Entertainment

You know you grew up in Australia in the 80’s (and 90’s) when….

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
January 20th, 2016

Turns out you guys LOVE a flashback just as much as we do, so we dug deep, DEEP down into our memory banks to pull out some more nostalgic gold from the 80’s.

These made us feel really, REALLY old….

SCHOOL FASHION:

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.

The height of school sock fashion

The height of school sock fashion

AUSTRALIA’S BICENTENNARY-1988:

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.

Did you keep your coin?

Did you keep your coin?

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.

Searching for a book was annoying.

Searching for a book was annoying.

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.

It's STILL going strong

We miss you Harold

MARBLES:

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.

You were judged by the size of your stash of these

You were judged by the size of your stash of these

ELASTICS: 

I’m trying to get my daughter into these. Remember the rhyme? “Jingle Jangle Silver Bangle….”

When we actually played outside. Together.

When we actually played outside. Together.

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!

These were the BEST!

These were the BEST!

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.

THESE!

THESE!

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.

Pennywise's scariness hasn't diminished over the years. Not. one. bit.

Pennywise’s scariness hasn’t diminished over the years. Not. one. bit.

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.

Heeeere Cuuujjjjoooooooo....

Heeeere Cuuujjjjoooooooo….

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.

We'll never forget Karmein

We’ll never forget Karmein

Bangkok Hilton: This movie about drug-smuggling was SO scary. It should definitely be part of today’s school curriculum.

The cautionary tale to end them all.

The cautionary tale to end them all.

SPOKEY DOKEYS: The ultimate BMX accessory. They were like jewellery for your bike.

Jewellery for your bike

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.

When Michael Jackson was the coolest. All those buckles...

When Michael Jackson was the coolest. So many buckles…

THESE were the soundtracks of the 80’s: It was all about big hair, big dance tracks and even bigger egos.

You had a minimum of five of these

You had a minimum of five of these

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.

Put the needle on it

Put the needle on it

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.

The term "chewed up" come to mind?

The term “chewed up” come to mind?

VHS tapes: “Please adjust your tracking”….so annoying. Kids today will never understand.

Adjusting the tracking

Adjusting the tracking was an art form

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.

The HORROR!

The HORROR!

What are your greatest memories of the 80’s?

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