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Archive for November, 2008

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Posted by Big Boo on November 12th, 2008

I was reminded the other day about Poochie by my sister, who had one of these cute little cuddly toy dogs when she was a child. I’m not sure exactly what kind of breed of dog Poochie was meant to be, after all no dogs I’m aware of have pink fur, but I would guess a poodle would probably be the best match!

Poochie was a little white dog with pink ears and paws, as the TV advert for it was keen to point out. Funnily enough once my sister had reminded me of the toy we both remembered the jingle from the advert, which went like this:-

Poochie, oh Poochie (Poochie Woo)
Lovely little Poochie
Oh your ears are pink and your paws are too
Everybody seems to fall in love with you

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Posted by Big Boo on November 11th, 2008

Manimal is an obscure TV show from 1983 about a man who could change into animals, hence the amazingly clever (not!) title.  I remember watching this when I was about ten years old and thinking it was one of the coolest shows on TV.  Imagine being able to transform into any animal you wanted, sounds pretty cool doesn’t it?

I think the reality is that the show may not have been as good as I remember it, which given that aside from the transformation sequences I don’t really remember much else about the series is probably likely to be the case.  The show never even made it to a full season before it was cancelled after 13 episodes, so that’s another indicator that my childhood instincts were probably off the mark.

The show revolved around Dr Jonathan Chase (played by Simon MacCorkindale) who had the ability to transform into animals, a gift that ran in his family.  He was a wealthy college professor (presumably an expert in animals) but his ability was discovered by Brooke Mackenzie, a young police woman, so he ends up helping her in solving various crimes.

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The Young Ones

Posted by Big Boo on November 10th, 2008

I distinctly remember The Young Ones starting on BBC2 thanks to the trailer they made to advertise it before the first episode was shown. The four main members of the cast were sat in a line, and one of them (Rick I think) leant forward and said “This is a trailer for The Young Ones”, whilst holding a little toy car trailer with the title inked on the side. I’m sure there was more to it than that, but I certainly recall that bit.

The Young Ones was a comedy about four students sharing a house, and it made household names out of the aspiring young comedians who starred in it. It was unlike anything else on TV at the time due to its anarchic nature and over the top innuendos. Many sitcoms resorted to the odd double entendre to raise a laugh, but The Young Ones managed to take it to a new level, with many of the saucy quips actually punching the required subtlety for such jokes in the face by just being outright plain rude.

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Marathon or Snickers? You decide…

Posted by Big Boo on November 8th, 2008

It’s been Snickers for nearly twenty years now, but I still call them Marathon, in the same way that Starburst chews will always be Opal Fruits to me.  So, which name for the peanuty, caramelly, nougaty chocolate bar do you prefer?

Marathon or Snickers? You decide...
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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Posted by Big Boo on November 7th, 2008

Ah, Marathon.  Packed with peanuts it really satisfied, as the adverts claimed.  The mix of chocolate, nougat, caramel and peanuts is hard to beat, there really was nothing quite like it.

Except of course a Snickers bar, if you lived anywhere other than the UK in the 1980’s.  This chocolate delicacy was always known by the name Marathon in the UK, that is until in 1990 when manufacturer Mars decided they should rename the bar to avoid confusion with the rest of the world.  Indeed, to ease the transition they initially started printing “Internationally known as Snickers” on the wrapper before dropping the Marathon name completely.

Personally I’ve always preferred the name Marathon.  Neither name particular conjures up a peanut and chocolate based snack bar, but Snickers just sounds plain weird to me.  It always sounds too much like Sneakers, which reminds me to much of a pair of smelly training shoes.

Oh well, time marches on and there’s nothing we can do about it now, although I heard a rumour that a little while back the name did revert to Marathon for a brief time as a promotional gimmick.  Apparently though the name change was worth it, as when it happened the sweet jumped from being the ninth most popular in the UK to the third most popular.

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Posted by Big Boo on November 6th, 2008

I must say it surprised me to learn that Jenga! was actually a product of the 1980’s, as I thought it was a much more recently invented game.  In actual fact its origins actually go back to the 1970’s, but it was during the eighties that the game hit the big time.

Jenga! is an extremely easy game to play.  A number of wooden blocks are stacked in layers of three, with alternate layers running at right angles to each other.  Players then take it in turns to remove a single block from somewhere in the tower, just not the top two rows, without upsetting the tower.  They then place it on top of the stack, again making sure they don’t topple the entire structure over.  Whoever causes the tower to fall is the loser.

Seeing as only one person can lose a round of Jenga, it is most easily played with just two people, but more can join in by giving each player a number of lives, losing one each time they lose a game, with the player dropping out once they’ve used up all their lives.

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Bonfire Night

Posted by Big Boo on November 5th, 2008

In the UK, the 5th of November is known as Bonfire Night, or sometimes Firework Night or Guy Fawkes Night.  It is a tradition that marks the failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament, known as The Gunpowder Plot.  Whilst the plan itself was masterminded by a Richard Catesby (bet you didn’t know that!) it is always Guy Fawkes who is most associated with it given that he was in charge of actually carrying the attempt out.

To mark the anniversary of this event us Brits always used to host Bonfire Night parties on or around November 5th.  In the weeks leading up to the big night we started to make the bonfire in the back garden out of garden waste, hedge trimmings, old cardboard boxes and generally anything that you could safely set fire to.  There was also the making of an effigy or Guy Fawkes (see Penny for the Guy) to sit atop the blazing heap.

My favourite part of the run up though was going to buy the fireworks.  Back then fireworks were generally sold in newsagents and toy shops, whereas these days it’s more likely to be a supermarket that you get them from.  One thing that hasn’t changed much is that fireworks only became available a few weeks before the big night, and for the most part this is true today, although it appears to be easier to obtain them from specialist shops these days as people start to have fireworks to celebrate New Years Eve, birthdays and other special occasions, which didn’t happen so much back in the 1980’s.

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The Firework Code

Posted by Big Boo on November 4th, 2008

The thing I always looked forward to most when Bonfire Night was approaching was the fireworks, but as we all know fireworks aren’t the safest things in the world, and so the Firework Code was produced to warn people of the dangers and how to safely enjoy fireworks.  The core Firework Code that I remember stated the following.

  1. Always keep fireworks in a tightly closed, metal tin.
  2. Never return to a firework once lit.
  3. Always light fireworks at arms length.
  4. Keep pets indoors.
  5. Stand well back.
  6. Never fool with fireworks.

That last one always made me laugh as it sounded too comical to be an official rule, but it does cover all the possibilities of stupid things people could do such as throwing them or tying things to them.  Anyway, it seems things have moved on a bit since then, as the fire brigade’s mascot Welephant shows on his web page about fireworks.

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