What the hell is wrong with children? I was one of those things once, and I don’t know the answer to that. Case in point: In the late 80s, Perio corporation licensed the Ghostbusters brand for a line of toothpaste based on Slimer.
Slimer was the goofy comedy relief ghost whose signature move was to cover the main characters in ‘ectoplasm’. I dunno man, too lewd for this dude. But it flew in the 80s. Anything flew in the 80s, so we got a toothpaste which implied very heavily that it was just the packaged bodily secretions of an overweight ghost.
For reference, that guy in the picture is Slimer. 1980s kids, me included, were like “OF COURSE I want to brush my teeth with goop that came out of Slimer!” There was no question about it, the very concept was electrifying. Why? I couldn’t tell you today.
I mean, I ought to know. That kid was me, once upon a time. But the 80s were full of all sorts of goofy shit that made sense only to kids, appealed only to kids and was destined to be looked back on with a mixture of confusion and despair.
I mean fuck, remember Ecto Cooler? I ‘member. Yet again commercials made children across the United States hype to drink what was presumably ghost piss, or some other secretion. Maybe this is the sign I’ve finally become old. I no longer comprehend the appeal of shit like this.
It wasn’t just Ghost Busters. The 1980s gave us such baffling spectacles as Ninja Turtles: Coming Out of Their Shells, a live concert featuring actors wearing humanoid rubber turtle costumes. Did kids go insane for that shit at the time? You bet your shapely, supple ass they did:
Looking back on how excited I got for such ridiculous stuff makes me wonder what it will be like to be a father. What do I say when my son runs to me, breathlessly relating that he’s seen an advertisement for “Samurai Chickens On Ice” and wants me to buy tickets?
I can’t just be like “Haha, okay. Whatever you expensive little retard, as long as you get those grades up.” I have to be able to either explain rationally why it’s a waste of time and money or put my sanity on a shelf for a couple of hours and pay $120 so we can go watch grown men in chicken costumes having martial arts fights on ice skates for 90 minutes.
My Dad used to react to my excitement for this sort of shit with the same exasperation I imagine I now would. I remember telling him I wanted a Megazord. “A Megazoid? What is that?” I quickly corrected him, that it was a Megazord, not a Megazoid. It did not seem to budge him.
“I already bought you one of those plastic robot animals. Why do you need the other four?” I explained they combine into a single larger robot called the “Megazord”. “Oh of course they do, so parents have to buy them all. Very clever. What will you do with the Megazord once you assemble it?”
I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I was just conceptually excited by it. I was bummed at the time but in retrospect I can only laugh at how effective advertising was at making me want stupid shit I’d play with a few times and then stick in a closet. Or, say, toothpaste supposedly made of ghost turds.
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