DAILY DIRT: ‘Dancing close, little moron jokes and cooties in her hair’

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Daily Dirt for Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

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1. I’ve been a longtime fan of the Statler Brothers, who, for the record, are now retired.

I used to watch their variety show on TV and even saw them in concert once. 

Harold, Phil, Don and Lew were the original Statler Brothers, who took their name from a brand of tissue.

One of the Statler Brothers’ many hit songs was “Do You Remember Those.” Here’s a sampling:

“Dancing close, little moron jokes and cooties in her hair,
“Captain Midnight, Ovaltine, and the whip at the county fair,
“Charles Atlas course, Roy Rogers’ horse, and ‘Only the Shadow
Knows’

‘Ahh, do you remember those?”

Bring back any memories? I’ll try and help. Using the decades of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s — which also happen to be the peak years of the Statler Brothers’ popularity — here are three items from each of those decades that stand out for me:

1960s

  • Transistor radios: If you’re a baby boomer, I’m sure there were many nights growing up that you fell asleep with one of these at the side of or beneath your pillow listening to a baseball game or some far away AM radio station playing “all the hits.”
  • Monopoly: Probably the most popular board at the time (maybe ever), and ifyou ever played the older version of this game, chances are you are familiar with the old “thimble” token. In 2017, the Hasbro company removed the thimble, boot and wheel barrow from its selection of player pieces in favor of new options like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, rubber ducky and penguin.
  • Fizzies: Only children of the ’60s remember these wretched little things. Fizzies were tablets that could be dropped into a cup of water to add instant (and very temporary) carbonation and fruit flavor. The Emerson Drug Company sold the sugar-free, flavored tablets to wide public appeal, and by 1968, the product was selling twice as much as Kool-Aid. Unfortunately, the sugar substitute in Fizzies included saccharin and cyclamates the latter of which was eventually banned. That, along with the short-lived fizz and diluted flavoring, helped along Fizzies’ eventual demise.

1970s

  • Tupperware: Like the decade itself, Tupperware was extremely bright and colorful. Tupperware was highly popular, especially from the 1950s through the 1970s. Many boomers probably remember their moms throwing a Tupperware party. Some women even made a living by coordinating small Tupperware parties.
  • 8-track tape player: Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music … none of it seems to compare to loading 8-track tapes into your car or home player in the 1970s. Sure, you had to carry the tapes, but that was just part of the “fun” of the full-blown 8-track experience. One of the positives about 8-tracks was never having to worry about any device dying and then going crazy looking for a charger.
  • Short shorts: Chances are if you were a part of this decade you definitely sported both the tube socks and the tiny shorts look. Just like the tube socks during the 1970s, short shorts were huge. Basketball players at the time all sported the tube socks and the short shorts as part of their uniforms. Men and women both took part in this decade-long fashion, but when the 1980s rolled around, those tiny shorts’ popularity quickly began to fizzle and all but disappeared.

1980’s

  • M-TV: Remember when M-TV actually stood for “music” television. Seems like a century ago.
  • Salad bars at Burger King: Yeah, those didn’t last long.
  • Hulkamania: Never before — or after — had pro wrestling been taken by such a storm. The incredible Hulk Hogan was arguably not only the most popular pro wrestler, but the most popular overall character on all of TV. I once attended a pro wrestling card featuring the Hulkster. It was an incredible experience.

2. Believe it or not, here are some actual flavors of Jell-O that were introduced — and discontinued — over the years:

  • Celery. (I wouldn’t think this would have been so bad.)
  • Italian salad. (This, on the other hand, would have.)
  • Mixed vegetable. (Ugh.)
  • Seasoned tomato. (Double ugh.)
  • Bubble gum. (Even the though makes my teeth hurt.)
  • Chocolate. (Just like pudding, right?)
  • Coffee. (This should have been a hit.)
  • Cotton candy. (Cotton candy itself is disgusting. I can’t imagine a Jell-O flavor of the same name.)
  • Cola. (Well, as long as it was Coca-Cola.)
  • Maple syrup. (Seriously?)

3. The first official College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings were out earlier this week and had Tennessee No. 1.

Honestly, I can’t argue with that, based on the body of the Vols’ work to date. In good conscience, however, I can’t place Tennessee No. 1 — yet.

1. Ohio State (8-0): Unless there is a case of severe overconfidence, or some sort of laissez faire attitude, the Buckeyes should put up a combined 150-plus the three games leading up to Michigan. This week: Ohio State 56, Northwestern 7.

2. Tennessee (8-0): We should learn a lot Saturday when the Vols meet Georgia. This week: Tennessee 35, Georgia 31.

3. Georgia (8-0): Repeat comment No. 2. This week: Tennessee 35, Georgia 31.

4. Michigan (8-0): Sure, Michigan’s non-conference schedule was probably comparable to the Clarence Cannon Conference, but the Wolverines are good and Nov. 26 vs. Ohio State will be a legitimate clash of Titans. This week: Michigan 66, Rutgers 3.

Best of the rest: TCU (8-0), Oregon (7-1).

Overrated No. 1: Alabama (7-1). This is not the same Tide we are used to seeing at this point of the season.

Overrated No. 2: Clemson (8-0). Sorry, Dabo, but any of the seven teams mentioned prior to your club in this space today are at least a touchdown better than Clemson. 

Steve Thought O’ The Day — How about a Mountain Dew flavor for Jell-O?

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. No Cheeseburger Jell-O?

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