Haven’t done a Munchkin Tuesday in ages, but a Twitter conversation with a girl who remembers the childhood joys (and traumas) of the late ’70s and early ’80s got me thinking about the Waterful toy I had as a kid. Mine was a small one that involved a plastic swordfish who had to catch rings on his nose. I have no idea why I don’t have carpal tunnel after all the time I spent playing with that thing.
Remember when toy stores used to put out Waterfuls for kids to play with in hopes they’d get hooked and bug their parents to buy one?
OK, so I wasn’t technically a munchkin when this technology came out in the mid-’90s, but my younger siblings were, and I’d forgotten all about it until my sister said something on Facebook that made me think of the Packard-Bell my mom bought somewhere around my sophomore year of college.
Skip to 9:30 to see the part I remembered and was trying to describe to my sister, who had also forgotten about it until just now.
It doesn’t make me feel quite as warm and fuzzy as the reassuring “PRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT! Chk-chk-chk-chk-chk” of an Apple IIe powering up, but it’s pretty good.
I’m convinced the number of bigoted a-holes in the world would be dramatically lower if everybody had seen this video as a child.
I’ve wanted sheet music for “My Name Is You” since the first time I heard it — sometime around 1983, if I remember correctly — but I’ve never been able to find it. In keeping with my new habit of simply stealing songs out of thin air if I can’t buy them, I sat down the other night and figured out the chords.
If you want ‘em, they’re up on Ultimate Guitar now. Click here.
Best thing about YouTube: vintage Sesame Street clips. This one has always been one of my favorites.
I wanted one of these when I was little. I never got a real Monchhichi, but when I was about 7, I used my allowance to buy a knockoff that was designed to cling to things. I loved that ridiculous toy right up until one of its hands came loose from the curved metal strap that kept its arms perpetually curved in a “hugging” position, allowing the metal to poke through the fabric. I tried to fix it, but it wouldn’t stay together, and Mom finally made me throw it away because she was afraid one of us kids would get cut on the metal, which had pretty sharp edges.
If I remember right, the hand came loose when I tried to make it stick its thumb in its mouth like a real Monchhichi. Stupid poorly constructed Monchhichi impostor. >:(
Too bad I didn’t own any Star Wars action figures. If I had, Fake Monchhichi could have gone down in a blaze of glory by losing its hand in an epic lightsaber battle before falling into the chasm of my bedroom wastebasket and being carted away to the curb to meet its ultimate doom in a trash compactor. Sadly, instead of meeting a dramatic and noble end, the poor thing had to endure the ignominy of sustaining a compound fracture while attempting to suck its thumb, which sounds more Kevin Smith than George Lucas….
So today I’m running an errand for work, minding my own business, when I walk into a store and hear a spectacularly wretched cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now” come over the speakers.
I don’t know who was responsible for this monstrosity, but as a child of the ’80s, I cringed.
I know it was originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells, but if you ain’t Tiffany, I don’t wanna hear you sing “I Think We’re Alone Now,” because I spent most of seventh grade belting that into a hairbrush and trying to decide whether to be awestruck, inspired, or just wildly jealous that she had a record contract when she wasn’t even out of high school. (I think I mostly opted for awestruck. I harbored no delusions about how my own pipes compared to hers, and even at age 12, I recognized how frickin’ brilliant that mall tour really was. Talk about marketing to your target audience — a teen pop act playing shopping malls in 1987? Holy crap. That’s genius.)
There wasn’t much I liked about junior high, but dammit, Tiffany makes the short list. If you’re anywhere close to my age, I bet you can’t even listen to her voice without remembering the scent of Salon Selectives hairspray, the taste of raspberry New York Seltzer, and the sound of an Apple IIe powering up. (You just heard it, didn’t you?)
Here she is a couple of years ago. Stay with her through “Could’ve Been.”
Girlfriend’s still got it … and how great is it to hear her sing it like she knows what she’s talking about this time? ‘Course, y’all know I’m a sucker for that sort of thing anyway.
Love this. How much TV did you watch in the ’80s? Write down your answers, then click on the YouTube icon and look at the description to see how many you got right.