Starting a Fire with Archie Comics

Lately, I hear myself saying things like “I’m so glad I grew up when I did” and “Wow, I would hate to be a kid nowadays.”

Sure, that sounds a tad crotchety. Like when your parents thought the music you were into sounded like cats being tortured compared to the “real” music of their generation, but I’m standing by my two statements.

This modern world of social media, reality TV, helicopter parents, extreme political correctness, spoiled celebrity brats, mega allergies, everybody gets a trophy mentality, micro-manged playtime, and blah, blah, blah, makes me bloody crazy. I can’t imagine being a kid trying to navigate around this horseshit while still trying to have a little magic and kid-fun in their lives.

As a product of the lost generation, defined as a Gen Xer and a latchkey kid, I still manage to look back on being a kid in the 70s with great affection. It was a time of innocence, bordering on ignorance by today’s standards. It was a time of simply just being a kid. Sure our options for entertainment were limited — two fuzzy channels on TV, comics, books, toys and board games, boring old outside — but playtime was ours and it helped shape who we are today.

In celebration of that time, here’s a look back at some of the treasures from my time as a kid in the 1970s.

The Flintstones

FLNT_ART4C01_CACS_50TH“When you’re with the Flintstones. You’ll have a yabba dabba doo time.A dabba doo time.You’ll have a gay old time.”

And then Fred would bellow “Wiiilllllmmmmaa” in his cartoon-y abusive husband sort of way. But that didn’t matter to the millions of kids that tuned in everyday at lunch to watch The Flintstones. And my brother and I were no different. Well, except for the fact that we had to turn on our old TV in the morning because it needed twenty minutes to warm-up before it could even entertain the idea of showing stuff on its screen. Forget, and that lunch time turned into the worst ever and bologna sandwiches tasted more heinous than normal.

Skipper Doll with Growing Tits

growing-up-skipper-dollIf you think that title is weird, try having a doll with growing tits. I really have no idea why I had this Barbie as a kid. It certainly was not the kind of thing I would have asked Santa for. Nor is it the kind of thing Santa (my mum) would have bought. Maybe some relative gave it to me. Nonetheless, I had this Barbie. To make her grow, you simply dislocated her shoulder twisted her arm and watched as her torso elongated and two tiny protrusions appeared on her concave chest. Maybe I missed the point of the doll, but I found myself twisting the arm and pressing those tiny plastic nubs back into the chest. Eventually, the arm twisted off and the chest was a shattered mess.

It’s Sick How Much I Loved this Movie?

greaseLook at me, I’m Sandra Dee . . .”

I must have seen this movie a dozen times in the theatre. I really fancied myself Sandy, even going as far as to dress-up as the good Sandy for Halloween. As I grew up, I realized I was really more of a Rizzo than a Sandy.

I still have the original Grease album, a cool photo book, and Grease trading cards. I’m sure they are worth something, but there is no way I’m selling. Grease is the word!

Who Loves that A-Hole, Archie?

archie213I didn’t actually like Archie, but I sure read a shit ton of these comics. Not sure why because I  really disliked most of the characters. And this is why:

  • Archie – boring, typical teenager who was accident prone and forever jerks around Betty.
  • Veronica –  vain, spoiled and competitive. She would be super annoying on Facebook.
  • Jughead – a greedy, sarcastic moocher who was lazy and apathetic. Great role model.
  • Reggie – arrogant, misogynistic, vain, conceited. Playing practical joke on that pussy Archie. A classic bully.

Really, the only redeeming characters were Betty and Ethel. Betty was kind, smart, and pretty, but always took a backseat to Veronica. Ethel was nerdy, homely, yet still popular and kind.

On another note, I once used some of my Archie comics as kindling for a small fire I started on a fence. Luckily, it burned out before it even got started. Years later, someone started a fire in a garage on my street. It lite up the night sky and brought our all the neighbours to gawk. We all stood around, watching this garage burn to the ground as firefighters worked to contain it. I wondered about the kindling used.


Pop_Shoppe_Bottle_Cream_Soda_CaneThis pop reminds me of playing in grandparents’ basement; marvelling at jars of preservatives neatly lined in a cold room; playing with an old phone melted from a long ago fire and painted gold (Grandpa Joe was delightfully kooky); looking at family pictures haphazardly nailed to the wall in an office. And then finally, grabbing a Pic-a-Pop from the plastic box under the stairs. Cream Soda was the best!

Well, that completes our romp through my childhood. What treasures remind you of your childhood?

Stay tuned for my teen years — the totally rad 1980s!

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10 thoughts on “Starting a Fire with Archie Comics

  1. sadietagabayan says:

    I actually liked all the Archie characters in spite of the fact that Archie was a doofus, Reggie was a dick, Veronica was a stuck up mean girl, and Jughead was a mooch. I liked Moose because he was kind of dim and needed a friend to help him get through, and I liked Midge although there wasn’t much to know about her because she didn’t appear that often.
    The ones I could relate to best were Betty and Ethel.

  2. Nadia says:

    I’m an eighties kid. My little ponies, Scooby Doo, and also the Flintstones… Not much differerent to the 70s. Sadly, I didn’t have a Barbie with growing titties.

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