My childhood was spent in Southern California, the home of palm trees and endless sunshine. While most folks imagine a California summer filled with surfboards, bikinis and Beach Boys tunes, I grew up just 20 minutes from the beach and fun in the sun couldn’t have been farther from my mind once school got out.
The idea of getting salty and sandy on the ocean shore had no appeal to this California kid, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t find my own brand of fun indoors. Allow me to take you through a typical day of summer vacation for me as an obsessive 13 year old consumer of media in 1995.
I open my eyes after being awakened by a dancing Mexican Cactus alarm clock announcing, “Hey, hey, don’t wake up. Sleep! Manana…Manana”, as the tune “La Cucaracha” plays in the background.
Stare at the photo of Tiffani Amber-Thiessen who was recently cast on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Xena, Warrior Princess that I have tacked on my bulletin board, while trying not to step on the Toy Biz X-Men action figures that fell off my shelf.
Groggily wander into the bathroom and turn on the radio to 102.7 KISS FM to hear ancient DJ Rick Dees and his sidekick Ellen K. talk about the latest Alanis Morissette tune and interview Jim Carrey about his new movie The Mask.
Grab some leftover Pizza Hut pizza and OJ from the fridge for breakfast as I flip on the USA Network to watch some old reruns of My Two Dads. Think to myself how weird it is that Paul Reiser is on NBC’s Mad About You sitcom now while Stacey Keanan is on Step By Step as part of the ABC TGIF lineup. Wonder to myself, whatever happened to the dad with the beard?
Grab a fruit on the bottom yogurt cup from the fridge as Just The Ten of Us gets started. Totally crushing on Jamie Luner and thinking these Lubbock babes are like every hot babysitter I ever had. Also wondering why I never even heard about this show when it was originally on the air. This is definitely my favorite summer rerun and I hope I can watch every episode.
I have to take back my Blockbuster Video rental today, I better get a few more games of Killer Instinct in before I do. These graphics are awesome, but it needs more gore like Mortal Kombat. I hope Mom can take me to the supermarket sometime this week so I can flip through the latest issue of GamePro at the magazine rack. I’ll probably take a look at Pro Wrestling Illustrated too.
I could ride my bike, but it’s better to walk to Blockbuster Video and see what they have to rent, since I can’t carry anything when I’m riding. Oh cool, they have that Captain America movie from 1989 that never came to theaters in their used VHS tapes bin. I’ve gotta get that, even Suncoast Video didn’t have a copy to buy when I asked a couple months back. I guess I’ll have to rent TMNT: Tournament Fighters another day.
Hey, that CD Listening Bar place is open. I love how it smells like incense in there, it makes it feel so dangerous. I’m too embarrassed to ask them to let me test out the CD at the listening station with the headphones, I’ll just sift through their used CDs. Cool, they have the Beavis and Butthead Experience CD. Should I get that or The Jerky Boys? JERKY BOYS!
Time to grab a couple packs of Marvel cards at the drug store. Man, these things are expensive now. I remember 3 years about when a pack of Marvel Universe cards was like $1.25, now these Marvel Metal cards are 5 bucks a pack. But I guess it’s worth it when they are all foil stamped. Oh cool, I got a Venom. Glad I helped Mom with the yard work so I would have this extra summer fun money to spend.
Time to pop my video of Billy Madison into the VCR and watch the previews while I wait for my Tony’s pizza to cook in the microwave. I’ve got to watch this movie as much as I can this summer so I can memorize all the lines and make everybody at school think I’m as funny as Adam Sandler. Plus, Bridgette Wilson is such a babe. Everybody thinks Pamela Anderson is the hottest, no way. I hear Bridgette is going to be in that Mortal Kombat movie next month, I’m definitely going to see it. That game is crazy.
Andy from across the street says he wants to go to Palace Park, that new arcade they built where the old roller rink used to be. Luckily it’s just a few minutes away using the trail behind my house. I’ll see if I can grab a few quarters from the couch cushions and my savings jar.
This place is the best. It smells like McDonald’s fries and they have arcade games everywhere. We definitely have to get in a round of X-Men: Children of the Atom so I can make Wolverine do a “Berzerker Barrage”. I hope I can convince Andy to play Lucky and Wild, it’s such an awesome driving n’ shooting game, it reminds me of being in one of those Stallone movies. Oh man, I’m already out of quarters, guess I’ll just watch some other kids play Primal Rage.
At least afternoon cartoons don’t stop just because school’s out. I’m glad Taz-Mania is over, I just don’t get that show. Power Rangers isn’t as cool as it used to be since they got those Ninja powers and the movie was just OK. Maybe I’m getting too old for these shows? I hope not.
Dad said he would take me to the comic book store tomorrow, so I better double check which issues I need. Maybe I’ll pick up the rest of those X-Men: Age of Apocalypse comics or the rest of The Planet of The Symbiotes. That Scarlet Spider guy is pretty cool.
Awesome, Mom is dropping my friend Devin and I off at the theater to see Waterworld. Kevin Costner was awesome in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, this movie looks even more intense. I heard their set sank in the ocean.
Well, I guess peeing in a Mr. Coffee was a cool way to get filtered water and Kevin Costner basically played the Sub-Mariner, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to get the action figures. At least my ICEE and Sour Patch Kids were delicious. I don’t think I’ll be getting to bed anytime soon.
Just got off the phone with Mom and she says I can sleep over at Devin’s house tonight. They have one of those Pentium computers. That Blues Traveler album we listened to was pretty good, but this Montell Jordan CD rules.
Everybody in the house is asleep and we’re watching USA Up All Night while drinking Mountain Dew. This is so dangerous, what if his Mom wakes up and sees girls in bikinis on the TV? I could never do this at my house.
(Yawn) This has been an awesome day. Summer is the best, but I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. I guess I’ll just catch some ZZZ’s and dream of Bridgette Wilson. Summer is the bes…(Snore)
This reminds me of my summers as well, although I had different tastes in entertainment in some cases, the flow of the day was pretty much the same. Except by 1995 I had to throw going to work in there on some days. But even working didn’t spoil the summer. It just provided more money for all the fun activities outside of work.
Man I always loved Lucky and Wild!! A new arcade in my city (where you can play all day for $15 and free play on all games) has a Lucky and Wild so I was finally able to reach the end and with my son who is 11! Great article!
Fun day Adam, if that was a typical day, I don’t know how you survived the whole summer of 1995. Great job.
This was so fun! I’m a tad older, so 1995 was a different time for me, but I still could follow your timeline and it brought back good memories nonetheless. Always enjoy your stuff and this is no exception (even though it’s mostly ’90s you still got some ’80s connections in there).