My mom was in the hospital a lot when I was younger. No, don't apologize. No, there was nothing wrong with her. She was a nurse. Ha ha. She would work the morning shift every weekend, leaving me home with my dad who was always too grumpy to do anything until at least five. So every day I would sit down and watch Nickelodeon. Old school. There was Pete and Pete, Salute your Shorts, Are you Afraid of the Dark and Space Cases. I would go to bed dreaming about being on Legends of the Hidden Temple. Straight up, Nick was amazing and everything else rather...sucked.

And sometime around 1996, a new mascot popped up. The Popsicle Stick Dude. The one with the yellow nose and fake beady eyes and always talked in that weird voice. Yes. The one, the only...Stick Stickly.

Stick Stickly was only, hands down, the coolest mascot Nickelodeon ever invented. And at the time, the channel had everything from Ahh! Real Monsters and Beetlejuice, Salute Your Shorts reruns and virtually everything a young kid could want. And Nickelodeon was at its prime.

And then 1998 happened.

Stick Stickly was gone.

Vanished. And that annoying PO Box address that he always read off like a crack child at the end of every tv commercial...gone. Amazing shows that were created in the prime, like Angry Beavers, soon created controversy and disappeared.

And we reached a black age of Nickelodeon, which is still struggling to pull itself out of the vortex of sucky kid shows. They seem to think in the new, hip twenty-first century kids are more entertained by watching shows about inventions and semi-funny people jump around the screen doing nothing productive. While a occasional gem is produced, such as Invader Zim or Avatar: The Last Airbender, most of what's on Nick almost unanimously sucks.

The occasional loony who still believes their voice matters has started a petition begging for Stick Stickly back on Nickelodeon, nothing can really be done to improve the state the channel has been in since, oh, 1999. So instead, go to ebay, pay 40.00 for the Are you Afraid of the Dark Episodes on DVD, buy some popcorn and enjoy.

It's the best you'll be getting.