It may be advisable to brace yourself. I'm emerging from hours of mind-numbing reality TV and about to commence a retrospective of nostalgic things. Exhibit A: Colgate shampoo (with a special nod to the apple and egg options).
Exhibit B: Tinkies. These were an especially desirable junior school lunch commodity (which I seldom enjoyed, on account of my parent's peanut butter sandwich and apple policy).
Exhibit C: Polly Pocket. This overpriced range of childhood toys (along with the canine corollary Puppy In My Pocket) were very trendy in the early 1990s.
Exhibit D: Hula Hoops. The potato treat one could wear as edible rings on little fingers. Another nostalgic foodstuff.
Exhibit E: Tele Fun Quiz. We move from toys and snacks to television nostalgia (the possibilities are seemingly endless). Remember the Tele Fun Quiz with Martin Bailie?
Exhibit F: Suburban Bliss. This series harks back to an arguably naive era of South African television, following political transition to democracy, and in light of rainbow nation rhetoric.
Exhibit G: Santa Barbara. Now, this was a tough call. Soap operas probably warrant a retrospective all of their own. There are so many options: Generations, Isidingo, Egoli, 7de Laan, Muvhango, Scandal, Bold and The Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, Loving and Sunset Beach.
Exhibit H: sticker albums. It seems almost ridiculous now, to think that collating a range of sticky pieces of plastic and paper, trading them and arranging them in a book of plastic and paper could prove such an absorbing pastime, but so it was once upon a time.
Exhibit I: marbles. Collecting them was a competitive sport, and too many hard games in a driveway, on the playground or in the road could seriously dent the value of your collection. I can't recall all the varieties, but I remember there were some very pretty pearly ones.
Exhibit J: Rubik's cube. Nemesis of the impatient, for whom it seemed easier to disassemble and reassemble with the correct colours per side: I present to you the Rubik's cube.
Exhibit K: Tamagotchi. For whatever reasons, this retrospective is currently focused on toys. There was so much hype over Tamagotchis when I was in school that some (gasp) went missing and a full-on investigation was initiated. The culprit(s) were never apprehended.
Exhibit L: Dub. Since I'm going to take a break from the nostalgia overload here, it seems rather fitting to present Dub from Tube TV on SABC 2. You're not alone if when looking at this picture you can hear him say, "Bye... B'bye... Bye..."
Exhibit M: The phone book AKA telephone directory. These tomes were dropped off one a year, and you could look up acquaintances by surname and initial, or guessing that of the head of the household in the case of classmates.
Exhibit N: Telkom's Venus phone. Around - I think - the time landline numbers changed from seven digits to ten, with dialling codes added, these home phones were it.
Exhibit O: Nintento GAME BOY (with a gender specific name that probably wouldn't get sign off today). The grey version was standard, but a range of different colours came out at some stage, and the red one was pretty neat. Those darn cartridge holders usually went missing.
Exhibit P: Space Cases. With space for blunt-nose scissors and a 30 cm ruler. These went through quite the evolution. Tip-Ex annotations and that very nineties jagged 'S' being commonplace features.
Exhibit Q: Sasol Super 100 advertisements. Memoroable moments included the amaglug-glug baby and the windie-windie-windie refrain in a taxi rank.
Exhibit R: The Baker's Man can! Christmas time was when we would get a large box of Choice Assortment. The brand's full range of sweetmeats including Lemon Creams, Romany Creams, Zoo Biscuits, Strawberry Whirls, and blindingly pink wafers.
Exhibit S: Bunnylicks. Perfect for a hot summer's day. One of many tuckshop and corner café offerings: a lolly to make you jolly.
Exhibit T: Rascals. Another tuckshop commodity. FOR DA FLAVOUR DAT NEVER STOPS. There's a rumble in the jungle...
Exhibit U: Salad Valley at Spur. In tough competition with waiters taking orders while kneeling, Chico-the-Clown and sparklers on your birthday and the Spur Secret Tribe. Remember the wooden menu? Probably worth adding a footnote on tropes and First Nation appropriation. 👀
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