Thursday, September 4, 2014

Top 10 Things I Found While Cleaning

You all know how it goes, you live in a place long enough and you know you have to keep on top of it. Don't want things getting messy, yes? But sometimes things get away from you. Life rears it's head, depression comes calling, maybe you just have no time to rest, it's happened to us all. And when it happens, our living space becomes a bit less than tidy. You might even find a hidden city buried under the mess.

Damn leprechauns! Get out of my basement!
As I have been going through the task of scouring my own mess away, I have found some interesting items from my past along the way. Since I need to occasionally write something here to keep you lot entertained, I figured why not talk about some of those things? And that's what you're going to get here, a list 10 items that I found particularly interesting. I may cheat a bit here and there, but who cares, right? On with the show!


#10, My Pre-Order Slip for Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

Ah, to be a young geek lusting after the promise of a game again.
Man, this really brings back memories. Before I ever moved to Florida, I lived in a place called Hoxie and when I wanted to say, buy a game? Yeah, I had two choices. Either I get a money order and order it through the mail from places like Funcoland and Gamecave...or I go to the mall. And the mall I had to go to wasn't really local, so it was more of a weekend thing. But I did just that, as I fervently desired this game. And when I pre-ordered it I found myself in for a unique treat, as doing so allowed me to have this sweet punching puppet of Ghaleon, the totally not traitorous party member from the first game who totally didn't turn out to be the main villain. Wait...Ghaleon, no, I'm sorry!

Ghaleon in no way condones violence, as he is a heroic force for good.
Abusive puppets aside, I moved to Florida soon after and found out on the way down that there were no stores in the area we were going that would honour my pre-order slip. Double damn. I didn't despair though, as I found a Wal-Mart that did in fact have the game, and since I had the money already I went ahead and bought it. I played it while living in a van, avoiding having to deal with my grampa. I only got a few beatings from Ghaleon....GAH! *insert excruciating pain here*

#9, Movie Keychains

Also, my giant hand.
Remember these things? Yeah, they were all over the place in the 90s. If a movie was coming out, there were likely keychains like these of it somewhere. I think I remember there even being one for the Clint Howard classic, Ice Cream Man. I never had that one, sadly. I did have a lot of other ones though. My mom and I were friends with a lady named Pat who worked at the local video store and she gave me the hook-up. I had such great movies like Critters 3, Wayne's World, Dust Devil and Dr. Giggles dangling from my backpack. I had at least 20 on these things, if not more. They also came from a few other places though, like the Who Framed Roger Rabbit one pictured here was included with a shirt my sister owned. She gave this to me, but I seem to recall some begging on my part. I was never above begging for things I wanted as a child.

I'm still begging for Ice Cream Man 2: The Second Scoop
Sure, they're cheaply made and they're nothing more than an advertising gimmick but I didn't care then and I still don't really. These things bring back memories of that video store and the nice lady who always encouraged my movie habit with free stuff.

#8, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Travel Toothbrush

To keep your teeth from being as green as the plastic this thing is made of!
This thing is not from my childhood, but fuck knows it's old enough to be. I found this lovely item at a thrift store. It's unopened too, which is nice. I mean, I still would've bought it but I would've probably bleached it severely. Now, while I didn't own this as a child, I did grow up during the big Turtle boom of the 80s/90s and, had my parents allowed it, I surely would've owned this then if for no other reason than because of Raphael's face being emblazoned on the front of the package and the glouriously neon green plastic of the item itself. How can one resist the allure of it? It just screams "buy me" and then ecourages you to go eat as much pizza as you can.

I can eat a lot of pizza. Especially when it's pitched to me by mutant turtles who practice ninjitsu.
I have a weakness for these types of things, I will admit. But really, don't we all? We were all children once and we all find ourselves desiring some part of that back. Even if it is just a crappy travel toothbrush. And there's nothing wrong with that. Especially when it only costs a dime.

#7, Anime Club Membership Card

Sweet Cheeses, we're going there?
Yes, that's right. I was a card carrying member on an anime club at my school. Not just that though...I was the president. Where some would cringe at the very idea, I shrug and give you my best Teller impression. Why? Because I don't see the big deal, honestly. Sure, I get that a lot of stigma gets attached to people who enjoy anime, as there are some really embarrassing examples who exist seemingly just to make the fandom itself recoil in on itself. And yes, there are a number of terrible shows out there that seem to get more attention than better ones.

Certain things didn't really help people's perceptions of anime either.

But does that mean enjoying the medium enough to be in a club for it is bad? No. It just makes you a person who likes something enough to want to be around other people who like that same thing. That's basically what clubs are. My club was...a bit meh. I wasn't a great president and the members didn't really like to congregate that much. But at least we gave it a shot and we had a bit of fun.

#6, Audio Cassette Tapes

Your eyes aren't deceiving you...that really is Akira hiding behind those tapes.
We're really delving deep now. Forget all those other memes about how if you remember certain cartoons or shows then you're a true 90s kid. This right here? This is the true test of whether you're a true 80s and 90s kid. These were how kids who couldn't afford CD players got their music. Either you bought the cheaper alternative or you recorded songs from tapes friends owned and made a mixtape. That was how it was done. You can see these tapes and find a record of what I used to listen to. There's Bif Naked, Quiet Riot, Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, Korn, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Green Day, and even Slipknot and Godsmack. I am not really proud of having listened to all of these things. But I did, because music helped. Even bad music like Creed is better than nothing...okay, maybe not Creed.

You can keep your arms open as long as you want, I'm not walking into them.
I have long been of the mind that you should listen to something, anything, as long as you appreciate the music. Get invested in it. I feel a bit like we don't do that anymore now that pirating music is so easy and we no longer have to save our money up for tapes that we really want. It's like the convenience has torn away the soul of it, in a way. I don't know, I'm just rambling now.

#5, The Meat Puppet

If sadomasochists made toys for children while on acid, they might look like this.
This little bugger right here is special to me. Sure, he's a horrifying mush of fleshy plastic, but he's also so much more. You see, he began life as a accessory to an X-Men movie toy. He was meant to be Senator Kelly as he was melting. Alright, weird to make a toy of, but alright. But one day, as my friend Bruce was over, we found that we were curious as to the contents of his insides. So we took a blade to him and out came hundreds of little plastic beads. This left us with what was now an empty husk of latex-like rubbery plastic who needed a new purpose. In a stroke of brilliance, I inserted my index finger into his empty cavity and he became a finger puppet. Bruce christened him the Meat Puppet on the spot and the legend began. We inserted various things in him, drew some tattoos (that sadly faded away) and I often carried him around in my pocket, showing him off to curious fellow students. He was a rather popular curiosity. But, tragedy struck as after years his head melted somewhat onto his chest and grew brittle, finally breaking off.

My life is pain.
Even though he's broken, I still haven't the heart to toss him. He's a treasured memento of a friend and how silly we were in high school. That's important too, as high school was definitely not all that great most of the time. So, I salute you, Meat Puppet! May you live on forever in the shrine of memory.

#4, Marching Band Conan O'Brien

Don't even think of telling me what this really is.
My mother found this little guy outside of our house one day, many years ago, and I took him in. I looked upon him and found that I couldn't toss him aside, for he bears an uncanny likeness to Conan O'Brien...if he were in a marching band. Thus, I refer to him as that. Sure, I know he's likely something else altogether, but I don't care. With that hair, slender form, and pale skin he could only be my favourite late night talk show host. To think otherwise would be insanity.

Trust me, I know insanity.
I don't have too much to say about him or any particularly great memory to attach to the item. I just love Conan O'Brien and I love that this weird little toy resembles him. It will stay forever on my shelf for that reason alone.

#3, Deodorant for Women

Strong enough for a man? Alright, challenge accepted.
That's correct, I found a bar of deodorant. Not just any deodorant, but Secret Platinum: Asian Pear. You might ask what lady this may belong to and I would tell you that I am that lady! I found a long time ago that I have a difficult time finding deodorant that actually does what it claims to do. Then one day I saw this in a store and thought to myself, "well, the tagline says it's strong enough..." and the rest is history.

Much like this delicious pork jowl bacon. It was digested long ago.
This is an older bar that I found while cleaning, as I had a bit of a surplus for a time. It seemed to have fallen behind a shelf. Using this deodorant works better than any other I have tired too, I have to say. It lasts for 3 days without losing its potency. Proof that maybe not all ads are lying to us. Now to go eat some bacon.

#2, Tiny Vending Machine Madballs Toy

I love his eyeshadow.
If you missed out of the phenomenon that was the Madballs, let me tell you that you were robbed. They were these balls made to look like hideous monster heads and they were roughly the size of a tennis ball. They were squishy and very fun to play with. They even enjoyed a bit of a resurgence some years back. But this isn't one of those, no. This is a tiny version from cheap vending machine I got at a Krogers store when I was little. You may look at this and see a cheap toy not worth bothering with, but I see an amazingly grotesque cheap toy that is totally worth bothering with. It's a rubber bouncing ball, much like the ones you can still buy in similar machines, but it's also a Madball too.

How can you not love those faces?
That's an important distinction to a kid. I never got any of the bigger ones because my parents never could find them, but I had a bunch of these guys. To me it didn't matter that they were smaller, they were still awesome. While I no longer have any of the others, I still have this one. His paint is faded and misplaced, but he's still cool to me. Way better than any video game.

#1, Godzilla Cup Holder
No, he's not holding a cup.
Yes, this is my number one. No, I am not high. Let's get right down to it: the 1998 Godzilla film was bad. It's was goofy, over-hyped, badly written, badly directed, and just outright a terrible idea. And I was one of the suckers that got reeled in too. Who can blame me though? I love Godzilla. They had an awesome teaser trailer, a great ad campaign, they kept Godzilla's appearance a mystery until the last second and then...we all saw the film. On that day many a fan wept openly, for we felt that our hopes for a proper American made film were a pipe dream that would never come true.

Thankfully, we were wrong.
But the reason I treasure this cup holder is because of what happened afterwards. Fox Kids, a block of Saturday morning cartoons, brought us Godzilla: The Series. It was an animated series that acted as a sequel to the film and...it was good. It was really good. It was well written, had interesting characters, great animation, solid voice actors, and it brought us a new Godzilla (commonly known in the fandom as Zilla Jr.) who actually fought other monsters and didn't spend all of his time eating fish and digging tunnels in Manhattan. That made me keep this cup holder and really love it, as I always imagine it being Zilla Jr., America's very own kaiju hero.

PATRIOTISM!
That's my list. It was probably silly to sit here and talk about this series of assorted junk, but that's me. I live for talking about this stuff. I don't know one sports team from the next and I can't fix an engine, but I can tell you who the Gunwitch is, why Freddy Krueger went after other people's kids, how to play 1313 Dead End Drive, and where to find the best person to call when facing down a gill-man. I'm mainly good for those things and writing about them here. So, until you need me to entertain you with my awkward ramblings again, I'll be here trying desperately to avoid any further beatings. Later days.

You are all my children now...

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