These made us feel really, REALLY old….
Once upon a time in a school yard far, far away, THIS was how we wore our school socks. The thicker the better and often two pairs at a time for maximum scrunch. This took a minimum of ten minutes to get right in the morning.
Back in 1988, if you were a school student you would have received a memento from the Government in celebration of Australia’s bicentennial year – a COIN. This was also the year of Expo ’88. 1988 was really just one long party.
THIS WAS HOW WE SEARCHED FOR BOOKS:
Ah, the Dewey Decimal System. It was a way of cataloguing books in the library and it was annoying. Book spines looked like car number plates, like ‘BLU.660.’ I’m 38 and I still don’t really get it. Thank GOD for the Internet.
A VISIT FROM THE LIFE EDUCATION VAN:
Can you believe Harold the Giraffe had been visiting schools for over 35 years? Visits from the Life Education Van were awesome because basically, they got us out of the class room. My biggest memory was in about grade four when it was all about “Try Hugs, Not Drugs” – they even gave us badges. Mine ended up in the bin along with my bicentennial coin.
These were like crack for the play ground. We used to get our marble game on before the school bell rang and at play time until some hard-ass decided that marbles were no longer allowed in the school grounds. It was an end of an era, just like Don McLean’s American Pie, it was the day the
music marbles died. Galaxies and Pearls were my faves…and you never played those ones because the thought of losing them was sure to end in tears.
I’m trying to get my daughter into these. Remember the rhyme? “Jingle Jangle Silver Bangle….”
GARBAGE PAIL KIDS TRADING CARDS:
Another form of school yard contraband, Garbage Pail Kids trading cards were all the rage in the 80’s. The thing with these trends is that they come back to bite you on the ass when YOU become a parent in the form of those annoying Woolies trading cards. These ones were WAY better!
SCRATCH AND SNIFF STICKERS:
Seriously, HOW DID THEY DO IT? One of the great mysteries I guess, like the pyramids. The smell only lasted a few hours, but gee whiz they were exciting. You had to do something really impressive to score one from your teacher but when you did, you wore it as a badge of honour on your school jumper and only let your bestie have a shot at scratch n’ sniffing – they were just too good to waste.
THE THINGS THAT SCARED US:
Pennywise the Clown from IT: Jesus. IT came out in 1990 but the novel by Stephen King was released in 1986 so I’m paying it as the 80’s. Just looking at that face still gives me nightmares.
Cujo: Cujo was a good dog. Cujo got bitten by a bat. Cujo got rabies. Cujo killed many. St Bernards never looked the same after this movie.
The disappearance of Karmein Chan: Scarier than any fictional creature was the disappearance of Melbourne schoolgirl Karmein Chan in 1991. The thought of something so horrific happening to someone around the same age as us was terrifying, as was the hunt for ‘Mr Cruel’ – the man believed to have killed Carmen who has never been brought to justice.
Bangkok Hilton: This movie about drug-smuggling was SO scary. It should definitely be part of today’s school curriculum.
SPOKEY DOKEYS: The ultimate BMX accessory. They were like jewellery for your bike.
WHEN MICHAEL JACKSON WAS SO GOOD HE WAS….BAD:
Not quite as good as Thriller or Off the Wall, but Michael Jackson’s BAD album was THE album to have after its 1987 release. There was the iconic film clip for the title track as well as mega-hits, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal and Man in the Mirror- only triumphed by Weird Al Jankovic’s parody, Fat.
THESE were the soundtracks of the 80’s: It was all about big hair, big dance tracks and even bigger egos.
And we played them on THIS: Getting the needle right on that line without hitting the end of the last song was an art form.
Cassette tapes: Who DOESN’T remember waiting for your favourite song to come on the radio and hitting ‘Record’ and ‘Play’ on your cassette player to record it. And don’t even get me started on the Chipmunk-style High Speed Dubbing. Ah, the struggles.
VHS tapes: “Please adjust your tracking”….so annoying. Kids today will never understand.
THE BIGGEST HORROR OF THEM ALL: Discovering THIS in your parents bedside drawer was almost as bad as catching them in the act. That didn’t stop us having a good flick through and my God, my eyes are still recovering from what I saw. It was all about the beard and the bush and it was HORRENDOUS…only made worse by its subtitle, “A Gourmet Guide to Lovemaking.” Vomit.
What are your greatest memories of the 80’s?