Kids today just don’t get it… the 80’s felt like a completely different world.
I wanted to share a few of my memories, coz looking back, it’s funny stuff. The 1980’s was a strange, yet wonderful, time to be alive.
1. The Boom Box
Ah, the Classic Boom-Box. In the 80’s, FULL STERIO blaring directly into your ear hole, was the only way a true connoisseur would listen to music. Unlike the miniature iPods of today, you didn’t need space in your pocket or bag, because a Boom-Box sat quite comfortably, on top your shoulder.
2. 80’s Style Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut was a very different thing in the 1980’s and 90’s… they were like a proper family restaurant. The whole family would go and get served deep-panned pizzas in real, pipping hot, skillets. It was tasty stuff, and smelled awesome too. When we were lucky enough to go ourselves, we had to dress-up. Because it was an event. -Not Church dress-up mind you, but still, not MacDonald’s causals either.
3. Healthy Options… Smoking Indoors
All I wanna say on this is, smoking indoors was a normal, everyday, thing. It was a normal thing to walk into a shop, or venue and to be greeted by a wall of smoke. And everything was stained with smoke, cigarette butts were littered all over the place, and Singles were available to purchase from all good corner stores. Even after a delicious meal, you could light up your favourite brand, right there and then, in the middle of the restaurant!
4. Phones actually attached to the Wall
Yes, phones used to be attached to wires, and the wires had to be plugged into a socket. That was the entire logic of the world in the 1980’s. How else would you send the voice noises? TV remote controls were kids, sitting on the floor in front of their parents. Don’t ask me how the TV signal worked, because it doesn’t matter… wasn’t reliable anyway, all we watched all day was flickering. All I know is, if you wanted to talk to somebody while not in their presence, you needed to tell them to be next to a phone, which was always attached to a wall, somewhere.
5. Markets & High Streets
I know you can get everything online nowadays, but in the 80’s the Market was the place to go for food and other stuff, -from all over the world. None tested to local standards mind you, but that’s what made it affordable. Markets were a weekly activity for most families and it was where we always bought fruit and veg. It was the reason we all had Velcro wallets and wore bum-bags/fanny-packs; to keep our money safe when literally stuck in the crowd. The Stall keepers were vibrant and passionate, and cared -even if only trying to “flog” you something. Whereas nowadays, many Sales Assistants get paid a wage and really couldn’t care less about what they sold (I too was once a Sales Assistant, and speak with some authority on the matter).
Related: The Art of becoming a Cynic…
6. Video Shops (Blockbusters)
Renting a video was one of the best things to do in the 1980’s and 90’s. It was wonderful. We would walk around the Video store, musing over some random VHS tape we knew nothing about, just because we liked the photo on the cover, or we liked the Star. Most rentals were just pot-luck (without internet reviews). Sometimes, we’d pay 3.99 for the latest big-budget movie. But either way, 3 things were guaranteed: 1. Somebody would have to work the video-tracker to reduce flickering 2. We’d have to endure the sound of the tape being stretched in the machine, and 3. We’d have to rewind the tape or risk being fined.
7. Flares & Hand-Me-downs
I know every generation wears hand-me-downs, but when the decade before your birth was the 1970’s, hand-me-downs take on a whole new meaning. I wore 70’s Flares most of my Primary School days, and it wasn’t fun, or cool.
8. Tape Cassettes
I used to record my favourite songs from the radio onto Tape cassette, to later enjoy at my leisure. But recording a song from the radio in the 1980’s meant: 1. Having a tape ready to record in the deck 2. Listening to the radio station until your song was played 3. Holding your fingers over the RECORD/PLAY buttons near the end of each song -because the next song could be yours. And lastly, 4. Hoping the DJ doesn’t mess it all up by chatting over the beginning, or ending, of the song… It took a lot of patience.
9. The Nintendo NES
I didn’t have a NES because we couldn’t afford one. But some of my friends did… or should I say, some kids in my class who I be-friended, once I realised they had a NES, did! I remember playing Double Dragon at a friend’s house. No longer did I have to imagine my toy soldiers fighting; now a computer could do all that for me. It’s a trend which continued for the rest of my life.
10. Your Mum…
It seems nowadays, people can say whatever they want. And being the grumpy old cynic I am, I’m not a fan. But back in my day, one simple phrase could start something:
I remember, you could push sooo far, and everything would be cool until someone got carried away and said, “Your Mum”.
The inevitable response was, “My mum?, MY MUM? Don’t talk about MY MUM!” as eyes turned red and headwear came off.
“Your Mum”, was the final diss/cuss, but also the greatest response to nearly anything.
And it didn’t matter how good or bad a mother actually was; because her honour needed to be defended at all costs!
My 80’s nostalgia
What else from the 80’s would kids today just not understand? Let me know in the comments below. And, don’t forget to subscribe!
Images used byway of review / critic – Further copyright accounted for with images where required