Oh, the glory of nostalgia. The older I get, the fonder the memories seem. Sometimes, the mere act of committing those memories to paper (cyber paper – stay with me) will open up floodgates long since closed. I saw a video of the old 1978-82 The Incredible Hulk television series earlier today and it set off a chain reaction of adolescent joy. Some hidden code within the show’s opening credits reminded me of when Diet Dr. Pepper was still in a blue can and called Sugar Free Dr. Pepper.
Mmmm, artificial sweeteners…..
The blue can led me down a brightly lit trip down memory lane. Friday night was a big family night when I was a kid, and that meant something awesome. Maybe a friend was sleeping over, maybe it was a movie and trip to Monical’s Pizza, or, dear Lord – maybe it was the ultimate Friday kid trifecta. It happened from time to time. Not so much the time my parents forced me and my friend into a viewing of The Coal Miner’s Daughter. See? More memories. We still got our Monical’s Family Pleaser with extra red sauce and stayed up late reading copies of Eerie, so it wasn’t a wash by any means.
Even the less exciting nights were pretty exciting when you’re ten and having a sleepover. My mom would bring us burgers and fries from Dewey’s Drive-Inn, and we would watch television all night. I mean, like start right after school and stay up watching until my parents would force us to go to sleep. There was a palpable feeling of joy you got from sitting in front the warming glow of the Zenith, and I never got over it. It wasn’t a phase…obviously. The best part of the Friday night lineup was The Incredible Hulk: the classic Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno series was so bad, but it was all we knew then, so it was the most bad ass show ever. I love the intro when the narrator mentions “and now when David Banner grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs…” I’d like to point out that Banner changing a flat tire is all it really takes for him to Hulk out. The Marvel Comics version of the character can take on a nuke and shrug it off, but bullets were bad news for CBS Hulk.
Up next was The Dukes of Hazzard, a staple of Generation X. The good-hearted country Duke boys hung out with weird old Uncle Jessie and their hot cousin, Daisy Duke. When they weren’t shooting bows or performing death-defying acts of car badassery, they feuded with the bumbling Boss Hogg and his posse of inept deputies. Once again, this show is so bad, but so bad that it transcends to legit classic status.
Hot 80’s ladies like Catherine Bach and Olivia Newton John catapulted me into puberty. Free Fun Fact.
The last show before the local news was Dallas. My parents both loved it as did I for reasons I can’t explain. I’m sure I didn’t really get Dallas at ten years old, but sure watched the shit out of it. Everyone remembers the Bobby dream fiasco. Another show with hot chicks like Charlene Tilton and Victoria Principal.
After the news it was fair game. Hammer Films, monster movies, old James Bond flicks; it was a ripe orchard for ten-year old TV nerds. Finally exhausted from never-ending streams of Jiffy Pop, Dr. Pepper, and junk food all night, we went to bed and slept like rocks. The next day we would ride bikes all day and retire to our respective homes to dig into Saturday night shows. Unlike a shit ton of kids these days, my generation played outside all day until forced inside at dusk. See? Nostalgia reminds you that you’re already telling “back in my day” tales. Well, that’s my Friday rambling post about how The Hulk and Dr. Pepper made me write a whole pointless article about it. It’s Friday and the high ABV ales are flowing – recall something important from your good old days, my friends.