Area Restaurant Implementing Controversial Ideas in Effort to Go Green

8 03 2010

Elmer Huggest, owner of the restaurant, O’Grady’s Garden in Indiana, plans to do his part to save the planet by implementing some new policies at his eating establishment.  Some are pretty basic; others are a little more radical.

“It’s time we take a stand and do the right thing,” Huggest stated.  “There is so much food and energy waste in restaurants in this country, and I’m going to do something about it.”  Huggest, a retired gold prospector purchased the restaurant in 2005 and has been trying to come up with ideas to “go green” ever since.

O’Grady’s Garden will be closed this week as the staff makes major changes to the place.  The first work done will be to change all lighting to energy-saving flourescent bulbs.  The restaurant will also use significantly less lighting.  Huggest admits that some patrons may complain the restaurant is too dark but believes his customers will understand once they are informed of the new “green” policies. In addition, all the cooking and refrigeration appliances are being replaced with more energy-efficient models.

Other changes, however, may be more noticeable to customers.  In an effort to save paper, menus will be printed on small, playing-card sized menus.  Huggest realizes that these menus will be more difficult to read but believes this will not be a problem because a magnifying glass will be placed on every table to assist customers.

The napkins are changing as well.  Huggest proudly proclaimed, “We were fortunate enough to find a supplier in China who makes edible napkins.  They are made of some sort of plant fibers and come in two flavors:  Banana and Plum.”  This will cut down on washing costs and may also serve as a sort of replacement for dessert for our patrons.  I tried one, and they are very filling.”  Along the same lines, silverware will not necessarily be washed after each use.  “We’re going to have our staff inspect each piece of silverware when a table clears, and pieces that are deemed to be ‘not that dirty’ will simply be wiped once and placed back on the table.  This is a true ‘green’ innovation.”

Huggest also believes that restaurants waste energy in the form of heating and air conditioning.  “We’re going to go as natural as possible.  The heat will only come on if the restaurant temperature goes below 50, and the air will only be used when it’s above 85 in the dining room.  We think this can be comfortable as long as customers dress appropriately to the season.”

Servers will save paper by no longer writing down customer food orders and instead will be required to memorize them.  “We’ll probably have a few more mistakes on orders in the beginning since most of our servers are young and from the local community college,” Huggest admitted.  “I realize some of them are not the sharpest tools in the shed, but it’s all going to be worth it once they get the hang of things…eventually.”

Huggest also is removing the restaurant’s sound system meaning there will be no light music for ambiance.  He believes that is a waste of energy but has other ideas to provide a pleasant dining experience.  “My 14-year-old daughter plays the piccolo and will be available to sit in the corner and play most evenings.  Also, we’re very proud to announce that Corey Hart will play in the dining room on the first Thursday of every month.”  Corey Hart had the 1980’s hit song, “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night.”

Previously, O’Grady’s had a policy of handing out coloring paper and crayons to children diners.  This will be cut out, but children will have an opportunity to play in a large sandbox in the middle of the dining room while waiting for their food.  “I think they are going to just love that,” Huggest said.

Not all of the noticeable changes will be confined to the dining room.  Public Restroom policies are also being affected.  “The water faucets have been programmed to provide running water for only two seconds.  When it shuts off, it will not be able to be turned back on for a full minute.  We’re very proud of our efforts to cut out the unnecessary waste of water.  We also ask that our customers follow the old addage, If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.”  Huggest added that the restaurant is considering having servers check the toilets immediately after customers use them and reserve the right to evict anyone from the restaurant who flushes “only urine.”

There will also be some big changes relating to the actual food.  For example, the restaurant’s signature steaks will no longer be available “well-done.”  Huggest stated that cooking meat for an extra couple of minutes to get them “well-done” is simply a waste of electricity and will not be allowed.  “We feel that medium is plenty done enough.  People will get used to it.”

Drink spills by customers will be handled differently as well.  Servers will quickly try to “scoop” any amount of drink that can be saved back into patrons’ glasses.  There will be a “fine” added on to the bill for every ounce of drink that cannot be saved.

“Fines” will also be applied when customers do not finish all their food.  The price of the “fine” will depend on the type and amount of the food.  Huggest says a reduced “fine” will be applied when customers ask for take-home boxes for leftovers.  “It’s all well and good if they want to take leftovers home, but we can’t be sure they won’t throw the food away at home or even accidentally leave the carry-out box on top of their cars when they drive off.  Therefore, a small fine is in order.”

Huggest believes that children are the biggest wasters of food.  He is changing the kid’s meal as a result.  “The kid’s meal will now consist of a few slices of prune, one saltine cracker and a 1.5 ounce juice box whose container is made completely of recycled material.  Since the meal is a lot smaller than it used to be, customers will be happy to hear that we are reducing the price by ten cents.”

The restaurant will also attempt to reuse some food left behind on customer plates.  Huggest realizes this idea is “different” but believes it is necessary in today’s world.  “We’re going to cut out any bite marks and inspect food to see how much can be recycled.  We’ll then put it on our ‘second chance’ buffet which patrons can eat from for a reduced price.  We think we are pioneers and that many, many other restaurants will be doing this type of thing in the near future.”

When asked if this is sanitary, Huggest stated that the restaurant is committed to providing a healthy environment.  “Since we will be reusing some food, it will be necessary to take the temperature of every customer as they arrive.  Anyone with a fever will be denied entrance.  Also, our host staff will be taking a good look at every customer who is trying to come in, and only clean-looking people who look like they don’t have any diseases will be admitted.  Additionally, servers will go around the dining room and spray hefty doses of Lysol every ten minutes.  We want our customers to know we care about their good health.”

Finally, the restaurant’s popular frozen margaritas will no longer be available.  “It just wastes too much ice,” Huggest said.

Jenna McQuire, a long-time patron of O’Grady’s is not happy about this last change. “If I don’t get my Friday night mango margarita, I’m going to kill someone,” she ranted.

Customers are certainly in for some changes at the establishment.  “I think they’ll understand in the long run,” Huggest said.  “What good is a restaurant if we end up living in an post-apocalyptic world where people are beating each other with sticks trying to get at the last drops of water on earth.  Now you think about that.”





I’ve Always Suspected the Sporks

2 12 2008

Cheap tacos are wonderful things.  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of gorging on these very entities at a Taco Bell-like place with some family members.  Due to my attempts to live past the age of 50, I have to keep this sort of eating establishment in the “not as frequent as I would like” category of my life.  (Other things that fall into this category are:  Deep dish pizza, doughnuts, Apple Jacks, bacon and egg sandwiches and ogling beautiful women…all of these are equally dangerous if not kept in moderation).  However, there are times when I need my fix of the aforementioned cheesy, spicy, beefy edibles.

It was great lunching with family, and the food was similar to that of Taco Bell’s.  However, one important ingredient was missing:  The Taco Bell sauce packets with their witty little sayings.   If you’ve ever had a Taco Bell bag in your greasy little hands, and you’re not afraid to add a little extra kick to your tacos, then you know what I’m talking about.  If you have not had this pleasure, see the picture below for an example of the sauce packets that “say something” to you.

It’s admirable that Taco Bell has added some humor into the fast food landscape.  However, I often wish they had even more sayings on their packets.  I also think they should get a little saucier, so to speak.  It is time to get this off my chest.  Here are 20 phrases that I would love to see printed on a Taco Bell sauce packet, even though I know it will never happen.

  1. Not suitable for bra-stuffing, but I’m willing if you are.
  2. (This would go on the “Fire” level packets only.)  You know I’m going to rip you a new one, right?
  3. Hey lard-ass, stop eating here 4 times per week!
  4. Warning:  Do not attach to a packet of firecrackers (unless you want to see something awesome!)
  5. The guy next to you touched me in an inappropriate manner.
  6. For the love of all that is sacred, don’t open me with your teeth!
  7. I have to cover my piercings to work here.  Guess where they are!
  8. You’re adding hot sauce to a Volcano Taco…seriously?
  9. You may not want to know specifics about our secret sauce.
  10. I’m thinking outside the box right now, and it’s naughty.
  11. What was with that movie, WaterWorld? You have to be kidding me.
  12. Glove compartment in July?  Bad idea.
  13. I’m just not that into you.
  14. Your parents are cousins, aren’t they?
  15. How much sauce could a sloth slurp if a sloth could slurp sauce?
  16. You brought her HERE for a date?  Nice going, big spender.
  17. Whoa back up, buddy.  Ever heard of Listerine?
  18. Haha!  5 chili cheese burritos and a DIET Pepsi.  Yeah, that makes sense!
  19. Stand back – I’m packing heat, and I WILL use it.
  20. Hey wussy, you look like more of a ketchup person.

I’m going to have to end this blog now, as I suddenly have a Nacho Chicken Gordita craving.

What would you like to see on a packet of sauce?





Adult Film Rentals and the Perv-O-Meter

23 10 2008

Behold the Perv-O-Meter.  Every male in the world falls somewhere on this spectrum ranging from 1 (Sweet, innocent guy) to 10 (Total Perv).

As a guide to make the ratings clearer, let’s use the following celebrity examples:

Tom Hanks would be a 1.

Hugh Grant earns a 7.

Colin Farrell is an 8.

Michael Jackson is an 11.

Don’t get me wrong, number 1’s probably are not COMPLETE angels (what guy is?), but in the overall spectrum of the male species, they rate as sweet and innocent.  I’d like to think that I would be about a 3 or 4 on this meter, but I’ll leave that for others to decide.

There comes a time in a young man’s life when he takes a major step in forming his spot on this spectrum.  I’m speaking, of course, when he first goes to a video store to rent a porno an adult film.  This is probably an easy and non-embarrassing event for a guy who is an 8, 9 or 10.  It is a different matter for those of us who fall somewhere below the 5 marker.

I recall the day it happened for me.  I was 18.  A few buddies of mine were going to come over to play poker that evening, and several of us decided we should rent an adult movie from a local video store nearby.  We all wholeheartedly agreed this was a fantastic idea.  The part that was not so easy to decide was this:  Who was going to do it?

At this particular video store in the 80s, they did not have a little separate adult room for pervs men to go into and make their choices.  No, they instead had a big thick black binder with all the titles of the adult films they had to offer.  This binder was behind the counter.  So, not only did you have to get up the courage to ask for the dirty book, but you then had to peruse such titles as “Rambone” and “Star Whores” and verbally ask the clerk for the one that you wanted.  This was a double whammy of embarrassment for a 3 such as myself.

After a bit of arguing, arm-punching and wet willies, it was decided that I would be the lead guy (the asker of the dirty book) but that two of my friends would go with me to the counter and be my pervy sidekicks.  (Looking back, it seems like it should have seemed weirder to ask for a porno while flanked by two male friends than to do it by myself, but at the time I felt I needed back-up).

The evening came, and it was time to do the deed.  The three of us made our way to the store while giving high fives and doing chants to pump ourselves up.  Upon our arrival, it was time for step one.  Step one was to ensure that my female relative who worked in the store was not present that night.  A quick peek at the counter confirmed that she was not.  It was a go.  However, we did not go straight for the jugular but instead worked our way through the “normal” video sections such as Drama, Comedy and Horror.  I think we stayed away from the kids’ Disney section because it just would have seemed too sick to peruse that area and then ultimately ask for the dirty book.  As we feigned interest in VHS tapes of “Romancing the Stone” and “Footloose” while trying to work our courage into a fever pitch, I could feel a cold sweat forming on my forehead.

Finally, after we had looked at every single “normal” video in the store (except the kids’ section), the time had come.  We could not put it off any longer.  I gave the thumbs up signal and headed to the counter.  My two friends followed nervously behind.

I could feel my confidence slipping away with each slow step I took toward the guy and girl working the counter.  After what seemed like a 20-minute walk, I was finally there and the guy said, “Can I help you?”  This was good.  It would have been worse to ask the girl for the dirty book.  My confidence was regained as I asked for the book in a sort of grunt/point maneuver.  This is where it all went to hell.

First, I turned my head to find that my two friends had retreated and were heading out the door, laughing nervously.  I was on my own in this unknown land of porn.  The guy handed the book to me, and I knew I had to go through with it.  I slowly opened the book the way a treasure-hunter might unfold an ancient map.  The next step was to pick a title that wasn’t TOO embarrassing to request.  If you’ve ever seen adult film titles, then you are aware they vary greatly in the gratuitousness of their titles.  After much deliberation, I settled on “Fleshdance” which sort of just rolls off the tongue.  I requested it, and the guy looked at some magical area below the counter where the films were apparently kept.  He said things like, “Let’s see” as he looked for my request.  I started to realize after about 10 seconds that this was not working.  The guy looked perplexed and then did something horrific.  He called out loudly to the girl working at the other end of the counter.  “Hey, do you see ‘Fleshdance’ down there anywhere?”  Not only did the girl hear him, but so did anyone else shopping in the store, including those in the kid section.

At this point, I just wanted to leave, but I literally felt as though my feet were glued to the counter.  Sweat was pouring from me now.  After an eternity of looking for the tape, the girl finally located it and handed it to the guy.  I paid, and he gave the tape to me.

Things felt a little uncomfortable at the end of the transaction, to say the least.  What was the guy going to say?  Most of the things that a video clerk might normally verbalize at this point seem inappropriate to this particular situation.  For example, phrases like, “Have a good evening” or “Enjoy it” or “Thanks for coming” take on a different connotation when you’ve just rented some porn.  Luckily, I think the guy just nodded and simply said, “Thanks.”

I made my quick exit and got back to the car where I promptly chewed out my friends.  The anger did not last long as the feeling of euphoria hit me.  I was holding an adult video tape in my sweaty little hands.  I had made it out of the store with the treasure.

Whether that movie was any “good” or not, I don’t recall.  However, I knew I had moved from a 1 to about a 3 with that walk to the counter.





What Does Your Music Say About You and Do You Care?

21 08 2008

An iPod/mp3 survey/meme:

This week, I posted my parody lyrics for the song I Kissed a Girl called I Kissed an Earl at the risk of making people who are humor-challenged think I had kissed a man. While I have no beef with anyone (male or female) who does want to do this, I had no intention of misleading anyone into thinking that I do.

This lead to a series of thoughts about the music we like, the many varied reasons we like the music we do, and the perceptions someone else might have about the songs we choose. I did a quick survey of my mp3 player and wondered what a first time co-worker or acquaintance riding in my car would think of me depending which song on shuffle play came up first. If one were to judge me by the music I’ve put on there, I could be thought of as cool, sappy, tough, stuck in the 80s, a metal head, a nerd, a wussy or an intellectual lover of the classics (you know, like Mozart or Def Leppard). It’s a bit daunting to realize we are all a slave to the shuffle play (unless you don’t use your shuffle) when it comes to that first musical impression. So, it’s fun music survey time. Feel free to use this, and I hope others will play along nicely (or not so nicely depending on what is warranted by a particular question).

If someone new were in your car, what song on your player would you be quickest to skip out of embarrassment: While I think I have more than one song that fits this question, I think I would be quickest to skip past Windy by The Association. It’s a terribly wussified 60s love song that really should only be played if trying to seduce a female hippy (is that hippie?). Why do I have it? The “cool” answer is to say that I have it because, as a young child, I sort of inherited an old 45 record of this song from an older sibling when they moved out of the house and left it behind (probably because they were absolutely over the song). This is partly the truth, but sadly enough, I also SORT OF like the song if I’m in one of those moods. By one of those moods, I mean a running through a breezy field with a beautiful blue sky above mood. Wow, I just read that sentence and realized I must delete that song freaking immediately.

What song or songs is/are most “atypical” on your player? This has to go to Abba’s Take a Chance on Me. (Yes, I know, based on my previous answer, you’re thinking, “That’s not atypical at all for this pansy.” But, I promise, it really is.) I put this on after the brilliant use of it in “The Office” when Andy tried to woo Angela by harmonizing to the song with a friend who was on the phone. Loreena McKennitt’s The Mummer’s Dance is a close second.

What song(s) on your player turns you on? I’m going with I Want You to Want Me by Cheap Trick, probably just because of it seeming like a good “make-out” song from the past. I think Alicia Keys sounds hot on No One as does Shakira on Whenever, Wherever (probably simply because she’s Shakira). Also, since I’m actually more a rock guy than anything else, I’ll say Gasoline by Seether (that’s not really a recommendation if you’re in more of a romantic mood, but I love the sound of the song).

If you wanted to get a member of the opposite sex in the mood, what song would you program to come on when they are in the car? Easy. Ain’t that Loving You? by Lou Rawls. Very smooth (him, not me).

What is the longest song on your player? I think it’s Blackbird by Alter Bridge. I wrote more about it here.

What do you think is the silliest song on your player? Jive Talkin’ by the Bee Gees

What did you most recently add to your player? Several Katy Perry songs

What did you most recently delete? Already covered this: Windy

What is your favorite song on your player that is from a movie? Dream Warriors by Dokken (from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3) but also a couple of the instrumental songs from the miniseries John Adams by Rob Lane and Joseph Vitarelli. The songs are patriotic in nature and in the classical style. If you’re a fan of big, sweeping cinematic music, check it out.

Is there a song on your player that is only there for someone else’s benefit? I have a few for when my wife is in the car (like Jason Mraz). Also, my three year old daughter is a huge fan of a song called Spell by Marie Digby so I’ll have to leave that on there.

What song or artist do you find yourself skipping most frequently and therefore should probably delete? I think I keep skipping Billy Idol lately.

Without cheating, start your player and list the first 10 songs that come up in random play.

Fake It - Seether

The Secret of Life - Faith Hill

Nights in White Satin - Moody Blues

The Interview - AFI

Here We Are - Breaking Benjamin

Take Me Away - Avril Lavigne

Lovin’ Every Minute of It - Loverboy

Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi

Takin’ Care of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive

SupaSaturation - Dizzy X

Let’s hear your answers! Don’t be shy. Add a question or two to your survey!





Singular, Good – Plural, Bad

8 05 2008

Some would argue that it is a sin to do anything in excess. I don’t proclaim to know exactly where God stands on this particular issue, but it does seem clear to me that some things, while fine in moderation, become a very significant problem if overdone. All Most of us realize that eating this is a wonderful experience, while eating this could turn out very badly.

However, there are other excesses that seem to have been determined as “acceptable” by a certain percentage of our society. As much as I hate to be the party pooper, it’s time someone had the guts to write some guidelines in a blog that may be seen by as many as FIFTY, that’s right, FIFTY people. (I think that could be enough of a groundswell to literally change the world and bring some common sense to certain people.)

Everything in the following list should follow the rule: One is good, several are bad.

1. Wives. Recently, a polygamist ranch was in the news, and many children were removed from the group. Personally, I’m not sure what the sect members were thinking. I have found that having a good wife has been a great blessing in my life. She helps to keep me grounded and generally on track in my life. She has great ideas, beautiful eyes, and a sharp wit. That is all well and good. However, this does not mean a bunch of wives is even better. Huge mistake. First of all, I live in a home with no other males as it is. I have a female wife, a female daughter, and a female dog (insert your own biotch joke here). I can only imagine how little I would get to watch my beloved Cardinals if I had more than one wife wanting to watch reruns of Love Connection or discuss what Gwyneth named her baby. I also shake in my shoes when I think of what it would be like to have two (or, God forbid, three) arguments going on at once with more than one wife. One would scream, one would cry, and one would give the silent treatment (the worst!). Can’t we all just have one spouse at a time?

2. Video game systems for anyone over the age of 19. Spending hours getting arm cramps playing Space Invaders was bad enough when I was little. It worries me that so many adults (mostly guys) spend hours hunting down aliens or trying to evade the police after stealing a car. What’s scarier? One state of the art system is no longer enough. They need one for their sports games, one for their online war adventures, and one that comes with a better fake guitar. Will there be time for anyone to, oh, say, write a good novel or invent something to keep three wives happy at the same time? I worry about such things.

3. Parking/Speeding tickets. While having one of these shows that you’re not a sheep blindly following authority, having ten of these is a problem. This means you are either stupid, dangerous, a very slow learner, or all of the above. Just stop.

4. Cats. I admit it. I’m a cat person. A cat (notice no “s” on that word) can be a great and hilarious pet. However, the practice of having multiple cats, no matter how you try to defend it in a comment below, is bad…real bad. You’ll be thought of as just plain crazy, and I don’t want to hear how you figured out a good way to keep your house, landscaping, etc from stinking. Believe me, visitors can smell it. (Having exactly two cats is iffy. You might get away with this, but why take the chance?) Hey, I want all cats to have a good home as much as anyone else so let’s all get ONE, just ONE, all right?

5. Tattoos. I have none. I’m a wuss. However I acknowledge that a well-placed single tattoo CAN be attractive or tough-looking or whatever it is the person is striving for. However, when you’re talking multiple tattoos, you’re talking about giving off the wrong message to the rest of the world. No, you can’t justify it if you have “one” really big tattoo that covers like 10 square feet of your body.

6. Sports cars. Hey, if you’ve made a nice living for yourself, and you feel better about turning 50 when you have a shiny red sports car in the garage, more power to you. However, if you have one for each day of the week, get a life.

7. Baseballs/Footballs/Jerseys/other sports memorabilia displayed in your home. There is a direct correlation between the number of these items you have on the mantel and the awesomeness of your wife (or wives if you disregarded #1). The more of these “cool” items you have on display, the less likely it is you’ll get a really great wife. That woman out there you’re searching for is more likely to be impressed by a sense of humor and general kindness than a signed David Ortiz jersey hanging on your bedroom wall. (Exception: Brett Favre jerseys are considered “hot” by Wisconsin women.)

8. Playboy Magazines. If a girlfriend, parent, or coworker stumbles upon a single Playboy in your home or car, you’ve still got a shot at a plausible explanation. If they find a stash that would go for hundreds of dollars on ebay, you’ve got a problem. (This does not apply to Hustler…even one of those will kill your reputation.)

9. Squirt of perfume/cologne. One, I repeat one, let’s make this clear: One squirt of perfume or cologne can be very pleasant and sexy. Two, three, or fifteen squirts at a time makes you seem like a crazy old woman who really loves Avon or a creepy, desperate guy who hasn’t showered for a couple days.

10. Drunken college story. While one of these can be entertaining to friends and coworkers and makes you seem like a regular person, several of these stories just makes you seem a bit scary and unstable. They may still appear to be laughing at your tales, but if you listen closely, you’ll hear that it’s really frightened, pity laughter. You may have lots of these stories, but stick to just one publicly.

I leave you with this bit of wisdom from an old quotation: “I believe celibacy should be practiced in moderation.”





They Are As Bad As We Are

2 03 2008

Recently, my wife wrote that she might be more like a guy than she had thought. Apparently, so is her office mate (who presents as very feminine and nice).
My wife was on the phone at work, getting some needed information from a male at some place of business. While on hold, my flirtatious sweet wife mentioned to her office mate that the man had a very nice voice.

Without missing a beat, the office mate, who has seen the man, stated, “Oh, he’s UGLY.” She did not stop there (certainly egged on by my wife). She added, “His face looks like a large animal stepped on it.”

Yes, they can have their “Guy Cards” now.





Showing My Age: 70’s Style

24 02 2008

While I consider the 80’s an “important” decade in my formative years (and look back fondly on the music, movies, tv and styles, well SOME of the styles), I spent more of my formative years in the 70’s. My wife recently recounted her favorite 80’s memories. It has inspired me to write of the 70’s in the same manner. It is my sincere hope that this will be a cathartic experience and help me understand how I became the twisted individual that I did. Let’s delve:

I like to spend an unhealthy amount of time playing games (like Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, etc). The root of this could be traced to one of these:

This was an addictive, let’s say “educational” game in which you had to quickly memorize patterns and repeat them on the game face. Though this game might look boring to a kid used to today’s standards, any blue-blooded 70’s kid found the flashing colors mesmerizing (and possible seizure-inducing).

Which Witch? was a really cool game in which little kiddies had to make their way through haunted rooms like the “spell cell” without having their game piece turned into a mouse. I know there was a whammy ball that did something bad to you (nothing to do with the Press Your Luck Whammies on tv). I’m thinking this one would not be for parents who ban things like Harry Potter books from their kids, but I remember thinking this game was really, really cool. As far as I can tell, this game is rare and was possibly never a big seller. I’d love to hear from anyone who remembers this game.

Oh yeah, hand held electronic football. This one was a savior when you had to go to bed. It was easy to hide this thing under your blanket and keep playing. I’m pretty sure you could even turn the sound down or off. Sweet. Of course, now the simple little red blips would have modern kids calling it lame, but it was electronic heaven for me.

I also long for some of the toys of my childhood. My favorites included these:

The seat sure doesn’t look especially comfortable now, but it was good enough back then as I tore around the driveway like a speed demon. Who didn’t love turning sharply and spinning out the back tires on one of these things? I thought I was tough on this, at least until I would screw up and skin something. That inevitably ended in my crybaby self running into the house in search of Mom with big crocodile tears on my wussy face. (Hmm, I may have issues.)

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots! What better way to learn conflict resolution skills than to punch frantically until the blue robot (I was always the red one, as no really cool kid would ever choose the blue one) had his head punched off (or in this case, up). The head/neck thing made a really cool “zipping” sort of sound when you pushed it back down to reset it.)

This came with a booklet of several songs that guided you on what color (the colors shown above the keys) to play. Before long, any six-year-old could play something like “You Are My Sunshine” all day long. What parent would not enjoy that? I remember those little plastic faces as being rather vociferous.

Wiffle (or Whiffle, depending on your preference) Ball! Yes, I mercilessly pounded had friendly games with many of my younger nephews in the back yard. Dad would make us quit, sometimes, because we’d make a nasty bare spot in the back yard where home plate was. I was forever arguing about this, saying, “It’s our back yard; I’m supposed to be playing in it!” We also had to be careful not to plow through his garden so we had a special rule that if you hit into the garden, you were automatically out. It was like having one big outfielder out there. This prevented anyone from running quickly into the garden to retrieve the ball. You could slowly, carefully extract it since the hitter was already out. We also frequently dented the siding on the garage. I had no logical way to defend myself on this one when Dad got angry. The main problem with this toy? Kids in possession of hard plastic bats that somehow found other uses than playing wiffleball.

A kid can’t play all day long. Eventually, you just have to turn the television on! I remember mornings filled with cartoons like The Pink Panther, Hong Kong Phooey and my all-time favorite:

Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder! Fighting all who rob or plunder! Underdog! Underdog!

Underdog was the bomb. I really wanted him to beat his nemesis, Simon Bar Sinister. DRAT!

My least favorite kids’ morning show was this piece of crap:

Land of the Lost: It was cheap-looking (even by past standards), and it was just plain weird.

One can’t live by cartoons alone, and I remember really enjoying some tv shows with my mom and dad. There were the obvious ones, like Happy Days, but there were others as well:

Quincy revolved around the life of a medical examiner who had to unravel crimes through his science. Think of a much nicer House meets a much cheesier CSI. Anyone remember this one?

This game show, hosted by the very cool Bert Convy, pitted celebrity couples against each other. They would have to guess how their spouse would answer certain questions. I remember the giant headphone things half the spouses would wear so they couldn’t hear what their partners were saying. It was somewhat racy at times, at least for a little kid, and I enjoyed that whole-heartedly.

This was a classic! It seemed like the biggest money game of its time, and it was a great game. Dick Clark, of course, ruled on this show. (Check out the awesome 70’s moustache on that contestant!)

Oh yeah, The White Shadow. The coach, who was a pro basketball player forced to retire early due to injuries, goes against the advice of everyone he knows and becomes the head coach of the basketball team at a tough, poor school dealing with racial tensions. I thought Coolidge (one of the players) was the coolest. Anyone else out there miss this one?

The last tv items I’ll mention are two slogan/songs I remember from 70’s commercials. One was for Burger King: “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us. All we ask is that you let us have it your way!” The other was for perfume called Enjoli. The ad was trying to appeal to working super-women who were doing it all. It featured an attractive woman singing: “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let you forget you’re a man, cuz I’m a woman…Enjoli!” I don’t know if this ad was successful or not with their target audience, but it seems to have had a lasting effect on a 10-year-old boy.

Let’s move from tv to music. Records were fun (until they got a nasty scratch on them). Three of my favorites were these:

Now that I’ve posted the pictures, I’m thinking all three of these were double albums, which was a nice bonus. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) I had older brothers and sisters, and I think Frampton was a “hand-me-down” that was left behind for me. I loved how Frampton would “make his guitar talk” and say, “Do you feel like we do?” ELO mixed pop/rock with string instruments. The one pictured included the popular “Turn to Stone.” I loved both the soundtrack and the movie “St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by/with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, among others. I thought the movie was great, back then, but I have the feeling that I would realize it sucks if I saw it now.

When I had to leave home and go to school, I packed my trusty lunch box. Anyone remember the old metal lunch boxes that would actually rust at some point? I had some dorky ones, like some generic batman-like lunch box (can’t even remember the name of the cartoon), but here’s a cool one:

Which ones did any of you have?

Now is as good a time as any to mention one of the funniest style jokes God ever played on the U.S. when He convinced people to think Leisure Suits were cool. Here is an extremely embarrassing picture of myself and my parents. Wow, my mom and I are in matching suits that she made. That’s awful.

At least I never had to wear these:

Let’s just move on. I wasn’t yet driving in the 70’s, but I remember being a little kid wishing for one of these:

I thought Chevy Monte Carlos were very cool. I never ended up with one, but later on when I could drive in the 80’s, my first used car wasn’t that far off – a 1975 Olds Cutlass Supreme, similar to this one:

Mine was red and was a not-as-cool 4-door model. It ended up getting totaled when someone else’s car got hit and knocked over the center line into me. Ah well, it was a good car while it lasted.

Who remembers the Datsun cars of the 70’s? I remember my brother had a yellow one that I think was this type:

I need to wrap this blog up before I’m tempted to include even nerdier pictures of myself. However, I have saved the best 70’s memory for last. The two best creations of the 70’s were both born in 1975. One is my gorgeous wife. The other is this guy:

This Schoolhouse Rock character was the best! See the whole video here!

Thanks for stopping by, and please share any 70’s memories you have.








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