Turning Shit into Gold since 2006
The Slinky, key ring Tamagatchis, Pogs, slap bracelets, candy necklaces, Ring Pops, body glitter, The Spice Girls, OJ Simpson trading cards, and Polly Pockets: The Mansion Years. All of these childhood accessories were at one time a form of currency that gave kids status in a no consequences society. Sure getting caught slamming Pogs on the playground was an offence that could be inked on your permanent record, but once we figured out that the threat was worse than the eventual punishment we continued our barter system of goods and back alley/under the monkey bars gambling sessions.
For years teachers have battled the latest wave of youthful fads in classrooms across the continent. Entire semesters have crumbled at the emergence of such addictive toys. As a fourth grader I vividly remember approaching a Pog battle with the valor of a noble warrior ready to slaughter her enemy on the battle field. In actuality my opponent was a lanky fifth grader with an evil eye and a quick hand, but none the less, the stakes were high and the prize for victory was epic. The X-Men Cyclops slammer I had temporarily borrowed from my sister was my weapon of choice, while my opponent preferred the finger tip flip of an eight ball pool hall slapper. Super hero versus super douche.
A stack of pogs flipped across the crisp fall air and landed on the leaf scattered pavement in syncopation with the thud of my heart hitting the bottom of my stomach. He had taken my Power Rangers pog and my coveted Joey from Blossom pog that was irreplaceable. It was a gift from a pen pal in Mexico who got it from a flea market in Oaxaca. The slapper sweated in the palm of my hand as I strategized how to get the Jurassic Park pog that rested eight deep in the stack of half-dollar sized cardboard pieces. It was the only thing that could trump his taking Joey and Jason (the red Power Ranger) away from me.
Gum stopped smacking and girlish giggling ceased in the background. Even the incessant sniffling of Cameron Norris, the allergy kid in our grade, was silenced. A hushed crowd welcomed my next move. The East Bay Funk Dunk Free Hand Flip sliced through the stack with the ease of a samurai sword. The Jurassic Park and the bonus Bobby’s World pogs were mine.
Victory is short and sweet because not two minutes after the game ended the crowd scattered at the sight of Vice Principal Verner. Once my prizes were confiscated they were never to be seen again. I felt like Toni Braxton getting her Grammy’s taken away. Painful shit.
This was originally supposed to be about the newest fad sweeping the kid nation. They are called Silly Bandz. If you look hard enough at the youth of the day you will see many kids wearing rubber band bracelets in the shape of animals, rock stars, and religious relics. They are flimsy, they are expensive, and they make the person wearing them look like a raver burnout. Give me a Tamagatchi that needs its butt wiped to take care of any day.