www.whyville.net Sep 7, 2008 Weekly Issue

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Juiceboxes. I loved them. I liked that brand that made the miniature orange juice carton shaped ones. I particularly was fond of the raspberry apple one. I remember we bought them at a store called Knob Hills. I loved that store, it had a waterfall out front. It also had black baskets instead of regular bags, and often my mother would steal them and bring them home. I mean, we reused them and all but like I think it was against the rules. That store is gone, I think it got merged into the Bob Loblaws chains, but the memories remain. And a few of the baskets.

I was always walking around with a juicebox. You wouldn't find me without one. For lunch I had a juicebox which I put in my fancy juicebox holder. You might know what I am talking about. It was electric orange, and it had a cool little straw covering. It was probably made by a company like Tupperware but I can't remember. I lost it on my travels with my juiceboxes somewhere. A juicebox and a lunchable. I don't mean those gross lunchables they have now. Oh no brother. I mean I had an Oscar Meyer lunchable that came with cheese, crackers, meat and usually I opted for the chocolate jello puddin' kind. Sometimes I would get the rainbow chips ahoy one. When I look at them now, I am sad. They don't come with just a dessert anymore. And they don't seem to come with much in the way of nutritional value. Cinnamon rolls? That's not a lunch.

We had a computer. I would use the computer to play Sim City. Or I would draw in a program simply titled Paint. It had a little paintcan for an icon. My dad installed checkers and I would play against the dude from King's Quest. I had Flight Simulator too, I spent hours flying planes around. He also put my music on there and I would listen to it with SoundBlaster like, v2.1 or something. I didn't really have my own music. I mean, I thought I liked Guns and Roses, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and of course, the mighty David Bowie. If any of that previous sentence remained true it is my love for David Bowie. This computer had those old plastic sheets that went on it to protect it from dust. There was no food allowed at the computer, but I was allowed to happily suckle away at my juicebox while I piloted 747's safely into the O'Hare International Airport. If I wasn't on the computer or the NES, I was outside.

I found a picture of myself from '92. Blonde. Freckled. Smocked. Dirty. Pigtails that droop and maybe have twigs in them and a juicebox in one hand. Crazy smile and eyes that have the light of the world in them. I was a filthy child, getting into the mud and worms, collecting ants and caterpillars and Lord knows what. There is a video this same summer of me in a rainbow frilly bikini dancing in the sprinkler to the Darkwing Duck rap. I knew all the dance moves and words, I still know most of the words. Some of you probably know them too . . .

"Whack, smack . . .
What was that?
It's Darkwing Duck on the attack
Gotta warning for criminal cartoons . . .

. . . it's Darkwing Duck.
Kickin' in the groove,
Its Darkwing Duck. "

That was probably my favorite cartoon at the time aside from the animated series "Beetlejuice".

I asked my dad once in the car if we could listen to "Beetlejuice" on the radio. A lot of the things I enjoyed on the telly were also radio shows. I didn't yet know the difference between the BBC and Canadian telly channels. When he said no I cried. I loved the "Beetlejuice" cartoon. As much as I loved the movie, which perchance makes me an odd child. On long car rides my Dad would play the Narnia books on tape. I remember thinking Eskimo Pie was a literal pie and I imagined it to be purple. I told my Dad I wanted some, and we stopped at a roadside cafe with homemade pie. I choose the blueberry and then told him it was Eskimo Pie.

These days, I cannot remember the stories from Narnia, I am not even sure if the child was given Eskimo Pies by the Snow Queen or even if she was a Snow Queen at all. Images from the motion picture cloud my mind. That's the saddest thing about growing older, childhood things you one enjoyed because of the imagination aspect of them are often ruined by major motion pictures of the same subject because the younger generation is one that doesn't have time to read a book or a have book read to them. The ADD wave across the nation has made it okay if your child won't finish a book, and it doesn't matter any longer because there is a movie version for practically everything out there.

All this while I spoke with a funny accent, because most of the telly I watched was the BBC and the radio was mostly BBC1, my Nana and my Mum were who I spent a lot of time with. When I learned to speak, I spoke with a British accent. It didn't fade as fast as I guess some people should have liked. My grandmother for instance on my father's side. My grandmother didn't approve because people would make fun of me she claimed. In the end, she was right, however for different reasons.

I remember on career day I stood up and told the world I was going to be a pilot. The class erupted with laughter and I was told I couldn't be a pilot because I was a girl. A giiiirrrrrl. That day, the dream died. Looking back, I cannot believe that was said in 92. Of course women could be pilots. When I think to the answer my then bestfriend said which was to be a princess, that is the thing that should of been laughed at or at the very least, not encouraged. When I read the graduation booklet and see that no other girls were going to be things like police officers or fire fighters or race car drivers I realized something. I grew up in the end wave of sexual discrimination. Or did I? I have not yet found the answer.

When I think of '92 I think of sprinklers. Popsicles and hazy afternoons with the boom box on the lawn playing things like The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff or Mariah Carey on the radio. My dad's tunes blaring while he mows the lawn or tidies the house. The smell of fresh Barbie hair. The taste of those sweet sweet juice boxes. I could never finish them, the irony is. I would lug them around and they would get warm. Sometimes I didn't even want one. I just wanted to use my carrying case. But I thought I did, want them and finish them. I found out later my mother stopped buying them because I never finished them. The thing about juiceboxes is, I don't think I will ever finish them. They have some greater meaning; perhaps in all these years I thought they could bring me back. The smell, the taste, the texture, that strange glue I love to pick off the box where the straw was. Sticky fingers from holding a little too tight. Unfolding the flaps and laying them flat. Picking the best before ink off. Memories of forgotten moments drift back in the quiet time spent enjoying a juicebox. Peace of mind and feelings of youth come when enjoying a juicebox in a hurried adult world.

1992 can be summed up in many ways for many people.

For me. It's juiceboxes. I love them.



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