Light up shoes: Nothing says “hey look at me!” like light up shoes. They were the talk of any kindergarten class. But wait, there’s a problem with that sentence, kindergarten class. We wore them then why not now? Any simple websearch reveals that these shoes do in fact exist and in adult sizes so the only reason I can think of as to why they haven’t come roaring back is this: They’ve either been deemed as extremely tackey or way too cool. I’d prefer to think the latter. Bonus: Be the first guy or gal on your street to bring back those sweet velcro straps.
Safety suckers: “Well you’re all done.” Dr. Wanderman would tell me once I hopped down from the checkup table in one of those weird fitting nursing gowns that I could never tie right. “Here you go.” Of course you all know what happens next, you would be handed an orange, or if you were feeling adventureous, a cherry flavored safety sucker. This of course was a win-win for me and my doctor. I could enjoy the chemically processed goodness of some brand-x health sucker and the doctor could take solace in the knowledge that I would not choke to death. The whole process of someone choking on these things and then “saving” themselves by yanking the ring out of their mouths seems nice enough. But as a parent I’d be more worried that if my kid could choke on a sucker that he’d also be one of those kids who could drown in a kiddie pool.
Roller discos: Some of you may be too young to have even experienced the roller disco phenomenon that swept the nation in the 1970s. Luckily, I came from a suburb in Minnesota that was at least two decades behind the rest of the country and thought rollerskating in the dark while the “Hokey Pokey” played through the speakers was still cool. We all thought it was anyway and it made for a cheap field trip for our school. My class would swarm to Cheap Skate (an ironic name now that I think about it) all amped up ready to be fitted for rollerskates, or rollerblades for the real “cool kids” and hours later we would come out giddy and smelling of pixie sticks showing off our miniature novelty combs or mustaches. It was awesome. Now imagine doing that now. Pounding techno music, flashing lights, pants and shirt so bright and fluorescent that they blind everyone around you. The whole experience could even be topped off with some mind altering <ahem> hallucinogens. There are some downsides though, roller discos are extremely hard to find and the one by my house was closed down and turned into an Aldi. Bonus: Roller discos would probably be a great place to find a bunch of hot women, the ones who haven’t mistaken it for a roller derby anyway.
Giant cell phones: Now this might seem like a step backwards initially but c’mon, styles are pointing to 80s retro right now and who’s to say that technology shouldn’t follow suit? Think about the possibilities. Yes, you’re having a very important conversation with someone but don’t you want as many people as possible to know that you’re having an important conversation? Besides, if someone walks up to you and says, “Why the hell is your phone that big?” you can just respond with, “Why isn’t yours?” That’s how trends start anyway, right? With the ever shrinking cell phone size of today it seems only a matter of time until we reach that limit and have to go bigger again. I look for the major telecommunications carriers to carry these big phones within the year.
Scratch n’ Sniff stickers: Think of getting a sticker on your spelling test that said, “Good job!” Now if that wasn’t enough to boost your young wavering self esteem imagine that you could scratch that sticker and then bend over and smell it. “Hey now! That smells vaguely like grapes!” That’s right, you have just been the lucky recipient of a scratch n’ sniff sticker. These teachers didn’t just give these coveted stick n’ smells for anything though. They came out only on special occasions like a nearing holiday or a birthday and they were stored deep under the manilla folders of the teachers desk drawer. Possibly the best thing about scratch n’ sniffs is that you can find them years, even decades later, scratch them and they still smell! If that’s not quality I don’t know what is.
References to Borat: Now I became as annoyed with the constant stream of Borat impressions that pervaded our culture a few years ago as the next person. But I must admit, recently I heard some scream, “Izzz nice!” and much to my astonishment, I laughed. Yes, as bizarre and mislead as it might seem, I propose that the time has again come for the occasional, “I like!” and “Wah wah wee wah!” Seriously, if someone was to perform a serviceable renditon of a Borat quote at a party you’d at least laugh before you punched them right?
Crazy straws: It really surprises me why crazy straws aren’t more popular. We would get the occasionally at my house when I was younger but they usually had to be matched with an equally crazy drink like a smoothie or rootbeer float. You couldn’t drink milk with a crazy straw. I suppose it does make sense in some way why they aren’t more widespread in this culture of instant gratification. After all, when you take a cup or straw to your lips you expect to be quenched by the liquids inside almost immediately, not in a matter of seconds as it would take were the liquid in question traveling through the crazy straw. But I, being the traditionalist I am, believe that these straws can make a comeback just based on them being so colorful, twisted and wacky. Just look at the picture crazy isn’t even spelled right! That’s crazy!
Popsicle freezer trays: As a kid my favorite thing in the world was popsicles. If my parents weren’t home and I didn’t want to make lunch for myself I could just eat 4 or 5 popsicles and I’d be full. There were so many brands and flavors and over time I probably tried them all but to me, nothing beat a grape Welch’s popsicle, though I did stain a good number of t-shirts because of them. The popsicle is timeless. The world might end and we could all be living in caves and as long as we had fruit juice and a freezer tray and a mini freezer we would survive. Those are the 3 things I would grab if a giant cloud of burning ash was headed my way. You can even use them to accessorize <see left>. Plus easy clean up and dishwasher safe!
The Skip-it: I never had a Skip-it as a kid, but I was jealous of everyone who did. I didn’t have a good reason for wanting one, it just seemed like the kids in the commercials were having so much fun. It was a really stupid and pointless activity really. Basically you stand upright with occasionally lifting one leg over and over again. If you get to 500 skips have you won or lost? They still exist somewhere, if not on ebay then collecting dust in some kids garage, right behind the mini trampoline and the Bop-it Extreme that stopped working when dad threw it against the wall in a momentary lapse of judgement. It would be a hit for drunk kids at parties though. If you can do this thing without throwing up you win! Bonus: Would probably double as a great weapon for fending off other would-be Skip-it champs.
Yahoo Serious: Now I don’t know a whole lot about Yahoo Serious, but I do know that he was popular in Australia in the early 90s when Crocodile Dundee was popular in the States. I once saw a movie with him on channel 45 late one night where he was running down flights of stairs being chased by giant falling piles of garbage and he’s known for playing the guitar or something. Basically I’m guessing that he’ll become famous again because he’s got a crazy name and he hasn’t made a popular movie in Australia in decades so he’s prime for a comeback. Maybe if he moved to New Zealand he could cash in on some of the popularity of Flight of the Conchords everyone loves those guys. Bonus: He doesn’t sound like us so he’s immediately more interesting. Plus the name.