My Brain Peanuts Remembers Soda Pop
by Linda Vernon
Drinking soda in the fifties was a lot different from today. First of all, soda came in a bottle. In Washington state, where I grew up, there was no such thing as drinking a can of soda. No siree!
We drank a bottle of pop or we drank nothing at all.
Back then, when you bought a bottle of pop, the pop was yours to drink — but you had to give back the bottle because you were merely renting it. After all, you had to pay a 2-cent deposit on it, for crying out loud, and not taking it back for a refund could seriously affect the budget.
So everyone always returned their pop bottles to get their two-cents back because two-cents in the fifties would buy enough gas to get you to Canada from anywhere in the United States.
The only people who drank out of a can were beer drinkers. But beer cans were worthless so beer drinkers didn’t worry about getting their deposit back. They would simply chuck the empties out of the window of whatever speeding vehicle they happened to be drunkenly swerving down the highway in.
Today, we would consider this drunk driving but in those days we simply considered it littering. And in the 1950’s, littering was America’s favorite pastime — as much a way of life as Polio, onesie gym clothes, and radio-active cleansing cream.
But whether you were drinking out of a bottle or drinking out of a can, you would have died of thirst in the 1950’s if you didn’t have one of these.
It was a combination bottle/can opener, and it was a wonderful little gadget. One end would pry off the caps of Debby and Bobby’s pop bottles while the other end would puncture a hole in Mom and Dad’s beer cans. (The only thing this can opener wouldn’t do is open a bottle of wine, but this wasn’t a problem because in the 50’s only Europeans drank wine.)
I think it’s fair to say that the bottle opener was as much a part of the foundation upon which the togetherness of the fifties family was built as smearing butch wax on crew cuts, stenciling on eyebrows or hiding under desks together to survive atomic blasts.
I remember my grandparents only drank Pepsi which they always referred to as Peps. Pepsi was for those who think young. Not only did my grandparents think young, they were young. When I was five, my grandmother was only 44. (Back then people started families way younger so they could get it out of the way quicker and have more time to drink Peps.)
Now let’s say you only drank half the Peps in that rented bottle of yours. What would you do? Well, instead of pouring it down the drain, you would save the remainder of the Peps by utilizing another ingenious type of gadget that people just referred to as that bottle thingy.
That bottle “thingy” I’m referring to was a rubber gasket that went into the top of the bottle to seal in the carbonation as well as that delicious Peps refreshing flavor. After all, you spent a whole dime for that bottle of Pepsi, and you wouldn’t want it to go to waste.
Not if you were ever going to afford that trip to Canada!
It was bound to happen. At some point, I was guaranteed to put my foot into it.
You’d have thought I knew better by now.
You’d have thought wrong.
Todays rebuttal comes from Running On Sober. When she isn’t running or compiling the brilliant Words for the Weekend, she’s also putting together some of the worlds greatest playlists.
Which gives her excellent credibility to rebut me for what I said in a post about 80s music.
So please enjoy Running on Sober’s skewering of me as much as I did.
(And then check out her site and say hi!)
(Just don’t look for me. I’ll be gagging. With a spoon.)
A Defense of 80s Music
Today’s Music: Jam On It by Newcleus
*Note on today’s music: Guap confessed to once knowing every single word to this 1984 song in a comment I knew would eventually come back to haunt him. For fun, listen to the song and every time they say “Jam on it, jam on it, ja-ja-ja-ja-ja-jam on it,” instead change it to, “Guapola, guapola, guap-guap-guap-guap-guap-guapola…”
Cinderellaeven taught us to appreciate what we have before it’s gone
Some messages I heeded (white lines — never did them), some messages I didn’t (patience — yeah, not my strong suit), and some I may have taken too literally before sobering up (I wanna be sedated), but when I look back at the 80’s, I can’t help but smile. That was my decade, I’m from the 80’s!, so when Guap asked me if I’d like to come to its defense after his recent post, “Oh Joy. The 80s Live On,” I was like totally frothing at the mouth.
Wait, what was I saying? I forgot. Let’s just sing 80′s music instead.
Everyone has an opinion on 80’s music. Seems we either love it or hate it; like Taco Bell, there’s not much middle ground. And when we think of 80’s music, usually the first images that come to mind are big hair, moonwalking, blue eye shadow, skinny ties, and Madonna writhing around stage in a wedding dress.
I really think MTV changed the face of music, at least for the 80’s. (Does MTV even play videos anymore?) MTV turned us into visual beasts, it desensitized us and took our imaginations away; each new video had to be a little more over-the-top than the last just to stand out. Who could be the most provocative? Who could show the most skin? Who could push the taboo-envelope? Who could have the biggest hair? Who could wear their underwear on the outside first?
Mötley Crüe or Madonna: Who showed their underwear first?
Madonna was one of the best at working the MTV angle, and like most girls my age, I grew up worshipping her. She was liberated, yet sexy, and she was oh-so-unapologetically in your face. I remember falling in love with Madonna in her iconic Borderline video. Not only was she sassy and beautiful, but she also flaunted an interracial relationship, and I wanted to be just like her. I had the hair bows, the black tanks, the jelly bracelets, the long cross necklaces. If she was brunette, so was I. If she went blonde, I went blonde. If she channeled Marilyn Monroe, so did I. I spent my 80’s desperately seeking Susan.
Channeling Madonna at my Canadian boyfriend’s prom. (I wouldn’t have been caught dead at my own.) Totally love that his hair is bigger than mine!
The 80’s weren’t just Madonna and Mötley Crüe or Michael and Janet Jackson though. There were some major music breakthroughs, including the emergence of rap and hip-hop, thrash metal, new romantic/synth pop, post-punk, new wave, SKA, goth, house music and more. Many of the 80’s artists include U2, NWA, Billy Idol, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, David Bowie, The Clash, The Police, XTC, Run D.M.C, Joe Jackson, Simple Minds, Blondie, Public Enemy, Tracy Chapman, REM, Jane’s Addiction, Violent Femmes, Beastie Boys, Butthole Surfers, Howard Jones, The Smithereens, Squeeze, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, and my favorite artist, Sade. Some 80’s albums include Prince’s Purple Rain, U2’s The Joshua Tree, Paul Simon’s Graceland, The Police’s Synchronicity, AC/DC’s Back in Black, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms, and Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs.
Love the 80’s, or love to hate them, you gotta admit they had their fair share of good tunes and good memories. Was some of it cheesy? Fer sure, dude. Even I throw up in my mouth a little whenever I hear “Eternal Flame” or “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” but every decade has its fair share of cheese. For some reason, we just remember more of it from the 80’s–I blame MTV–video killed the radio star.
Today’s Music: ABBA – Dancing Queen
Note On Today’s Music: She actually asked for B-52s. I have no idea why I heard her say “ABBA”.
…because I’m the guest blogger over at Cheeky Diva’s!
Actually, I wandered in over there because I saw her old gravatar and thought she was serving pie.
She let me know it was guest-blogger-sign-up-day.
I was too embarrassed to leave.
Anyway, head over, check it out if you like, get a totally made up history lesson, and mosey through the rest of her site.
It’s a fun stop in the ‘sphere.
(I’ll be back Friday with the foolishness.)
(If I can think up responses to all the Pope jokes.)
(Seriously, a Rome poll? Now???)
A few weeks ago, Eric Murtaugh asked me to do a guest post on learning to scuba dive. It was my pleasure, and I had a good time writing it.
Today, Eric returns the favor with some thoughts on why adventure in the first place.
After you’ve read this, check out his site. Start with the way he proposed to his wife, then explore the rest. Seriously, he’s out of control.
In the best possible way.
Eric has phrased the why better than I ever could. Feel free to leave comments either here or on his site. And let us know what you’re planning. We may want to try it too…
Bet I can try this before Eric does!!!
Why you should always pursue adventure, even if it might kill you Eric Murtaugh
Think back to the crazy things you’ve done in life; those exhilarating times when you woke up the next morning and thought, “damn, how exactly did I make it out alive?”
How did you feel afterwards? Slightly stupid? Or ready to get out there and do it again?
If you’re anything like me, I’m willing to bet you went with the latter.
And here’s why: each and every time you pull off another blood pumping, heart racing stunt, you feel more and more alive.
I can recall three events in my life where thrill seeking trumped intelligence:
1. Rafting the Gunnison River in a beat up inflatable kayak
2. Sailing a choppy, ice cold lake
3. Canoeing a flooded river, and the river won
In each example, I should’ve exercised patience.
I should’ve insisted we wait for the patch repairs to dry on my kayak. I should’ve known sailing in cold water without a wetsuit was an invitation to hypothermia. I should’ve known navigating a flooded river in a canoe would not end well (yep, my buddy and I almost died).
But you know what? I’ll never, ever forget those days. The details remain so vivid. This, coming from a guy who can’t remember where he placed his keys last night.
Look, I’m not suggesting you put your life on the line each and every time you head out for another round of adventure. That’s just silly.
The lesson here is you should take risks in life.
Sometimes those risks will backfire and you will find yourself in a tricky situation. If you survive, and let’s hope you always do, you will learn to value those moments, even if you feel like a total idiot for a few days.
Have you ever been in a situation where thrill seeking and adventure trumped intelligence?