Monday, March 01, 2010

Totally Raddest ’80s Book Ever!

Last week, I was wasting time between appointments. I was hungry, but I hate eating at restaurants alone with nothing to do (other than eating, of course), so I popped into a pop-culture giftshop to see if they had any fun books to read while I ate.

They had a book called Just Can’t Get Enough: Toys, Games and Other Stuff from the ’80s that Rocked. I’ve always been a sucker for gimmicks and the cover of J.C.G.E. was designed to resemble a Trapper Keeper (including the Vecro flap!) so I had to get it.
I love fun books like this, but they’re often horribly written. Usually someone just comes up with an idea for a novelty book, figures they can trick some rather peculiar people into an impulse-buy (yes, I know what I just said), and they make a few bucks. But not this book! Along with great pictures, the writing is both hilarious and insightful about being a child in that most awesome of decades.

It’s nice to know we live in a world where someone can be in a business meeting, pitch “a ball with a face that’s got snot and pus pouring out of it,” and have someone respond with a resounding, “Yes!”

Almost every time I read a chapter, the authors basically summed up my experience with that toy or book.

Let’s be honest here. We all played with the game Crossbows and Catapults, but nobody actually played the game as it was meant to be played.

The book also includes many interesting tid-bits about where the products came from.

Regarding the creators of Garbage Pail Kids trading cards: While Spiegelman is best known for Maus, his critically acclaimed graphic novel about his parents’ true life experience during the Holocaust, his day job involved deciding whether Richie Retch or Luke Puke was a better name for a green-faced child vomiting up his guts.

I also learned about a game which I never played and which, apparently, none of the girls at school filled me in on. But now that I know about it, it makes me wonder how any girl made it out of the ’80s without being crushingly self-conscious (oh right, very few did).

Regarding Girl Talk: If you chose not to do a dare or answer a question, the punishment was to stick a little red zit sticker on your face and leave it there for the duration of the game. A zit sticker. On your face. As punishment. Hooray for the ’80s!

Yes, I have great memories from the ’80s. That’s where I spent my life between the ages 4 and 13 (with a few months of 14 thrown in). In fact, when I turned 23, JoanMarie threw me a surprise party with an ’80s theme. Everyone showed up downtown at Farmer’s Market all dressed up. Since it was a surprise party, I didn’t think I’d have to wear anything funny because I didn’t know about it ahead of time. But JM brought enough goodies to transform me into…Michael Jackson.

9 comments:

jessjordan said...

Oh, that looks super exciting! And I remember playing Girl Talk. Surprisingly, that zit sticker can convince girls do do lots of truths and dares ...

beth said...

Oh, hahaha! I'd forgotten about the zits stickers in Girl Talk! Probably because we used them up in the first night. I had zit stickers all over my body!

Sara Lucinda Bell said...

I remember Girl Talk! I played it with my one good friend, just the two of us, and we always skipped over the ones we didn't want to do and we never gave eachother zits. It was AWESOME!

Claire Dawn said...

Man, I remember Girl Talk! The game and the book series! lol! Good times.

Also the Trapper Keeper. Wow! Blast from the past!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Ahhh, the 80s. I'm so buying that book. Did it have anything about Teddy Ruxpin, Glow Worms, or Wuzzles? They were some of my other favs.

Jay Asher said...

There was a Girl Talk series???

No, they didn't have any of those, Karen. While the book did a great job with the 30-or-so things they did discuss (which covered a lot or territory), Mr. Ruxpin was one omission I noticed. Maybe they need to put together a sequel: Just Couldn't Get Enough Into One Book.

passport in my pocket said...

oh yes loved those stickers! I actually have a copy of Girl Talk on my bookshelf :)


I reposted our 2008 interview! On my blog...
www.jodikendall.blogspot.com

Paige Keiser said...

I MUST get this! I hope they cover Transformers and Crack-ups cars too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me smile reflecting on the wonders of scratch and sniff stickers and the hilariousness of Garbage Pail Kids!