As a young tike, I remember watching The Simpsons. I was always intrigued when Homer would stroll into Moe’s Tavern and order a beer. Moe would grab an icy mug and fill it up with Homer’s favorite Duff beer. The head of the beer flowing over the rim of the mug; exuding a succulent presentation. It always made Homer content to be downing the cold beverage. The foamy goodness of the beer head reminded me of the sugary texture of cotton candy (or “fairy floss” if you are from down under). I yearned for an opportunity to drown my taste buds in it. When the day arrived on my, ahem, TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY, ahem, I ordered a Newcastle Brown Ale at a local pub. The beer had a good head on it, and all my childhood memories of the Simpsons flooded my mind. I lifted the glass to my lips, feeling the condensation of the glass on the palm of my hand and the droplets of fizzled beer splashing about. I tilted my head back and took a big gulp.
Yucky. Yeah, men say yucky.
My dream fell into ruins. It turns out that receiving head is not superlative in all scenarios. In fact, beer head is actually the worst part of a beer. Do I blame The Simpsons for such a travesty? No. I blame A&W Root Beer. The frothy foam that I indulged in as a child did not transcend with the alcoholic beverage. Damn you A&W…But four or five more of these Newcastles and I’ll forgive you.
This may be more common than not. I build up an experience in my mind and when it does not translate into reality, disappointment ensues. To list a few of my other disappointing sights to mouth translations:
- Winnie the Pooh’s “Hunny” vs. Honey
When I was five or six, I use to go over to my cousins house and play in the backyard. There was a shelf attached to one of the fences in the backyard, and on it rested a pot quite similar to that of Winnie the Pooh’s. I remember we tried a bunch of acrobatic circus-foolery in order to achieve the pot. After a few years went by, our height improved, our acrobatics did not, but we were able to reach the “Hunny” pot. We opened it up, and it was just an unused planter pot. I mean, we should have known. It didn’t say “Hunny”, and what were we expecting to find from a pot that had been left outside for two to three years to brace the weather? I don’t know. What I do know, is that when I finally did get a good look at honey, it looked nothing like the scrumpdeliciousness that Winnie the Pooh coveted. I felt like Eeyore; hope for the world had ceased to be.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pizza vs. Pizza
Okay. I do not have much to say on this one. Pizza is pizza, and it is exquisite, but I am still searching for the pizza that pranced around in my dreams. I imagine someone who makes that sloppy-cheesy-yums-the-word pizza, could open up a pizza store called “Cowabunga!” I’d go there…frequently.
- Barney Birthday Cake vs. Cake
This one is the most obscure of all the ones mentioned. I use to own a videotape of Barney’s birthday. It was a colorful VHS tape. Purple or orange…It doesn’t matter. What matters, is that they made a layered cake on the video. While, I know the kids did not smooth it out to perfection as it was shown in the video, the cake still looked delicious. Since then, I have seen better cakes. Cake Boss anyone? Buddy is amazing. But still…The the cake in that video is burned into my head and was another item that I searched for as a child.
I can’t be the only one who would love a Simpson beer and Ninja turtle pizza followed by a Barney cake with “Hunny” filling for dessert.
Do you have food or other items that you are still searching for from your favorite shows?
It saddens me to think that my child will never share certain experiences that have a treasured place in the pit of my heart. What I am referring to is the experience that is: renting a movie.
Yes, I understand there are still Blockbusters now, but the ambiance has been mitigated to substandard event. I would much rather entertain the thought of visiting a local box of red or my handy dandy Netflix. Still, if I were to try and provide them with a humdrum Blockbuster memory, I would need to find a woman willing and able to release my offspring.
I may be getting ahead of myself…What if I am the only one who felt this way about the movie renting experience?
I remember it clearly.
It was like walking into a wonderland. Shelves upon shelves of entertainment were within my reach. Every conceivable cartoon was placed in a 7.5×4.2×1 inch VHS container of magic. I knew just where my section was too. I would run to it and rummage through the various films. What did I want to watch today? Little Nemo, Ninja Turtles, Mario Bros, The Brave Little Toaster? Yeah, I had seen all of them before, but I liked them. I’d flip over the demo box that was displayed for every movie scratching at its Styrofoam innards as I gazed upon the pictures trying to draw a conclusion as to what the film was about.
Once I had made my decision I would snatch the actual copy of the film and run off to the games section. These were the days of cheap game rentals and tons of games. I remember Sega having a game for almost every movie ever made. I also remember finding out that games based on movies sucked. One of my favorite rentals as a child was a game for my Sega Genesis called ToeJam & Earl. If I were feeling lucky I would try to convince my parents to allow me one movie and one game.
Regardless of my success rate, I was still excited as we lined up to purchase our rentals. Candy and soda pop lined the shelving near the counter. There were Milk Duds, Butterfingers, Dots, Sno-Caps (I never cared for Sno-Caps, but they have been heavily associated with my video rental expeditions), and more. I never did buy candy from Blockbuster, but it served as a reminder that I was about to take part in a cinematic adventure. Yes, those were the times…
All of that has disappeared now. VHS tapes are a thing of the past. Who still uses them? Nobody. Well, there are those ancient teachers who have adopted the No Technology Left Behind Act.
I am not here to hate on VHS tapes. Actually it is quite the opposite. I miss having that ability to skip over anything I did not want to watch. That’s right DVDs, I’m calling you out on this. I do not want to read your copyright infringement laws that are put in size six font and placed on the screen for approximately seven seconds. We are Americans, we don’t read the small print. And for all its shortcomings, VHS tapes understood that. Yes, you may have had to spend six minutes rewinding the film to reach that part, but the being able to fast forward through the seven to ten seconds of warnings was worth it.