Friday, August 12, 2005

ETC: What Ever Happened To...

  • button-fly jeans?
  • velcro sneakers?
  • sockettes with pompoms?
  • Booberry cereal?
  • that TV show Chico the Rainmaker?
I mean, most of the flotsam and jetsom of the '70s and '80s has been recycled by now -- even Smurfs, for sweet Jesus' sake -- but not these things. Why not?

Did I miss the media circus surrounding the infamous Levi's lawsuit of '89, wherein the frat boys of America filed a class-action lawsuit against the denim retailer after one too many emasculating buttonhole injuries? Were Frankenberry and Count Chocula so threatened by the unassuming, yet vastly superior, tastiness of Booberry that they had him disposed of and all memory of him erased? And does anyone but me even remember Chico the Rainmaker? Because I'm starting to get that "Am I on crazy pills?" feeling when I meet the blank stares.

I'm sure there are more examples of things that somehow, miraculously, resisted being appropriated by vintage-loving urban hipsters, but I can't think of them. Those urban hipsters sure are thorough.

22 comments:

Mr. Velocipede said...

At this very moment, I'm wearing a pair of button-fly jeans that I bought earlier in the summer at a Levi's store. So they do still exist, which makes me happy. I'm not sure why I like button-flies so much, except that they're silent. Steath pants.

Alex said...

Ditto on the button-flies. You just have to look up Silvers (canadian brand) circa 1995 to find 'em. I love the way they fit, and also the lack of zipper-breakage.

Anonymous said...

I actually am a small one-woman campaign to revive a PBS kids' show called "High Feather" -- but not because I ever saw it. A friend of mine was in it when he was a kid and is convinced the rest of the world has forgotten, and every so often I find something about the show tucked away in a corner of the Internet, I send him the link, and I scare him silly. And that's just so fun.

Kim in NYC

Her Ladyship said...

The happiest day of my life was when my mom finally, FINALLY bought me pink velcro sneakers. I would kill to own a pair today.

Foder said...

I actually have several pairs of pom-pom ankle socks! I was shopping for my daughter at The Children's Place last summer and they had a wallfull of 'em, all colours. I've got ridiculously small feet anyway, so big-kid socks actually fit me better then regular womens' socks and I stocked right up. Yay, pom-poms! Don't know if they still had any this summer - should go check.

Gael said...

Booberry is still on the shelves in Minnesota (haven't bothered to check since we moved to Seattle). Of course, MN is the home of General Mills, so if you can't find it where you are, you can buy it online.

Libby said...

With the return of leg-warmers, am anxiously awaiting the return of glow-in-the-dark socks and t-shirts (I was a junkie for the psychedelic orange and pink). Not that I'll wear them -- she says now...

Maven said...

According to a quick google, Chico the Rainmaker was re-released on DVD in France recently. The original title was The Boy With Two Heads--you can IMDB it that way.

paintdrinker said...

I swear I've seen velcro shoes in the last few years (though it is slightly possible that I'm confusing them with the revival of KangaROOS - you know, the ones with the little zipper pocket for your milk money) but I can't recall what brand.

As for pom-pom socks, you could always knit yourself a pair.

Cap'n Ganch said...

I wish my closet was still full of Hypercolor T-shirts.

Doppelganger said...

Too... much... information...

Heh. Er, anyway.

First, was Hypercolor that weird reactive-pigment fabric that would change colour according to your body temperature? Because ick!

Libby, you could probably pull off the psychedelics. On me they were a huuuuge mistake. Funny how I managed to convince myself otherwise at the time...

Thanks for the info, Gael and Maven, though it was weirdly chilling to finally see Boo Berry and Chico after all these years. (And how funny is it that there's an UNofficial Boo Berry site?! What? Not that funny, really? Maybe it's just me.)

Thanks for the link, paintdrinker! I'm still at the "squares and rectangles" skill level when it comes to knitting, but I can still dream.

Ha! Her Ladyship, my one and only pair of velcro sneakers was pink, too! I loved them so much.

And as for you button-fly weirdos, I have a question for you:

Zipper-breakage???

fshk said...

That Unofficial Boo Berry site was featured on an episode of "Unwrapped" on the Food Network last week. They interviewed the webmaster, who is very clearly obsessed with the cereal. Apparently Boo Berry is most easily available around Halloween.

And you can buy those socks with pompoms at Target. I saw some there the other day.

Wing Chun said...

Velcro shoes are widely available in Toronto; I was just at Groovy on Queen Street on Saturday and not only saw a ton of the old-school kind (two straps, the ends facing the outer edges of the shoes), but got myself some new-fangled ones (one strap, zig-zagging across the top of the shoe) by Puma that look a bit like rock-climbing shoes.

The other thing that's back, per Target in Niagara Falls, NY? Novelty shoelaces. My sister got some Spider-Man ones.

Doppelganger said...

Hmm... so, clearly, the problem isn't that all these things have disappeared, it's that I'm woefully out of touch. But my mom says I'm cool!

(Novelty shoelaces, huh? I may need to get me some of those.)

Mare said...

Just wanted to add that I remember my brother was addicted to Chico, and I watched it with him - I was, uh... about 8 or so. Catchy tune! Sooo do you remember.. "The Tommorrow People"?... oh - velcro shoes... my preschooler daughter wears them, they don't seem to make shoes with laces for kids anymore. Thank God that she will be spared the torment I suffered as I was completely inept at tying my shoes until I was 9. BTW you can buy a lot of cool novelty shoelaces and stuff at Hot Topic Bellis Fair... and it's a fun drive from Van. Let's go!

Heather in Halifax said...

I most definitely remember "Chico the Rainmaker". In fact, I still get goosebumps just thinking about that freaky disembodied head. And yes, I like you, spent a great deal of time thinking I had either hallucinated the whole programme or was having some sort of false memory syndrome.
Most spooky and apparently has recently been re-released on DVD format in France. The only questions is...will it be just as terrifying to watch at age 33 as it was wayyyy back in the 70s? Or, will it simply be laughable now? And finally, are we brave enough to find out? :O

Heather in Halifax said...

Ummm... yeah so... I just found a link to the Chico themesong.

http://www.lesheros.com/chico/chico.html

Go ahead and play it if you dare. If you're really feeling brave, look at the images of Chico as you play it. I did....and boy am I sorry!

Doppelganger said...

Heather, you have officially Freaked Me Out.

Jesus, and they made that show for kids?

Heather in Halifax said...

I am as incredulous as you are on that one. I was really young, I believe under 5, when I watched that show. My mum would try to change the channel because she knew it scared the heck out of me but, ever the masochist, I would throw a fit if she did.
You see? You should listen to your mother! ;)

Caleb said...

At last I've found others that recall that ugly shrunken head. I've been dismissed as a loon so many times by bringing that show up.

Anonymous said...

you are not alone on the 'Chico' thing...for many years I too asked people about this show and nobody remembered it; I was happy (and mostly disturbed) to find the following reference on wkikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chico_the_Rainmaker

and finally, the link below replays the disturbing intro credits, found it on youtube...the 70's really reared some ugly heads.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvfFia7QEVg

daveman said...

That song is something ive carried in my head for over 30 years it came to me again today and i thought wow google that and found my way to your blog.
My primary school mates and myself would watch it on saturday mornings at the now demolished Art Deco cinema in my home town of Bude in Cornwall England. I cant recall the other shows that acompanied it.(Equally bad i suspect)
What sticks out most in my mind is that us kids used to sit at the back and see who could crawl under the seats to the front of the cinema the fastest.