the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Careless Whispers

Aside from the fact that this is maddeningly brilliant (link via TMN), and I’ve played it probably a good four dozen times since I downloaded it yesterday, it has completely thrown me into a mid-eighties reverie wherein I cannot stop thinking of the following:

1. Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, two at a time. Grape Shasta afterward.

2. Spending entire days during summer vacation watching Clue on VHS over and over again, knowing how it ended but still suspecting Miss Scarlet every single time.

3. The sound of my parents fighting in the next room.

4. My 13-yr old brother chasing me around the living room couch, stopping suddenly like he was about to give up, and spitting a gigantic wad of warm phlegm across the room onto my right cheek. Me screaming.

5. The girl up the street with the gigantic boobs. She was two years younger than I was, and in order to compete I had to wear a padded bra, one that made my 10-yr old, 80-pound body look like it had been overrun by uneven alien mole hills.

6. My dad’s dramatic crush on Loni Anderson.

7. Pictures of Andy Gibb, John Stamos and Scott Baio splattered over every inch of my sister’s bedroom walls.

8. Smurfs.

9. Pulling up to soccer practice in that goddamn beige Ford Taurus.

10. Courtney Smith, Courtney Carrington, Courtney Price, Courtney Dees, Courtney Nelson.

11. The dream I had about being trapped in a burning building, about to succumb to the smoke and flames when David Hasselhoff and KITT show up to my resuce.

12. My brother trying to pull his socks off by the toes, giving up halfway through and walking around with them just like that, halfway on/halfway off, all day long.

13. The smell of Pond’s Cold Cream in the morning as my mother took off her eye makeup.

14. Matching my socks to my turquoise Converse hightops. Pinch-rolling my Lee jeans.

15. Hardee’s.

16. Sitting in my father’s lap before school, listening to Air Supply and rocking back and forth, hearing him whisper in my ear, why won’t your mother come back to me?

17. Hall and Oates.

18. My sister’s hairdo, which I think I can safely blame for the death of my first goldfish.

19. My “Love Boat” themed Trapper Keeper.

20. My first triumphant completion of Pitfall.

  • Rachel

    2003/01/16 at 8:42 am

    Strawberry Shortcake.

  • brynne

    2003/01/16 at 8:43 am

    Ugh.. my little brother used to do that half on/half off thing with his socks too. Didn’t seem to bother him, but it annoyed the fuck outta me.

  • Cory

    2003/01/16 at 8:45 am

    Andrew McCarthy. Mannequin.

  • darian

    2003/01/16 at 8:45 am

    I miss the jordache jeans and those jelly shoes!

  • Tommy

    2003/01/16 at 8:47 am

    I rememebr figuring out it didn’t matter how many “cheeks” I turned. I was the new kid (again and again) and they were going to try to beat me up whether I fought back or not. On the lighter side I also remember dressing up as Obi Wan Kenobi on Halloween and continuously being mistaken for a JAWA.

  • jen

    2003/01/16 at 8:55 am

    I remember pouring peroxide on my hair over and over again to get that Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran yellow bangs thing going on. It worked unfortunately and it seemed to take forever to grow out. A year or two later I remember using my Duran Duran records as frisbees in the ravine.

  • Seth

    2003/01/16 at 8:57 am

    My Fall Guy lunchbox.

  • Ariel

    2003/01/16 at 8:57 am

    For me, it was dreaming that Automan would come save me. This show was only on for a year…why do I remember it so clearly?

  • Aarika

    2003/01/16 at 8:57 am

    Jelly bracelets, jelly shoes, jelly everything.

  • anna

    2003/01/16 at 9:02 am

    did your mom ever come back?

    that’s so sad.

  • Chantelle

    2003/01/16 at 9:11 am

    Mrs Peacock was a man?

    I’m relieved that I’m not the only one to have been obsessed with Clue (although I still am obsessed…others who are better and stronger than I have perhaps been able to move on…)

  • Windowsill Wendy

    2003/01/16 at 9:11 am

    Seth: I LOVED the Fall Guy.

    Atari, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite and Cabbage Patch Kids.

  • feelafel

    2003/01/16 at 9:19 am

    You know, even though I’ve seen all three endings, including “The way it REALLY happened”, I still think the Ms. Scarlett ending is the most believable.

    I also think that Yvette is smokin’ hot.

  • ME

    2003/01/16 at 9:27 am

    about wearing those short-shorts like George Michael in Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” video and singing and dancing along in my room.

  • Sara

    2003/01/16 at 9:28 am

    I second the Cabbage Patch thing… but need to add: Cabbage Patch Premie. That’s the one you had to have. That’s the one my best friend had.

    I had the faux-Cabbage Patch doll that my mom made. I hated it then, but love it now.

    Did you know if you go to the Toys R Us store in Times Square, they have a real, life size Cabbage Patch with a video running, in which a nurse narrates about the birthing process that the patch babies go through?! It was disturbing to hear as an adult. I never imagined where they came from other than a generic “patch”.

  • antisocial diva

    2003/01/16 at 9:31 am

    my little house on the prairie lunchbox. those little ovens where you baked things. shrinky dinks!

  • mole

    2003/01/16 at 9:37 am

    it’s all about the pound puppies. i loved mine. his name was ‘frisky’. we had matching outfits.

  • Buzzed

    2003/01/16 at 9:40 am

    I was in college during the mid-eighties and, while older than you all, should recall some of these things. And then I remember that I was busy participating in another mid-eighties fad–cocaine usage–that occupied my time and burned a few memory cells. This is your brain on drugs, kids.

  • jess

    2003/01/16 at 9:41 am

    rainbow brite. the popples. also, i watched the smurfs recently, and as much as i love them, i realized that they just put the word ‘smurf’ wherever they want. it has no actual meaning.

  • The Other Erika

    2003/01/16 at 9:43 am

    My Little Ponies!!!

  • Jen

    2003/01/16 at 9:45 am

    Blue eyeshadow, blue mascara, pink irridescent lipstick, 45’s and B-side songs, my little pony and anything fluorescent.

  • shel

    2003/01/16 at 9:49 am

    Hypercolor shirts. Knight Rider. The first Baywatch. Twisted Sister. Asteroids.

  • Jen

    2003/01/16 at 9:49 am

    I forgot to say, I loved The Smurfs but was usually forced to watch them in french (Les Stroumphs). I also loved The Barbapoppa’s.

  • Dirtybilllover

    2003/01/16 at 9:51 am

    Ok, I am such an 80s fiend but my list of things will have to wait. I just had to post this: one of Bill’s co-workers, a MAN in his THIRTIES, collects smurfs. Tell me that doesn’t make your skin crawl.

  • Danika

    2003/01/16 at 9:51 am

    The Goonies, my trusty Snoopy snow cone maker & Gem!

  • dirtybilllover

    2003/01/16 at 9:54 am

    ok, I just have to write this one: Frankie Say Relax t-shirts

  • paperdog

    2003/01/16 at 9:55 am

    I still proudly own my Pound Puppy “Popcorn”, and I can also say that I visited the Babyland General Hospital in L.A. and “adopted ” a Cabbage Patch.

    Growing up sucks.

  • the propagandist

    2003/01/16 at 9:57 am

    my first ill-conceived stab at parody:

    instead of writing the english paper, filming a video (with thoes GIANT cameras- remember?) wherein michael hasselhoff (me – in a curly black wig) and KITT (my dad’s equalizer in the mazda station wagon) chase edgar allen poe thru the house of usher and down the rue morgue.

  • El Guapo

    2003/01/16 at 9:58 am

    My brother and I each owned the same blue and white velour jogging suit that the ’84 US Olympians wore. If only I had chest hair back then, I could have worn it unzipped with no shirt underneath.

  • Cory

    2003/01/16 at 9:58 am

    Windowsill Wendy: Thanks for the reminder of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Mine was a homemade knock-off. His belly button was about two inches too low, so it looked like nubby junk. I felt so bad for him.

  • onegirl

    2003/01/16 at 9:59 am

    “Small Wonder”, Gimp & Flourescent spandex shorts.

  • onegirl

    2003/01/16 at 10:01 am

    Oh- and LA Gear Shoes.

  • Stv.

    2003/01/16 at 10:08 am

    thunder, thunder
    thunder, thunder,
    thunder, thundercats!

  • Stv.

    2003/01/16 at 10:09 am

    Oooh – and Garbage Pail Kid sticker/card things!

  • Jason

    2003/01/16 at 10:11 am

    e, e, e, e, ee-woks

  • TLC

    2003/01/16 at 10:16 am

    All this and more can be seen on VH1’s 80’s series, which goes year by year. They somehow got quite a few personalities to talk for what seems like hours.

  • allisonic

    2003/01/16 at 10:17 am

    Twist-a-bead necklaces.
    Add-a-bead necklaces.
    Pudding pops.
    Hart to Hart.

  • wilber

    2003/01/16 at 10:17 am

    Making mix tapes of dubious audio quality, Intellivision and the coolest video ever – “Take on Me” by A-ha.

  • Daejin

    2003/01/16 at 10:18 am

    Screw the Fall Guy! I’m talking the Six Million Dollar Man. Lee was at the top of his game and married to Farah Fawcett – back when she had THE HAIR and not the little voices inside her head.

  • scotty the body

    2003/01/16 at 10:23 am

    You rocked pitfall? badassed!

  • mole

    2003/01/16 at 10:24 am

    transformers! more than meets the eye!

  • krotchbat

    2003/01/16 at 10:25 am

    Like the MP3. It’s kinda like WEEN.

  • Emily

    2003/01/16 at 10:28 am

    stirrup pants, Garfield, Nerds candy, “Square Pegs”, my E.T. bed sheets (I miss those), Lite Brite, puffy and scratch n sniff stickers, the Weekly Reader, the Scholastic book club, ghetto blasters

  • lordgoon

    2003/01/16 at 10:42 am

    Hey – don’t forget being taken across the street by your mother to ‘play’ with the almost creepily tall neighbor kid, and being handcuffed (with REAL handcuffs, for god’s sake!) in a small toy teepee in his back yard for THREE HOURS in the sweltering July heat while she scoffed fresh muffins obliviously in the neighbors’ kitchen, then being ‘rescued’ by the aforementioned goon as twilight began to descend, but having to wait for ten extra minutes to be unbound while he turned you over onto your belly and shoved a toy metal six-shooter straight up your ass.

    Oh….that didn’t happen to you?

  • Kate the Great

    2003/01/16 at 10:42 am

    I’m still scarred from never receiving the much-coveted Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine NOR the Mickey Mouse Talking Phone. I got the Cabbage Patch Kid only after much humiliating pleading.

    I was generally only allowed to watch public television at home, so any sleepover at a friend’s house was a sweet, Dirty Dancing-loving, For Keeps-watching respite. Fifteen years later, I’m still mesmerized by cable.

  • Mrs. Bo Duke

    2003/01/16 at 10:44 am

    Me, in my super-sexy Wonder Woman Underoos and my mom’s shoes with the wooden wedge heels, imitating every move on SOLID GOLD.

    I also remember when cartoons ONLY came on on Saturdays, unless you were out of school and got to catch a little Captain Kangaroo or The Bozo Show. When Soul Train came on, that was the end of your cartoon watching until the NEXT Saturday.

  • Syrinx

    2003/01/16 at 11:00 am

    My little brother (who did that thing with the socks too) would put my Barbies into the Barbie Townhouse elevator and yank down on the string so they would rocket out the top of the townhouse and across the room. Then I’d hit him with my Cabbage Patch doll – swung by the feet so as to get in a good crack with the hard plastic head.

    Do you remember those orange plastic charm necklaces that looked like chain links on which you clipped little plastic charms with bells on them? And puffy painted t-shirts?

    Strawberry Shortcake, scented markers, scratch and sniff stickers… people sure liked to sniff things in the eighties, eh Buzzed?

  • Joshua Kaufman

    2003/01/16 at 11:01 am

    Ameteur a cappella! I love it! Those who want to hear some serious a cappella might want to check out The Best of College A Cappella 2002:

  • Chizantski

    2003/01/16 at 11:06 am

    ahhhh, the good old days: not one, not two, but three swatches! Jimmy Zs shorts (w/ the velcro). 1 cent Pal bubblegum. Lionel Ritchie “Hello”. 120 minutes. Yelling at my sister for watching “Top Gun” every day after school for 3 months. Aweful Saturday shopping trips to Caldor with the family, just so i could eat at Burker King. Granola. Big Wheels. Rat Tails. And last but not least: Moon Boots!


    2003/01/16 at 11:07 am

    The Fraggles and Fraggle Rock!

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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