What Makes Us, Us?

A quick rundown of several life altering experiences in my 17 years of the 80's-90's.
August 16, 2010
Hello all! This is my first official article on the 'Junk, hope you enjoy!

So to start off with, everyone experiences things in their childhood that shape them into the person they become later in life. Many of these things for me (besides the obvious choice of my bad-A family and friends) were the games, books, toys, TV shows, and movies that were around at the time.

Games of my 80's childhood

Growing up, my first gaming system was the SNES. I still remember walking into the living room on Christmas day, opening a few presents and being bummed because there were no more gifts, and no SNES. Turns out Dad and Mom hid it behind the couch all Christmas Story style. And I got F-Zero and Joe and Mac with it!

The SNES shaped my life in several ways...

I learned how to defend myself with krazy fighting skills learned in games such as Street Fighter II (Guile was the best, with his huge hair and comb, Sonic Boom!), Clay Fighter, Mortal Kombat and even Killer Instinct. These taught me that even if your enemy is down, always remember to FINISH HIM!!!

I definitely learned my driving skills on Mario Kart. I remember staying up the entire night the first night my bro and I had it, blasting eachother away in multiplayer. There's not a day that goes by while I'm driving my car nowadays that I am not on the lookout for a banana peel, and every now and then I have to look in the rearview to see if a red turtleshell is on my tail...actually this game might have made me paranoid, but hey it was worth it!

Lastly, I learned how important money is. Such as with Super Mario World. Let's just say you're running out of luck in life, if you have money, man you are a lot better off than if you don't. Same with ol' Mario and Luigi. If they're just reaching Bowser's castle moat, and they don't have any lives, fear not! They can go scrounge some coins from their couch and they have free lives galore to whip that turtle's tail!

Anyone remember board games when we were kids? They were just reaching literally the pinnacle of board game awesomeness, right before video games became insanely popular, and I was lucky enough to own the very best board game of all time growing up. Fireball Freakin' Island. This game was the very best, the brain child of a man by the name of Bruce Lund (who also has recently been responsible for Tickle Me Elmo, that was a pretty big deal). He theorized that it would be possible to make a 3-D game board, this idea gave rise to Bruce's Gift to the Planet. Fireballs, mountains, islands, snakes, this game had it all. The best was when you would be about to fireball a new player and they would say "you can't hit me from anywhere". Then you slowly reach for the head of the Mighty Vul-Kar and out of his mouth slips the darkest of all fireballs, a flaming ball of pure evil, headed for the naive new player, and before they knew it, they were lying face down in a smoulder pit. This game taught me how to spelunk to get ahead (cave exploring), how to hop out of danger's way, and most importantly how to be cutthroat to get the prize!

So now that we've covered games, lets move to...


Growing up I was always last to hear about the newest cool book and I never could find the ones I wanted in the library (they were always taken!). This was probably partly due to Pizza Hut's "Book It" program, where you read so many books and get a free personal pan. Pizza Hut, contributing to literacy and childhood obesity since 1990. Anyway, I always had to wait for book fairs and get good deals to read any books! I always got ideas of what to buy from the Weekly Reader, those tiny newspapers were awesome! In the newest WR that month, besides talking about Global Warming (Keep in mind this was the late 80's early 90's and they already knew about it) the catalog at the back was talking about a new series called "Choose Your Own Adventure". I was interested, so I bought one at the next book fair. Oh.........My...........GOD..........it was the best book I had ever read, you were INVOLVED! You had choices, you never knew what would happen, you might win, you might die a grisly death, but you always kept your thumb on the previous page, just in case, hehe...these books definitely taught me how to be cautious with choices, which serves me well still today! Too bad you can't keep your thumb on the previous page of life sometimes...

Mmm, so delightfully morbid!

As far as books go, besides the classics, these books were the best ever.

This is just part one of what I learned growing up in the 80's and 90's, look for part two sometime soon!

In closing, share your memories, you never know when you'll become one.
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