Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let's Wear Hot Pants and Sing "Muskrat Love".



It seems like every time I get on the internet lately I run into this picture. Seriously, everywhere.

Obviously the internet thinks I'm fat.

You know you're having a tough week when the 1970's hunt you down and confront you with hot inflatable pantaloons to combat the jiggle problem you've apparently developed.

In the picture both of the models are gritting their teeth, which means their genitals are burning. I think if I'm going to have burning genitals there are a lot more interesting ways to achieve that than lolling awkwardly around the house listening to the Captain and Tennille in my squeaky plastic pants and white undershirt.

I can smell the hot plastic just by looking at that picture, because hot plastic is one of the overriding smells of my childhood. The seventies were all about plastic. Also incense and body odor and yarn, but mostly hot plastic.

For instance, in the '70's we had hot goulash or a variety of other hamburger-based casseroles, usually stored in waxy, burpy Tupperware. When the leftovers were reheated (on the stove, of course) the food always had an extra Tupperware- flavored tang.


We dried our long pointy hair by shoving it into a plastic bag and inflating it with hot air, like this:




The one we had was my mom's. I remember it as being aqua or maybe green, and the hose took a lot of concentration to screw into the bottom of the plastic hat. Once you got it attached, you hit the switch and the top of your head inflated magically like a mushroom. After that it was all just sitting around tethered to the dryer by the hose until drops of sweat started falling from your hair line into your eyes, and then you couldn't take it anymore and shut it off, leaving your hair fuzzy and mushroom-shaped.

The best hot plastic memory, though, is this:

I want to say we were like normal kids, and had a real slip 'n slide, but it may also be possible that we just had a big plastic garbage bags, I'm not sure. Either way, the plastic was always laid out on top of several invisible sharp rocks that you discovered on your maiden sliding voyage, leading to a mandatory time-out while you went into the house and painted red Mercurachrome* all over your cuts and bruises with the little glass wand. Then, when you came out again to resume the fun, the combination of the summer sun, the film of standing water and the dark plastic had turned the slip 'n slide into a giant sizzling griddle.

Also we had plastic diaper covers to keep hot baby body fluids from escaping. And "bubble wrap" furniture covers in the living room that left little red circle impressions on the backs of your legs if you dared to sit on the sofa.

I don't really miss the '70's at all, now that I think about it. I say keep your Wonder Pants and your Captain and Tennille hits, devil decade. I 'll learn to live with my jiggle.

* Did you know that Mercurachrome has been outlawed? I didn't know! Something about it having mercury in it, which poisons your system and makes you go insane, blah blah blah. My internal organs are all shiny and silver, probably.

31 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

I don't think I had seen that picture, so I'm obviously lurking in the wrong Internet streets!

I hate Tupperware. Mainly because for some reason it is a beast to clean, grease sticks to that plastic like nothing else.

Gaston Studio said...

Brought back memories here, but necessarily good ones; I hated those hair dryers!

erin said...

I missed the 70's by a couple years, but I remember all that stuff you mention...must have been long sustaining trends.
I thought those hair dryers actually put the color on my grandma's hair at the salon...

The Jules said...

Did you get ice out of a plastic ice-bicket shaped like a pineapple?

We had those in 70's England.

Ooh, have a Naward:

http://gravelfarm.blogspot.com/2009/05/favourite-blogs.html

The Devil's Daughter-In-Law said...

Do you remember those '70s plastic martian (?) Halloween costumes that had the big plastic green inflatable heads?

And I'm going to give my mother-in-law the benefit of the doubt and assume her craziness is caused by massive amounts of mercurachrome during the '70s.

TrodoMcCracken said...

The 70s can't possibly be all that awesome considering I wasn't around then. I picture all era's before my birth as drab, life-less pre-awesome landscapes where people wandered around bleary eyed and dull because their senses have been over-rode with mountains of cocaine to numb them to the fact that only until the near end of the 80s things would suddenly get awesome.

Kate said...

I always wanted a Slip-n-Slide, but my parents never caved in to get me one. I was crushed as a child...but then I heard all of the sliding-on-rocks horror stories from all of the people that did have them, so now I'm starting to think that I really wasn't missing out.

Shawn said...

I remember the 70s being a nonstop haze of diapers and pacifiers...which, incidentally, were both composed of plastic.

I STILL want a Slip n Slide.

Venom said...

My mother & aunty used a stick and a cotton ball to paint our sore throats with that stuff.

No wonder I turned out this way...

Daisy said...

Hey! Did you ever notice that the inflatable hair-dryer device looks suspiciously like Jiffy Pop popcorn?

Dr Zibbs said...

If they had recorded the photoshoot for those hot pants it would probably be my favorite movie.

Anna Russell said...

Garbage bags are WAY more awesome than real slip and slides. Who had real ones? The royal family down the road? Pah!
I want to slip and slide on some garbage bags wearing those sauna pants - hours of fun!

Nikki said...

OMG the 70s. How happy I am that I wasn't alive then!

I thought your new pic was of you mixed withalien eyes and I stared at it for a long time and then WAM I realized you were wearing sunglasses. A+ for me!

Peggy said...

A very enjoyable post! It brought back fun memories...I do miss the seventies!

My most "plasticy" memory was the way the water tasted when you drank straight from the hose.

Nej said...

Ah Tupperware. My mom sold it. The best part....the HUGE boxes the stuff came in when she got it. Perfect size for forts and such. :-)

All of our tupperware had this ring around the middle....from spaghetti sauce and stuff. The ring was etched into the plastic!! I'm sure it probably started happening once microwaves were a common thing. :-)

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Sliiii-ip, Slip n' Slide! Sliiii-ip, Slip n' Slide!

(That's me singing the jingle.)

Still to this day, I judge lawns by their Slip n Slide potential. I was always the chubbo that got stuck halfway down the strip of plastic, either because I was too chicken to fling myself with enough momentum, or because I'd hit a dry patch and the friction of my fat thighs against hot dry plastic would send me screeching to a halt and then I'd sag over onto the lawn and just lie there, pretending like I'd quit the ride halfway through on purpose to catch some rays.

Good times, the 70's. *wipes a tear*

Jocelyn said...

It's wrong of me to love you so early in our relationship, right?

But, honey? I do YUV a retro-post, especially when it features the hair dryer of my youth. I believe I may have to come up with some dumb post that can feature the photo I have of myself in the hair dryer one time, when I had a fever of 102. I'm a cranky--but dry-haired--preschooler!

You are a scream.

@eloh said...

So THAT'S what those pants are for.

I'm Nate's Mom said...

Oh, you forgot my favorite 70s plastic: vinyl! How many hours did we spend in the basement listening to the Bay City Rollers and Shaun Cassidy?

Michelle said...

You are one hilarious 70's chick!!

I remember everything except that crazy ass hair dryer!!! Or maybe I blocked that part of my teen years out of my head??

Word Verification:
scizedc

Reminds me of sizzle!!

diane said...

Hey, my mom had a hair dryer like that, but she also had one attached to the chair, that pulled down. I never really wondered where she got that until now.
I'm glad mecurocrome was outlawed, it stained the sh*t out of everything.

Wow, that was awkward said...

We used to go to the hardware store and buy huge long sheets of plastic to make our own slip and slide. One buddy had the perfect yard. It was huge and had a slight downward slope. We did our Pete Rose headfirst slide imitations all summer long.

Margo said...

we had an aqua hairdryer at our house too! Things like over enthusiasm for plastics/ and mercury products - always makes me wonder what stupid things we're doing now to kill ourselves. Whatever it is, it better not be in antiwrinkle or acne cream

tracy said...

oh man. lol... Ive never seen that picture but I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much as I just did :)

As the the hair dryers? that took so long to dry my hair (2 hours) I would fall asleep and wake up with first degree burns across what ever that hose was laying. In the pattern of the hose..

As the burning memories

tracy

Vic said...

mo.st,
No, the internet thinks you're already hot, so you don't need the sauna pants. You're right about the tupperware.

Gaston Studio,
I know. I remember dying to use it as a little kid, and then once I did it was all itchy elastic and hot scalp imprisonment.

erin,
It's funny how little kids interpret what they see - I don't think you missed much from the '70's but we oldsters can always fill you in on the good parts. :)

The Jules,
I have to see a picture of the pineapple ice bucket! We didn't have those, just Tupperware ice cube trays that refused to let go of the ice.
(Thanks so much for the award! I'll come by and check it out! :)

The D's DIL,
I do remember those heads, because they scared me! I think merchurachrome poisoning may eventually cause the fall of civilization.

Trodo,
It's true. All true. I actually remember all things pre-Trodo as black and white, and out of focus. Thank you for the colors, pirate girl.

Kate,
Well, you can't be in the Slip 'n Slide Scar Club with the rest of us, but at least you still have your dignity. :)

Shawn,
I did a lot of babysitting in the late '70's, and I was really good with diaper pins and binky retrieval. I don't miss that either. :)

Venom,
They painted the INSIDE of your throat???? That's hilarious and horrific and the same time! Does your throat glow in the dark at all?

Daisy,
The one in the picture definitely does. I always wanted to pop the hat part with a pin.

Dr. Zibbs,
Have you checked Youtube? You never know. I wonder how long it took to get her propped on the stool without popping the pants?..

Anna Russell,
If you ever come to my house, I promise I'm getting the heavy duty trash bags out. We'll have some wine and injury ourselves doing slidy tricks!

Nikki,
They arepretty giant sunglasses. Maybe those are my REAL eyes....

Peggy,
I can't believe I missed that one!! We drank from the hose all summer long because my mother didn't want us in the house! Score one for you!

Nej,
Tomato sauce and plastic are always a bad combination, with or without a microwave. I thought the Tupperware actually CAME with that ring inside.... :)
The forts sound like fun!

Steamy,
Oh, Steamy, I had those thighs too! Extra staying power on the plastic (all that surface suction when the flesh spreads out..) It wasn't so bad if you had a good slope to your lawn, but we never did. Usually I would lobby for running through the sprinkler instead, but I was always outvoted.

Jocelyn,
Write the post!! Please! I need to see that picture. Plus, you make me laugh out loud.

(If lovin' you is wrong, I don't wanna be right.... :)

@eloh,
Please tell me how you've been wearing them. With lots of detail please. Are there accessories??

I'm Nate's Mom,
I never had a basement, but tons of vinyl records. Shaun (And the BCR!)had the best feathered hair and white pants ever.
We also listened continuously to a Bread album we inherited.

Michelle,
I think you repressed the hair dryer memory. I hear many people do. Did you have curly hair as a kid too? Mine was just all kinds of crazy.

diane,
Did she rob a salon for the chair one? We would have played beauty salon in that baby for hours if we'd had one!

Wow, TWA,
That heavy duty plastic is perfect. It doesn't inflate like the wussy Slip 'n Slide today's kids have. We took our injuries like soldiers. (Headfirst, and full speed was the only way to slide!)

Margo,
I know, I wonder the same thing. My theory is that sunblock will be the "can you believe we used to rub that all over our bodies?" topic in another twenty years.
But I use it anyway to keep the hag factor down.

Vic said...

Tracy,
The hose did get really hot! I remember that too. You must have a lot of hair, like me. I always had a hot fuzzy layer on top, and a wet/damp fuzzy layer on the bottom, no matter how long I stayed under there.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I had a hair dryer just like that, except I think it was a dusty rose colour...and to think I felt really special owning it!

Mr. Condescending said...

I would like to see a slip n slide setup inside a trailer home!

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Tell me why the scary people are wearing balloon animals again?

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Ok... what the heck are those pants? I don't get them at all.