Sunday, August 31, 2014

À Loaf of Bread, a Container of Milk, and a Stick of Butter

   I had mentioned once, a long time ago, that I suffer from false memories. That is, I remember things in vivid detail that never actually happened. While it is very likely that this is just proof that I'm a replicant, it makes for some interesting conversations that usually end in, "That never happened." "Yes it did, I was in the back yard on the swing..." "Christina, there was no swing." And no, my brain would realize that there was no swing, but the memory of being on said swing would remain as strong as ever.
   Because of this, I often find myself questioning my more bizarre or surreal memories of things that I may have seen on television. Fortunately, we live in a world with Google and YouTube. When I absolutely need to know if the serious situation of the singing pills who were definitely not candy was a real PSA, Google came to my rescue. The title of this blog post comes from an old Sesame Street cartoon about a girl whose mother sends her to the store for three items. I don't know which was more disturbing, the fact that she had trouble remembering this list of three items or the fact that her mother thought sending an eight year old to the store with or without a list was a good idea. Eh, it was the seventies. Parents didn't mollycoddle their kids with things like lists back then. Parental responsibility aside, I am happy to report that again, thanks to Google, I know this cartoon really happened.
   But even in this, the age where every small blip on the universal radar is recorded digitally for the purposes of being torn apart by nostalgia critics of the future, there are still two items that the internet has failed me on. I'm beginning to think that the Tyrell Corporation fed me these memories by accident. And this is where I need your help. I want to crowd source my sanity. I need anyone who is Gen X or older to pull out your WayBack machines and think back to the greatest (pre-digital) era of them all; the 1980s. If anyone remembers either of these two items, please, let me know in the comments, on Google+, Facebook, or where ever. I need to know I didn't make these things up. This will not prove that I am not a Nexus 6 typing on a Nexus 7, but it will at least prove that the implanted memories are of actual events.
   The first, which I know I have mentioned countless times in the past, is a Tab commercial from the early to mid eighties, featuring a woman lying on an inflatable raft, who has irresponsibly fallen asleep in the sun (relax, sun burns and skin cancer hadn't been invented yet) and left her Tab cola vulnerable to predators. Out of nowhere, a periscope surfaces (made more odd, because I think she was in a pool) and looks around. Now, you expect the big cartoon eye to ogle the woman, but no, it locks in on the cola. A straw then emerges and the cola is magically slurped away by a periscope. Or, you know, seeing as it's a periscope with a very cartoonish eye, it may be getting high by putting Tab cola in its eye. What, do you think parents today invented the concept of being scared that their kids are doing idiotic things to get high? Ahem... Anyway, the girl wakes up and sees her drink is gone, the end. No idea what this is trying to say or how it's supposed to make me drink Tab. Still, no evidence of this commercial exists. Did it really happen? I only remember seeing it once.
   The next item is a PSA that I may have watched on school or at home. It was about the effects of acid rain on the environment. All I have to go on here, is that the star of the show was a little boy carrying a goose, who told every adult he met,  "Acid rain is killing my duck!" This phrase means nothing to the internet. Yet for thirty or more years, "Acid rain is killing my duck!" has been my go-to nonsense phrase to show frustration. I even got a group of coworkers to use it and they had never heard of this PSA either! Did I make it up? Do I have a vendetta against geese who portray ducks in after school specials? Okay, I may have a vendetta against geese in general. I was attacked by geese as a child and my mother teases me about the "wahnt wahnts" enough to know this was a real bit of mandatory childhood trauma. But back to the PSA. Was it real?
   There may be more, but these two are the strongest of my to-be-vetted-as-legit memories. So, anyone? Whatcha got? Did I make this up? Do you remember any of this? Do you have a memory that Google can't validate? If so, let us know. Maybe we can all get some answers together!


  1. Remember the tab commercial. But, not the PSA. The wahnt wahnts were at the zoo and behind a fence, but hey, you were only one year old.

  2. I did see the Tab commercial as well. Not the PSA, but I want your permission to use "Acid rain is killing my duck!" as a book title.