Whimsy: August 2005 Archives

A stroll down Memory Aisle


The writers of history concentrate on Great Events, Great Movements, and Great Men. Even in recounting our individual stories, we focus on the milestones -- graduated from high school, graduated from college, got married, had kids. The ordinary stuff of everyday life is taken for granted as we live through it and usually forgotten, although it seems to linger in the back of our brains.

One of the wonderful things about the World Wide Web is that it provides a home for commemorating things that would never be enough to warrant an encyclopedia entry, a monument, or even a brief mention in a book.

One such site is called Tick Tock Toys. It is devoted to child-targeted consumer culture from the Baby Boom era -- the late '40s into the early '70s. Powdered drink mixes, fast food, candy, comic books, theme parks, breakfast cereals (and the promotional items placed in the boxes) -- they all find a home here.

Remember Funny Face powdered drink mix? Remember Choo-Choo Cherry, Jolly Olly Orange, Goofy Grape, Loud Mouth Lime? Here's a list of all the flavors, linked to pictures of the packages.

Remember Burger Chef? There was one in Tulsa on 41st Street just west of I-44, where the Whataburger is now. There used to be an old Burger Chef long closed, but still standing along North Peoria. We used to stop at the one in Springdale, Arkansas, about halfway to Grandma's house in Mountain Home. Before they repainted the IPE Building (sorry, Expo Building), it looked like a great big Burger Chef, with its orange and turquoise colors. Tick Tock Toys has a collection of ephemera from Burger Chef and other fast-food restaurants -- pictures of burger boxes and wrappers, employee manuals, cups, and kids meal toys. (Here's another site with great photos of Burger Chef stores.)

Browsing through Tick Tock Toys will inspire exclamations of, "I had one of those!" If I'm ever up for Senate confirmation, this may come up, so I'll just 'fess up now: I was a member of the Banana Splits Fan Club, had the Banana Splits Fan Club kit, including secret decoder, and actually organized a neighborhood chapter.

Hat tip for the Tick Tock Toys link to Mister Snitch!, a blog mainly about Hoboken, New Jersey. The blog's name is a tip of the hat to Hoboken history -- the name of a gossip column that ran in the Hoboken Pictorial once upon a time. It's thanks to this entry by Mister Snitch! back in May that this BatesLine entry is the number one Google result for the phrase "local-blog Instapundit". Mister Snitch! encourages other Hoboken and New Jersey bloggers by posting regular round-ups, much like our own Okiedoke does for Okie bloggers. That's not all he writes about -- here's an interesting recent entry called, "What is the proper role of government in the economy?"

A spot of whimsy

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Caren Lissner has several chuckle-worthy items. (In the last one, the chuckle's at the end, but the rest of the entry is pretty interesting, too.)

Mena Trott, of Six Apart, the company responsible for the software that runs this and many, many other blogs, has a clever slideshow: "If Bloggers Had Been Around through History". (Via Vidiot.)

Remember the screen captures from a Chinese edition of "Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith," in which the subtitles were translations back into English of a translation into Chinese? More screen caps have been added -- a total of 62 by my count, and there's a mirror copy of half of the screencaps available here. (Hat tip, again, to Vidiot. My comments linking the original entry, here. Jeremy, the blogger who started this, has an interesting entry about a visit to a seafood market and restaurant in Ningbo.)

Somewhat related: I just came across a quote of my daughter's, dated 12/29/2003, which I jotted down at the time. At age three, she picked up on her older brother's enthusiasm for all things Star Wars. For a while she refused to wear anything described as cute, because Jedis didn't wear cute things. She was also in the midst of being potty-trained (not training the potty, Caren), and said, after being told to try to use the potty, "Jedis do NOT go to the bathroom."

Michael Moore. Fat farm. "Camp Granada" parody. Huffington's Toast. You know you want to read it.

Servo noter


Is there no end to the helpful information on the Internet?

If your enjoyment of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is hindered by a failure to understand the cultural references in the wisecracks hurled at the screen, take heart! Visit The Annotated MST, which to date has annotations for 32 episodes.

And if you've never seen MST3K, you might want to check out this site.

Homestar Runner wiki


What do you do when you see your kids cackling over a Strongbad email episode featuring Homestar Runner spitting Teddy Grahams at the ceiling for fun, and you want to see it for yourself, but you can't remember the name of the episode?

Visit the Homestar Runner wiki, where you'll find a searchable database of scripts of all the H*R animations.

The web is too cool.

P.S. The episode in question is "Couch Patch" -- wiki entry is here.

Howard Molson's got a new shovel!


Remembered this today, for no particular reason, and got a laugh out of it. It's from "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite," an episode of Ripping Yarns, a mid-70s British series written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones of Monty Python's Flying Circus. When Eric's family runs away from home, his neighbor, Mr. Bag, must tell Eric the awful truth:

Well... look, Eric, it's like this... there are some people in life who are... you know -- interesting people -- good company, fun to be with... the kind of people who, when you meet them on the street, your heart lifts and you say to yourself: "Ah! There's old So and So! Isn't it grand to see him!" People who make you glad... people who make you fell that life's worth living... Well, you're not one of them, Eric.

We saw the IMAX version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with our two kids (9 and 4) and some friends -- a couple and their daughters, aged 7 and 4. Worth seeing in the theater, worth seeing in IMAX -- I wouldn't say that about too many films. Way better than the '70s version with Gene Wilder.

Favorite kid reaction: When Willie Wonka orders the Oompa-Loompas to roll Violet Beauregard to the juicing room after she has turned into a giant blueberry, my four-year-old called out, "Oh, man! I do not want to see this part!"

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Whimsy category from August 2005.

Whimsy: July 2005 is the previous archive.

Whimsy: September 2005 is the next archive.

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