Friday, November 07, 2008

Smells Like.........Memories.

Okay so I left a comment on That's Life about the smell of Slime, and It had potential to be much longer. 

Bonnie has posted a 1977 Comic about toy stores that carried "Slime"
I turned 1 in '77. But I remembered playing with Slime in Grandma's Kitchen with Bonnie.

The thing about Slime is that I really remember the Smell of it. The Stuff you occasionally see now, the stuff that was abundant in the mid 80's-90's is a different mix than that stuff they sold in the late 70's-early 80's. It has to be,  because I swear it smelled different and had a different viscosity.

Every once in a while I smell something that smells like the original Mattel Slime did, and I can never find the source of the smell—but it always takes me back to Grandma's Kitchen. 

In Grandma's Kitchen we played with Slime. We played with Smurfs. 
—Lots and Lots and Lots of Smurfs—
I remember Kim Eating Toilet Paper (or appearing to do so, as I get older I realize that my 4-8 year old self didn't always understand what was going on—I fear I was a somewhat clueless kid, but happy).

I distinctly remember being told about evaporation, and wanting to understand how that worked; I was allowed to leave a small puddle of Orange Juice on the Counter Over Night.

I remember this thing that they showed on Sesame Street where "Kermit the Frog Here, of Sesame Street News" was taking calls. I distinctly recall the number being 555-5555, and I remember calling said number from the phone in Grandma's Kitchen—that old Green Rotary phone—I spoke to Big Bird, Kermit, Mr. Snufalupagus, The Count, and Oscar. (I won't even mention how old I was when it donned on me that it was probably Bonnie on the other phone downstairs)

There of Course is the Infamous Exploding Bottle Incident. Short Version:
Grandma asked me to heat a bottle up in the Microwave.
She asked me to do this through the Bathroom door. 
What she said was 7 Seconds. 
What I heard was 70 Minutes.
Shortly thereafter There was a melted plastic bottle erupting like Old Faithful.

I remember this Frozen Trout that Grandpa would buy by the Box, and I remember how tasty it was fried up in Grandma's kitchen.

I remember Friday Night Sleepovers with cousins at Grandma's 
Generally they started with a carefully executed Flooding of the Sandbox for which we planned all day—building towns, or canyons, or mountains that would all be systematically wiped out that evening. 
Living in Rexburg at that time, everyone remembered the Flood—and we re-enacted it as often as our parents would allow.
After the Flood there was the evening's T.V. Shows: Duke's of Hazzard, Dallas, Falcon Crest, and Knight Rider. I didn't understand Dallas or Falcon Crest until I was older, So I was happy that I could Watch Knight Rider on the Playroom T.V. and for a Short time Automan was on after Knight Rider. (I provide the Link, because nobody I've ever talked to about 80's nostalgia remembers Automan).
Kim introduced me to Friday Night Videos and that became part of the Ritual. 

I believe the First Music Video I ever saw was Weird Al Yankovic in Eat It.

And here's where the Memories Return to the Kitchen.

I remember that Ice Cream and Popcorn were Generally Part of the Friday Night T.V. Rituals.

Grandpa always insisted that he did not like Ice Cream, but that for the Sake of everyone else he would eat it, so that they would not have to. I remember Gallon Tubs of Vanilla and Cake Cones, and I remember one time when Andria and I, in the middle of the night—after everyone in the house was asleep—helped ourselves to some more Ice Cream Cones. It took some team work and some dragging of Stools and climbing on stools and counter tops, but we did it. I don't remember if we got caught, but it was a glorious thing for someone just over 3 feet tall to have accomplished.

No, I don't forget the river of Ice Cream I created. This is how I remember it: There was a Sale at Safeway, so there was a Large Paper Sack in Grandma's Freezer in the Garage full to the top with Half Gallon Bricks. I was sent to the garage to get some. Those of you in the know, know I was not a big kid. The Sack was too big for me to handle, I easily got it to the Garage floor and got out the flavor wanted, but I found that it was too heavy to lift back into the Freezer. Easy enough to solve, just take the Ice Cream inside and ask someone bigger for help. But when I got back in I got distracted somehow by the family (I recall there being a lot of people over) I don't remember what we did at that point. I sure do remember the discovery of Ice Cream River in the morning. It ran all the way down the Driveway and into the Gutter. 

Now the Popcorn. I remember a Friday Night that was just me and Grandma and Grandpa. We were NOT eating popcorn this particular evening. We were watching Dukes of Hazzard, and Boss Hog and 
Roscoe P. Coltrane were trying out a Fancy new Air Popper. Well, we started to smell popcorn. We thought we were the only ones in the house, the only light in the whole house that was on, was the T.V. itself. So we searched the house Top to Bottom to see if perhaps someone else had come home, and if perchance they had popped some popcorn, to no avail. The smell remained, the source was never found—that's right: PHANTOM POPCORN MUAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!

One other Smell related memory that I have had as of late.

When I walk from work to the Bus Stop to go home. There is an old Docking Bay that hasn't seen use in some time, that I walk past. The smell of it however reminds me of the "Happyest Place on Earth"—Disneyland. It smells like a Disneyland ride. I don't know why, but it does. And those who know me, know that I could go on and on about Disneyland and Disney related Memories (and Trivia); so I will end this now.


  1. Those are some great memories! Now that yu mentioned it, I too remember the smell of Slime and then there was something like Sand as well.

  2. Awesome stories!!! Thanks for your post!

  3. The disneyland smell can probably be attributed to the fast that it takes a lot of grease to keep those rides going right. Loading bays are generally pretty greasy places too. The New York subway also has a very distinct smell, similar to, but not exactly like, amusement park or Disneyland.

  4. Thanks for the smells of memories... and for bringing back many cherished memories for me. I truly miss those days! I now have the chance to work at the court house just a block away from grandma's house, from time to time. Just a few months ago as I was getting finished and the day was turning late, I glanced towards grandma's house and my mind and feelings took me back to a time of total freedom when the summer was the best time to be a kid, teton dam nights, the night time TV, all of which was mentioned already including Nickelodeon and Nick at Night; and also the many "projects" and "experiments" that we did. Time at grandma's house was the best! I think I got so lost in the memories as they came flooding back to me, 10 or 15 minutes passed and only seemed like seconds. At that moment I missed those days more than I have ever missed anything.

  5. I love reading your memories!!
    I can't wait to hear about the Disney memories and trivia!

  6. Reminds me of one of those nights where Niki and I were tied up in the living room and the Indians (rich and ty) danced around us whooping and hollering. And we put on Grma's Hawaii music cause it fit in.

    Loved flood days at Grma's! We'd all have to wait till all the babysitting kids went home, and that was the hard part.

  7. I also have many memories of Grandma's. Her place was such a fun place, especially during the summer when cousins came up and we got to sleep over. Those are some of my favorite memories.

    The other day for one of Zach's Speech Therapies, the Therapist brought some toys for him to play with. They where some that grandma had. I had fun playing with them :) Then yesterday I saw an infomercial for them. Pretty spiffy!

  8. Ah Richard...You made me laugh & laugh. Such fun to read your stories, and your childhood perspective on things.

    Whenever I smell smog, it always takes me back to my childhood vacations in California! (duh) The sense of smell is an awesome thing.