Thursday, October 18, 2012

How did we sleep at night?

I don’t know about you, but this weather puts me in the best mood.  It’s finally fall, and you know what that means…cozy sweaters, pumpkin flavored anything, and Halloween.  I love Halloween, especially scary movies.  Well, I think I like them.  I’m not sure because I usually end up watching most of them through my fingers.  Lots of things in horror films scare me…psycho killers, vengeful ghosts, getting possessed by the devil, all of which are pretty obvious things to be afraid of no?  This got me thinking about how I never thought to fear these things when I was little…instead the things that used to scare me back then probably shouldn’t have, and the things that should have scared the shit out me didn’t. Let me explain.
When I was younger the movie Beetlejuice used to give me nightmares.  I know what you’re thinking, but it was the bane of my existence. My sister would chase me around yelling his name three times, to which I had to do the same to prevent him from showing up and ruining my life. Don’t even get me started on those fucking sand worm/snake things.  Even in high school when I worked at Blockbuster Video, I would see the cover box for it and cringe.  I couldn’t phathom what asshole categorized that movie as a comedy.  Were we watching the same film!!!?  Before you plan on tormenting me,  I’m finally over it so feel free to shout his name as much as you’d like.  
The next one may seem kinda ridiculous to those of you who didn’t grow up around Chicago, but it induced terror in each and every one of us for years: Pop Rocks and Coca Cola.  Some horrible child started a rumor that Mikey from the Life cereal commercials (“Hey Mikey, he likes it!”) had consumed the two together and well,  he simply exploded.  We all lived in fear that one of us would forget about the lethal combination and would accidently mix the two.  What a horrible way to go.  I would like to find that asshole, and punch him or her in the throat because for years,  I missed out on so much deliciousness.
And who could forget the boogie man?  We didn’t know anything about him besides his nickname yet we were all so terrified of him.  He “supposedly” lived under the bed, but I for one never saw him.  I checked every night too.  We all lost sleep over a man no one could describe, had ever seen, and whose exact location could never be identified.  Sounds logical.
These are the types of things that scared us (and by us, I mean me mostly) as children, but never should have.  What about all the things that we so lovingly embraced, that if we were to encounter now a days, would require months of therapy?  
For example, one of my favorite movies was, “The Hugga Bunch.”  It was about these little furry people with giant heads and beady eyes that came through the mirror (not terrifying at all) to take you to Huggaland where you were forced to hug them all day and fight off an evil queen.   A few years ago someone had mentioned the Huggas, and I remembered how much I loved them so I looked them up. This is what I found.  Skip to about 43 seconds in and brace yourself…
Yeah, that really just happened.  Half of you are keeping your lights on when you go to bed this evening, and the other half of you are covering your mirrors. However, despite the obvious, they never scared me back then.  I even cuddled with one every night…and it was the ginger one at that.
What about the concept of the tooth fairy?  A woman with wings flew into your room while you are were asleep to steal your teeth.  She left you a dollar so you wouldn’t call the police, obviously, and everyone was so excited to see this bitch why?  I remember trying to stay up all night to try to catch a glimpse of her.  Now I wonder if the real reason people use the expression “sleep with one eye open” was to keep a lookout for this crazy woman with a tooth fetish.
Another good one is Santa Claus.  A fat, older man with a passion for toys and young children sneaks into your house to leave you either presents (if you were good) or coal (if you were bad)…and how did he know if you were good or bad?  He watched you.  All.the.time.  He could see you when you were sleeping, and he was watching you when you were awake.  Yet, we repaid this pedophile stalker  with cookies and milk.
Last , but not least, who didn’t love Bozo the clown?   These days clowns have become a source of fear for pretty much anyone with working eyes, but back then every child dreamed of making it on his show to play with his buckets and to get their hands on that sweet ass bike and a brand new, crisp $100 bill.  These days you couldn’t pay me 100 of those bills to go anywhere near that fucker or his buddy Wizzo (remember that creep?) because the sheer sight of balloon animals causes me to hyperventilate.
Looking back, it amazes me any of us were able to get any rest as children.  Shit, I may even lose sleep after writing this blog. 

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