Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weekly Homework Assignment

Mama Kat got into the Christmas (holiday) spirit - and I loved this assignment! It's right in my wheel-house (at least I think it is)

Without a doubt, my favorite Christmas gift of all time is ... The Oscar the Grouch alarm clock ... "Wha?" you might be asking? Let me give you some background - For some reason, I remember seeing this alarm clock in some sort of catalogue as a child, and since I was a big fan of Sesame Street (and an even bigger fan of Oscar the Grouch), I REALLY, REALLY wanted this. My parents were excellent in hiding this from me, saying things like “Santa Claus probably won’t be able to get this present for you.” I was defeated – I figured there was no way I was going to get to wake up to Oscar’s grouchy voice every morning. My parents hid this gift from me and somehow snuck it into my pile of presents at the very end. I remember opening it, and being flushed with excitement and emotion so much that all I could do was hold my head and jump up and down repeatedly for about 5 minutes. For months, Oscar woke me up, and it was truly heaven. But, because I am a klutz, I ended up breaking it somehow. Recently, I searched for this clock on Ebay, and they run for about $200 now – geez!

Here are a couple of other favorites:
2. The Atari 2600 – At the time, it was called the Atari VCS … which gives you an idea of how old I am. I loved arcades and arcade machines … I’ve loved them for about as long as I can remember. For instance, I remember going into a department store called Two Guys. They had some sort of primitive racing machine that I was always fixated on. I think my mom allowed me to play it a few times, and I was hooked. You could imagine my excitement when I discovered the Atari 2600 in a Sears catalogue. My cousin Drew and I couldn’t stop talking about it. Again, my mom played one helluva poker hand, saying that the price was too much for a Christmas present (at the time, it was $129). But, Inga did end up buying it for me, and I must’ve played that thing about 10,000 hours (or more). The first game I got (besides Combat, which came with the Atari) was Space Invaders – I swore it was like I had an arcade in my basement (not entirely true, but close enough). It didn’t take me long to find those “secret games” within the games – you would have to flick the game on and off in a certain way to find these games – it was kind of like the first cheat code. I found one with Space Invaders in which I was able to shoot twice as fast (I’ve probably lost most of you with this one).

3. Mr. Quarterback – Sure, looking back on this gift, it was a piece of shite. But, the thought of having my very own “quarterback” throwing me 20 to 30 yard passes was enticing. I couldn’t wait to give it a try. Unfortunately, Mr. Quarterback (which was promoted by that jackass Roger Staubach) only “threw” the football about 5 yards or so … not even a perfect spiral. This is probably why Mr. Quarterback is no longer being sold.

4. The Green Machine – Now, I didn’t actually get this gift, but my two cousins did. I was PISSED! Man, did I want to have the Corvette of big wheels instead of the crappy orange one with yellow wheels that I currently possessed. I’m tellin’ ya, this big wheel was awesome – it reached incredible speeds and one could spin out like Dale Earnhardt with it. I was about as jealous with this one as I was when my cousin Drew got those Zips sneakers (the ones that “made” you run fast – or at least that’s what they said in the commercials).


Jenners said...

Visiting from MamaKat's writers workshop posts...

Haha! This was great! I love the kid jealousy that you were so accurately able to catch even these many years later.

And I do remember Two Guys! Jeez...that takes me back. And John Wanamaker and Gimbels and Genos (fast food place). We may have grown up around the same time and place, I suspect if you remember any of these.

We had an ATARI too and I remember my dad setting up the camera on a tripod to take a photo of the TV when my brother broke some high score and it set back to 0 or something like that. The true excitement is unable to be found in these photos ... but it was like the biggest thing in the world at the time.

Thanks for the memories!

snowelf said...

I always love this story. And you really, really need to get a new Oscar the Grouch alarm clock, Los!


El Padrino said...

hands down, Knight Rider bike

Heff said...

I remember the Atari Space Invaders double-shot trick. Yeah, I'm f'in OLD.

Jeff said...

Mr. QB: classic bait-and-switch -- marketing by Staubach, passing by Grbac.

Heff said...

Los - You are CORRECT, SIR !! I also knew how to get to the special "Catacombs room" in "Adventure", shoot through walls in "Combat", and finish "Superman" in 57 seconds ! The Atari 2600 was my Bee-yotch !!!