge of the Ancient Empires! and Operation Neptune–those games are still awesome). Actually trying to play those again as an adult, they get repetitive really fast, and the music, sound effects and colorful-ness aren’t enough to make up for it any more.

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ubi dubium - November 17, 2015

My kids liked the Pajama Sam and Freddie Fish games, and I thought they were pretty awesome too. When I was small, computers were big machines in labs with vacuum tubes and magnetic tape, so I don’t have personal experience on kids’ computer games.

I have vague memories of watching Lost in Space in the 60’s, but I’m pretty sure I thought it was bad, even then.

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Midori Skies - November 17, 2015

I’ve actually got some old punch cards stashed away somewhere as a relic of a bygone era. My dad gave them to me because I thought they were interesting. And one of my older classmates in a programming course gave me an old coding sheet (a piece of paper that you write code on prior to doing anything with the machine) that she had sitting around from when she used to work with computers in the early days. It’s really cool stuff.

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ubi dubium - November 18, 2015

My spouse used Fortran on punch cards for a programming class in college. Two years later I took the same class, and it was Pascal on a mainframe. We don’t still have any of the cards, though.

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2. Jon Darby - November 17, 2015

The very first thing that came to my mind was Spaghetti-O’s — I’m glad to see that made your list.

And what about the Fun Dips candy (the chalk-tasting stick that you dipped into what was essentially Kool-Aid powder)?

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ubi dubium - November 17, 2015

I don’t think I ever ate Fun Dips as a child, although I remember seeing them. Sounds like they taste like those Valentine Conversation Hearts, that also ought to be on this list.

I did eat one of those giant Pixie Sticks once, though! Pretty sure those would be disgusting now.

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Jon Darby - November 17, 2015

I remember snorting Pixie Sticks because we thought it was funny/cool — I just shake my head now…. so dumb.

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Quixie - November 17, 2015

I still like Fun dip! It’s still around.

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Jon Darby - November 17, 2015

I thought I’d seen it — I just don’t know that I could stomach it anymore. Makes my mouth twinge just thinking about it

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Quixie - November 17, 2015

Yeah, I pretty much go into a sugar coma afterwards. Actually, just that one time I had it as an adult. Stay away! It’s better that way. No reason your mouth needs to twinge unnecessarily.

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3. betunada - November 17, 2015

i wuzzn’t XXXacklee a kid “in the 70’s” but i could feel (& identify with) almost all your “cool then, huh? now” things. ‘cept the animated StarTrek, i didn’t watch TeeVee from AFTER the original star trek ended until … oh, last week.

your list, tho’ short, was somehow complete, well-considered, touched most if not more than all the bases, i’ll hafta slow down and thinkkkkuhbouttttittt …

oh yeah: #1 you’re not gonna believe this, but ever-so-briefly in 1959 just after Castro took over Cuba, toy stores were selling the hat-attached-to-the-sunglasses-AND-BEARD costume for kids! if i went back in time to buy gold cheap and tax-sale property in what later became colorawdough ski towns, i’d also buy all those Castro-beard-hat thingies i could.
#2: there were these horrid large straws filled with chemically/chemikilly flavours which you’d put in milk, and
#3: radium-based glow-in-the-dark paint. after putting galaxies and stuff on the walls and ceilings, we would paint ourselves! itsa wonder we (my ex-friends and one who is still friendly) don’t have skin-cancer worse than we do.
i’ll stop rite there …

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4. Quixie - November 17, 2015

I know what you mean about spaghetti O’s and Kool Aid — yuck! And I loved that stuff as a kid too.

I recently decided to watch Care Bears and Jem and the Halograms (two shows I loved as a kid). It was a big mistake! I was like, “What *is* this $#!+?” Horrible, horrible. Gah, kids have no taste!

They made an animated Star Trek??.Okay, I need to find it and watch it. Is it bad enough to make fun of?

I hate to break it to you but Bible stories and Highlights are still in Dr. offices. I know ::head shake::

Thanks for the mention, ubi, and for this post. May it serve as a warning not to revisit the past! LOL

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5. ubi dubium - November 17, 2015

Oh, dear, Care Bears! So saccharine! I was old enough when they came out to realize that they would be something that the kids watching it would later cringe at. (Except for my neighbor who has an ugly Care Bear tattoo. But she also has a tongue piercing, so I guess she will eventually reach the “I regret this stuff” stage someday.) All I know about Jem is that she was reputed to be “truly outrageous” but I never did find out what it was she did that was actually outrageous.

The Animated Star Trek is completely bad enough to make fun of. Cheapo animation, repetitive music, and even the voice acting is terrible. I think Netflix has it, if you have Netflix.

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6. Steve Morris - November 19, 2015

The 1970s were completely toxic as far as I can recall.

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7. Brent - November 19, 2015

The “Indiana Jones” movies. When our kids were older, it suddenly occurred to us they had never seen them; we got all excited and rented the first one and reminisced over dinner about what a game-changer this movie had been when it came out in theaters. And then we all watched it. Our kids’ reaction was, “Meh.” I don’t blame them; the special effects were electrifying at the time, but nothing special today. And my wife and I were shaking our heads at how BAD the writing was; it really was awful. I kinda wish we’d left those memories intact.

When I was a kid (7-9 years old or so) “Lost In Space” was my absolute favorite show. That was probably my first sci-fi anything. I’ve never wanted to go back and watch it though; I knew the effects from those days would just ruin the viewing experience. I never saw the S.T. animated series, but I had all the Alan Dean Foster novelizations, as well as “Space: 1999” books. Did you know “Space: 1999” is available on Hulu? Yeah, if you’re like me, you can watch about 10-15 minutes and that’s it.

Those Humongous Entertainment games (Freddie Fish, Pajama Sam, Spy Fox, etc.) were great; our kids loved them growing up. I think those would still entertain young children the same way, if they would still run under modern Windows. Or if H.E. is still around and has turned them into tablet apps.

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ubi dubium - November 19, 2015

I think the Indiana Jones movies only work on the big screen. And, come to think of it, I really only liked the first one anyway. And that was probably because of when I saw it and who I saw it with. Although there’s a couple of moments in that one that I still really like.

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8. Problems With Infinity - November 21, 2015

hehe ok I was a kid in the 80’s but still relate to a lot of what’s on your list! Spaghetti-O’s were like a national treasure to me! Kool-Aid- yes, and once I hit middle school it suddenly became uncool to drink Kool-Aid, but very cool to wear it in your hair. Also I loved highlights as a kid!! My big thing was Saturday morning cartoons- and I pretty much still love all the ones I grew up with- Smurfs, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Ducktales, Rescue Rangers…

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