Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Casualties of the Late 80s


"Reflected History" - 8 x 10" ish . . . colored pencil on paper.
Copyright 2006 Maggie Stiefvater.
Click here to purchase.

As you may have read in my last post, my husband and I recently acquired a new dog, Bailey, a terrier with a penchant for eating children's toys. The list of toys he fancies grew today to include a small plastic tree, an orange star toy which has no discernable use or value as far as I can see, and a stuffed Spot dog. And while my husband and I were talking about his teething habit, I recalled another terrier of my youth, Paddington, and how she had chewed two toys of mine. The conversation went like so:

Me (sitting cross legged in passenger seat and turning heat setting up to "death ray"): "Yeah, my dog Paddington, she only chewed two toys that I remember. A Lego tree and my Popple."

My husband: "What the hell is a Popple?"

Me: "I don't remember."

The truth was, I have been carrying the memory of Paddington the dog chewing the back of a Popple's head off, and I really had no idea what the front of the said head really looked like anymore. I just remember that a Popple was from the 80s and I had not seen them since. Clearly, they were a casualty of the late 80s.

Luckily for my naturalist side and unfailing curiosity, google came to my rescue, and I was able to find a site completely dedicated to preserving the memory of Popples. To my bemusement, it has an .org suffix . . . I thought that was nonprofit organization? To save Popples? Anyway, I visited www.popples.org (you can thank me later for the web address) with high hopes of jogging childhood memories and basking in the fond light of nostalgia.

But to tell you the truth, I still don't know what the heck a Popple is. There was no blazing flash of memory when I saw their strange animated little faces, other than realizing that Puffball Popple was the unlucky 80s creature to get the terrier-induced lobotomy at our house. No, perusing the Popples site (obviously the theraputic creation of some sketchy programmer born in the 80s), I had more questions than answers. What is a Popple? Why did I have one? Why did I have just one? Was someone trying to set me up as a Popple Lover? Why did they need to do that to ruin my reputation? Couldn't they have just revealed my 50 My Little Ponies to the world and accomplished the same thing?

Whoops. I have said too much. I must leave before I let slip any other casualties of the 80s that haunt my troubled past. I'll leave you with the Popples theme song, which some even more troubled soul bothered to transcribe:

Popples...pop-pop-pop-Pop Popples they'll make you smile
Popples pop-pop-popples.. Popples livin' just for fun
Laughter and good times too when the Popples pop up for you.
Pop up just for you!

You just can't say it any better than that.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Okay now you made me feel old! I KNOW what popples are, I remember them well and I remember giving one to my nephew...and my kids. Good grief! What am I? A hundred?

Rita said...

Okay, this story made me laugh out loud. I remember Popples and I had one, a little red one that flipped open to blue with a tuft of yellow hair (it's sad that I even remember that much).
I do know one thing they were good for...I thought I had lost my Popple and about 4 months after that fateful day, I think I was 8 or 9 years old at the time, I found the long lost Popple and popped him open only to find $20 I had stuffed inside, my entire life-savings at the time. It was like stumbling on King Tut's tomb with all it's riches.

Who knows, maybe they'll go the way of the Cabbage Patch doll and make a brief, but disconcerting, comeback.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Wendy -- quite probably you are. Can you remember how many candles were on your last cake? A handful, or did it look like the top layer was on fire?

Rita -- I wish I still had a popple, in that case -- I could use the 20 bucks!