Much of my early college days were a blur. I was 17, and 300 miles away from home in the big city of Toronto, surrounded by other equally young and stupid people. And my college did it’s part to encourage the corruption of its youth. Not only did it host regular pub event on campus, but it often shipped busloads full of novice alcoholics to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York. The bars were bigger. The drinking age would remain a mere 19 until December of that year. And the pubs had sober-sounding monikers like The Library. Yes, we could honestly tell our concerned parents that we were spending our Friday nights at the library. How convenient. Club Exit in Niagara Falls was a little harder to explain. I don’t remember much about either of these places, but I know they served booze.
Um. They had menus? And tables? I thought the whole place was just a big, black void. At least, that’s how I remember it.
And, yes. The legal drinking age WAS 19. And I WAS 17. But we won’t discuss how I got around that one. Because, of course, it was all perfectly legal.
This is all that remains of Club Exit. A logo. And a drinking glass that I have never parted with.
In between my vodka & Tang induced blackouts, I do recall one rather bizarre detail. People dancing on the floor. Literally ON THE FLOOR. Lying on it. Writhing to the music.
Has anyone checked to see if they are okay? Maybe they are having synchronized seizures.
The song was either “How Soon is Now” by the Smiths or “Every Day is Halloween” by Ministry. I loved both, so I grabbed the nearest cute guy (vodka and Tang makes a person brave) and dragged him up on the dance floor. I’m showcasing my best 80s moves and I notice that my tall-haired partner is missing. I scan the dance floor. WTF? Did he vanish in to thin air? Hell no, that would have been the preferred option. Rather, he is prone on the floor–apparently having the time of his life. I don’t even think he noticed when I walked off. I should have stepped on him.
Ah. I loved the 80s.
Rather than embark on the uncovering of three new weird and goofy facts, I thought that today I’d simply re-visit some of the weirdest stuff from the ’80s, the best decade yet.
Slouch socks. How did we fight the urge to keep pulling these damn droopy things up?
Parachute pants were basically tents with legs and flattered NO ONE…including the chick donning them here.
Shoulder pads: the women of TV’s “Dallas” sported linebacker shoulder-padding that made their heads look like push pins.
The Adidas bag. No high school nerd was complete without it.
Absolutely everything came in dusty rose–clothes, walls, furniture. Ugh. Didn’t the K-Car even come in a shade of this 1980s colour?
The Chevette. Yes, it was butt ugly, but everyone had one or knew someone who had one.
Atari-This exciting piece of technology caused ooo’s and aaah’s everywhere it went. Now it just makes us laugh.
Stirrup stretch pants were all the rage. I was short so the foot part always hung loosely and bunched up in my shoes.
Who could forget The Man With Two Brains? Believe me, I’ve tried. Oh pointy bird, oh pointy pointy. Anoint my head. Anointy-nointy.
Knots Landing‘s Lisa Hartman had great (big) hair. I wore mine exactly like it in grade 12 and thought it was the coolest thing ever.
High school me and my rubber glove chicken. Yup, I was a dork.
Photo Credits: The Library (urbanspoon.com), Club Exit (trademarkia.com), slouch socks (elliesox.com), parachute pants (digital changeling.com), Adidas & Dusty rose (etsy.com), chevette (charest.net), atari (thenestway.com), stirrups (sodahead.com), Man with 2 Brains (www.guardian.co.uk), Knots Landing (bonkbusterdiaries.com).
Some humans have way too much time on their hands. Like bloggers, for example. But at least we try to put this excess time to good use, entertaining and educating the masses. Or at least that’s what we say to justify what we do. Or at least that’s what I say to justify what I do. I’m still not sure if anyone believes me though.
I could be doing much worse things with the extra hours in my day–I could sing a song about decapitated fish heads and dress them up in assorted outfits. Right now, you are probably thinking that this is just some random, weird thought that I just pulled out of my head. I wish. In actuality, the comedy duo, Barnes & Barnes, did just this. In 1980, this video was everywhere…and my adolescent self thought this was very entertaining. Now, I just find it disturbing. Seriously, someone had to collect a pile of smelly fish heads and, then, find fish-cranium-appropriate Little League outfits, knitted sweaters, and someone who would actually consent to dead fish parts be placed on their drums. And how did they ever convince Chip & Dale to do the vocals?
If you would like to see this video in it’s entirety, go here. Warning: the actual song doesn’t start until past the two minute mark.
And, it would appear, that some of my fellow Canadians had a little too much time on their hands–and, perhaps, a wee bit too much to drink. I admit that I love to canoe. And I have had to portage from time-to-time. And that I have often wondered what would happen if, while I am balancing my canoe over my head, I am struck by lightning. Apparently, someone else entertained this thought too–and turned this thought into a character on the comedy show Four on the Floor. The character, of course, was called “Mr. Canoehead.” And, surprise, surprise, it was aired in 1986. The 80s were strange.
To watch Mr. Canoehead’s inaugural episode, click on this:
1) Fish Heads, Canoe Heads–I see a pattern developing here, so I might as well run with it.
As this blog has shown, the Japanese are a very innovative people. The have a solution for every problem. I, for instance, am a pretty dumb commuter. Like the woman pictured here, I love to sleep on the bus, but I have failed to adopt bus-ride-head-protection-safety-gear. I actually didn’t even know that such a thing existed. I usually rest my head on the window, which results in my head pounding against the glass at every bump or turn. (Can repeated small blows to the head inflict brain damage? Hmm. That could explain a few things.)
She, however, is a genius. Why didn’t I think of suction-cupping my head to the pane of glass? And, just in case she doesn’t wake up at her stop, she has posted a sign on her forehead telling other passengers where she is supposed to get off. Not only is she clever at preventing head injuries, but she has also found a way to shirk her passenger-ly responsibilities.
I, however, cannot read in a moving vehicle without vomiting, so I wouldn’t be able to look at her sign at all, let alone know when to wake her up. And wouldn’t her helmet give her her hat-head?
2) I thought my allergies were a bitch, but then I came across an ailment called “Exploding Head Syndrome.” Seriously, I will never joke around about my head exploding again–no matter how much snot I have in my sinuses and no matter how much pounding my migraines cause.
Now, don’t get me wrong. People who suffer from this affliction do not actually experience the rupturing of their craniums (what is the plural of cranium, anyway?) Rather, they hear extremely loud noises much like a gunshot, a roar, or a scream. The noises come from “inside” the head. And they usually occur when the person first falls asleep or within the first two ours of sleep.
Is it just me or does this condition sound freaky? Voices in the head are bad enough–particular if that voice sounds like Fran Drescher. But even she’s slightly more soothing that the sound of bombs or guns going off. I repeat–slightly. This would be enough to make me never want to sleep again. Ever. And I love sleep.
3) I couldn’t do a blog dedicated to heads without including an ode to the best one of all–The Mayor in Tim Burtons The Nightmare Before Christmas. I have always loved both of this politician’s faces–his happy one and his stressed out one.
I just discovered that his voice was provided by the late Glenn Shadix (pictured here), an actor that has a very familiar face for good reason. I remember him as Otho on Beetlejuice, Harold (Jerry’s landlord) on Seinfeld, and, of course, as the mayor of Halloween Town. His list of credits is quite lengthy.
Shadix passed away at the young age of 58 due to a fall that caused blunt trauma to his head.
For a glimpse of his character in The Nightmare Before Christmas, click on this:
This post wouldn’t be complete without at least one Bobblehead. And who’s a bigger Bobblehead than Dwight Shrute? (Rhetorical question. Please do not answer.) If you’d like to buy this bobblehhead of Dwight Shrute, you can visit Dwight Shrute Bobblehead at NBC. I’d love to know if anyone actually has this Bobblehead or any other strange ones.