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8 Things From the 80’s Kids Today Will NEVER Know

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Sure…technology has come a long way, but there are some real gems from my youth that my kids will never be familiar with.  It might not be your typical list of Garbage Pail kids, Bon Jovi and Jelly Shoes, but I think these eight are worth revisiting.

1.  Clowns in a Black Van

Horrors!  These sickos would cruise around in their creep-mobile trying to lure innocent kids inside.  Seriously, this is the stuff of nightmares and one of the top two reasons anyone born between ’75 and ’80 won’t take their kids to the circus (just me?)  Don’t ask me the second reason, I can’t talk about it.  Nothing says run for your life more than CLOWNS.  In a VAN.  Every kid I knew saw this van at least once.  Nobody saw this van ever.

2.  Hours of Music Videos

Remember when MTV actually played music videos, but when you think about it most of them were like taking drugs? Total Eclipse of the Heart left me with so many questions.  Is this the high school from “Carrie?”  Why are there flying choir boys with glowing eyes? Are these the bright eyes they keep referring to? Who are these guys doing high kicks in their underwear? Which one of these does Bonnie Tyler really need tonight?  I thought she was holding out for a hero?

3.  Drinkware From a Gas Station

That’s right kids! We could fill it up for five bucks AND get a set of commemorative Celtics glasses from Mobil.  I was able to tell which one was mine by carving into the “1986” with a steak knife.  What? If my little brother drank out of it, I would have to burn it.  What would you have done?

4.  After School Specials

These were fantastic.  What was better than Made-For-TV movies in the 80’s, dealing with controversial issues?  I will never forget eating Hydrox cookies and being horrified watching Helen Hunt in Desperate Lives.  She snorts some PCP and immediately launches herself through the third floor window.  Slow clap.  If I ever meet Helen Hunt, THIS is the role I would ask her about.  Not her Oscar win.  I would also ask her if it’s possible that she missed a page in the script since there was only about a half second from the time she snorted the drugs, until she karate kicked her way through the glass.  That escalated quickly.

5.  Schoolwork Without Technology

Part of me really wants my kids to know the agony of microfiche and microfilm.  Oh your iPad is on a low battery?  Well my microfilm is unraveling at about 60 miles an hour and I’ve just injured 6.  It’s been 3 hours, I still have zero information and I haven’t even attempted to use the card catalog yet.

6.  Going Door to Door

Oh. My. God.  When I was a kid, our school gave us an 84 pound suitcase full of useless junk to sell.  We had to drag it from house to house, trying to convince people they needed things like lollipop pens, stress balls shaped like light bulbs and squeegees.  Oh and our dad didn’t take it to work and display it in the break room because that’s not how they roll at the shipyard.  If we wanted to have $500 in sales so we could get a pack of fruit-shaped erasers, we had to earn it.

7.  Almost Zero Knowledge of the Middle East

I remember when all I knew about the Middle East was that everyone wanted peace there, but the news would only show them throwing rocks.  Now I know that Uzbekistan borders Turkmenistan, but I don’t know where my cell phone and keys are at least twice a day.  OK, so maybe broadening our horizons is a good thing.

8.  Red Rover

You kids want to know pain?  Try playing a game where you have to run across an icy schoolyard wearing dress shoes, in 23 degree weather…while your classmates clothesline you.  Concussions for everyone! You know what was banned back then? Crying about it.

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