Christmas Rewound

It is Sunday Funday here over at VeggieMacabre HQ and we are smack in the middle of the Holiday Hell Show. Today, I am dipping into the realm that Dinosaur Dracula does so well. I have been on the couch with Christmas movies on the TV, homemade chicken soup cooking in the crockpot, a glass of merlot by my side and the YouTube Time Machine whisking me away to the commercials that filled the time between Merry Christmas Charlie Brown. It is magical. Let’s take a look and dissect these toy ads we grew up with and rip on the kids who were in these.

I was only marginally into He-Man growing up. I loved the idea and Castle Grey Skull was cool but at the end of the day, I just couldn’t get down with characters that look like a well fibrous poop. The accessories, however, were pretty damn amazing. Take Skeletor’s Dragon Water Blaster pack, for an example. You had the ability to soak your friends’ toys and be the little dick of the neighborhood.

HeMan Dork

Let us look at this advertisement. It is hilarious to look back and see these kids imitate their He-Man characters in the gruffest voice a nine-year old could make. I think it was just in the 1980’s that toy advertisers propped up kids to overact their group playtime. I never remember doing any of this! And look at the little fool who takes it to a new level and freezes himself for the duration of the commercial. He is only over to play because either these are all his toys or his mom is friend’s with one of their mothers. No one likes him.

Crappy kid

But the one that stood out the most was the little nut-weed who had the Dragon Blaster Skeletor. Just look at him cackle with delight forcing his playmates to freeze. I know this kid. He’s the neighborhood dick who bullied you into throwing oranges at cars or rings door bells and running. He had an older brother who would beat the hell out of him so shit would roll downhill if you ever came over to his house. He is Reed and he was the one who threw the Cadberry Cream Egg through the kitchen window, not me Dad. “I SAID FREEZE!..OR I’M NOT PLAYING!”

The Sly Snootles and the Max Rebo play set was such a weird toy to get. I guess if you had the entire Jabba Palace play set it wouldn’t be complete without musical entertainment but to just have this set, I don’t know. I guess you could pretend they are a Nirvana galactic cover band touring for your other toys. It’s a stretch but I guess it works.

At least these kids got to kill Sly Snootles.

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Is it just me or is Droopy McCool the shittiest of all Star Wars characters? He looks like a waterlogged pig who was put in jorts and pushed down a well.

I’ve covered this one before and every Christmas I tend to bring it up again. It’s getting to be a tradition. I never got the USS FLAGG and I’m still bitter about it. Looking back I understand because it was hard to sell the folks why I needed a toy bigger than the dinning room table. But I didn’t care and I blame this commercial.

GI Joes commercials always superimposed kids into the battle to ride in the vehicles and immerse themselves into the world and fight against COBRA. It worked and watching three kids run up and down the flight deck of the USS FLAGG made me want it worse than my dog wanting his hump blanket.

I have faith the new line of GI Joe will release the FLAGG and this time, it will be mine. I want to eat sushi off the deck of it in my living room and watch Nightmare On Elm Street 3. You have to have goals in life otherwise you’ll never have anything!

Oh hell, I had a lot of these. I don’t know if it was all at once or over the course of many Christmases but even today, if you go down in the parent’s basement, I bet in under ten minutes you will find a ROTJ Speeder Bike part. They blew apart with a little button in the back and in my house, that means they never stayed assembled.

While researching for this nonsensical post, I learned the Kenner Star Wars theme song never changed for any toy over the course of the trilogy. It wasn’t anything Lucas but it was something that has been in my head since three this afternoon. And will probably be there until three o’clock in the afternoon of December 14th 2027.

I love watching these kids race their speeders around the yard showing off the speed breaks and blow-apart action of the Speeder Bikes. This was a little before my time judging by their hairstyles. They seemed to have the Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed cuts.

Alright, for a guy who remembers not being the biggest He-Man fan, I have to add another vintage commercial. Boy did I like this and it solidifies why I am such a big fan of monster movies and the dark side. The He-Man Snake Mountain play set looked evil it completely lived up to expectation. Even including a Hensen inspired bird face that would move its beak as you spoke through the echoing (reverb) microphone. Pure gold.

Snake Mountain

Today, the true prize is watching these kids play with it and imitate Skeleton in a voice that makes you question if they even watched the cartoon. And the ginger kid rocking the mic made my millennium. Look at his contorted face! I hope he grew up to be the scary warning voice for animatronics horror rides on the boardwalk.

Well, that concludes my little skip through time to revisit some of the great toys we grew up. It’s nice to relive some of the best times of our childhood while watching the advertisements and the silly kids who played with their toys all wrong.

Goodnight! I SAID FREEEEEEEZE!

Top Gun and the X-mas Pepsi Disaster

I am back. No more traveling for this working stiff. Well, at least not for another month so let the Christmas countdown begin!

Today I am going to share a story I seldom tell because it shows what a naive and questionably intelligent kid I was at age seven. It’s not that many had a good grasp on basic physics in their younger years but gee whiz, at least they didn’t do this.

Every Christmas Eve it is a family tradition to open one present. That present is carefully selected from the few that were under the tree which taunted me for a month before the big fella brought the rest later in the night. That particular Christmas, Top Gun was the previous summer hit and after having had a theater experience like that, I knew I was destined to be a F-14 Naval Aviator but (spoiler alert) we all know I did not. I eyed the gifts and with a recently purchased VCR begging to be fed, I eyed what could only be a VHS tape. To my delight, I received my favorite movie, Top Gun.

Not wasting anytime, I begged the parents to let me watch at least the beginning scene. You know the one, when all the planes take off and Kenny Loggins belts a killer “Danger Zone”? Yeah, you know the part. My nagging worked and I found myself up in their bedroom, unwrapping the cellophane, sliding the tape from the box and inserting the tape in the VCR. The anxiety of Christmas presents took a backseat to the movie which changed my life, or at least changed my idol from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Tom Cruise. Patiently, I waited through the FBI warning for piracy and just when I thought the Paramount mountain was next, it was a commercial.

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It was not just a commercial but it was a Top Gun parody commercial by Diet Pepsi. Had it been one of the damn Coca Cola bear or that stupid pigtail-ed girl, I would have FFWD that shit out of it but this was different. This had two Navy Fighter jets! And a “Refreshment System”!

This pleased me.

Okay, so we have two fighters that just came off of maneuvers and in celebration they are treated to a Diet Pepsi but something went wrong. Apparently Mustang’s DPRS (Diet Pepsi Refreshment System) malfunctioned and would not release his drink. Taunted by his fellow crew in the opposing jet, he fibs and claims no problems on board while trying to jimmy his Diet Pepsi free. Then, pulling out a bottle opener, he has an idea.

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Thinking fast, this cocky jet jockey pops the top of the Diet Pepsi that is lodged in its “Refreshment System” and held a cup to the edge of the bottle. Instead of tipping the bottle over the cup, Mustang turns his A-4 Skyhawk upside-down, simultaneously pouring his drink into his cup using gravity and the agility of his aircraft.

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The two assholes in the F-5 look around in puzzlement, wondering where he went. To their surprise, Mustang pulls an inverted maneuver and looking up, they are canopy to canopy, forced to acknowledge there really was no problem with his ability to be refreshed.

We finish with Mustang rolling his jet over, his cup of Diet Pepsi keeping inline with the angle of attack. The two jets roar over head and disappear into the blue as the iconic voice of Pepsi states the tagline, “Diet Pepsi: The choose of a new generation”.

Whoa! I was fascinated. I wanted, nay, had to try to invert-pour a soft drink into a cup. Nevermind the movie beginning, nevermind Kenny Loggins was starting to sing about the “Danger Zone” and nevermind Santa, this was what I need to try. But how? I didn’t have an A-4 withe a refreshment system or even a bottle of Diet Pepsi.

I went downstairs and found the closest soda to a Diet Pepsi (a can of A&W) and a coffee mug. Also a bike helmet. I went back upstairs with the items in hand as the adults were still at the dinning room table talking about dull things which were apparently hilarious. I never understood the conversations from the adult table that elicited such laughs and wheezes.

There I was, sitting on the edge of the bed with my pretend fighter helmet on and holding a can of soda in my left and a mug in my right. How the hell am I going to do this? I tilted my left arm up as my right arm dipped but it wasn’t quite right. I needed to somehow roll myself upside down as well. Shit, this was hard.

I GOT IT!

What if I was to lay on my bed and role in a 360 degree righthand turn? That would surely work and not only would I feel like Mustang but it would be the only way I would drink soda from then on. I would be a trendsetter!

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There were a couple of flaws with this plan which I am sure you can spot already. You see, the soda and my body need to remain static while the cup would be the only rotating item of the three. Or no, maybe the A&W rotate and the cup is static? Obviously I did not put much thought into the plan and laying on my stomach holding the can of A&W root beer in my left hand and the cup in my right, I began to roll over and poured the soda. Oddly the soda did not pour in the cup as planned but in a shocking and cold surprise, all over my face and the bedspread. I gurgled and spit and sat straight up, blinking the root beer from my eyes and when I came to, there was mom looking as shocked as I was.

She turned from the doorway and yelled downstairs to my dad, “BILL? BILL! YOUR SON IS IN HIS BIKE HELMET AND POURED ROOT BEER ALL OVER HIMSELF AND OUR BED!!!”. I am sure it must have been a pretty confusing sight to see and just as confusing to my dad and guests to hear. If there was ever explaining to do, this was it.

I won’t get into the yelling or the multiple towels and forced bath but I will say, they got over it. And every Christmas Eve I am reminded of the time I tried to pour a root beer upside-down…on their new bed…in a bike helmet.

Have any funny stories you are reminded of by loved ones during the Christmas season? Spill ’em! (see what I did there?)

 

 

 

Kit Kats Make Me Wolf-Out

I hate Kit Kats now. I do. And it’s not because of the taste. They have been a Halloween staple for years and one of the great deciding factors of whether or not to kick in someone’s jack-o-lantern out of petty candy hate. But recently there has been a commercial featuring cubical maze of people all eating Kit Kats to a rhythmic eating sound montage. If you are new to my blog, let me tell you, nothing will get me to commit an atrocious act like human food crunching.  I can handle dog eating sounds or even cute cats chewing Meow Mix, but when a fucking dickhole warrior ad executive pushes food by forcing my ear to the top of someones skull as the smack and crunch away I…I…I get a little crazy.

So on Tuesday I was watching TV innocently enough when the said commercial  came on. I was already having a sub-par day so this isn’t exactly what I needed. Out of no where my vision went totally white. When I came to, the remote was no longer on my lap but in pieces across the room. The cat was staring at me from the doorway of the cat-condo as if to say, “hey…that was a little excessive don’t you think?” For the first time in my life, a commercial made me wolf-out/ Hyde-out. Which ever seems more accurate.

So now I have to be careful when watching TV with people. I don’t trust myself not to go beastie when someone tries to entice me into buying crunchy food. But this is old news to those who have been here before. They know I mean no harm.

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