"That Time I Was An Army of One."  

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Life in the 1980's was nothing short of radical.
Video games invaded our homes, MTV walked on the moon, and Spiderman was yet to be played by that douche Toby McGuire. Speaking of, the frightened kid you see in the photo is me. I drastically misjudged the sheer creepiness of sitting on the lap of a giant spandex spider.

During the 80's my home was made up of me, my three older sisters, my mom, and my dad who was in the Navy and often out to sea. At a very early age I had to learn how to live in a house with all girls. Four women and one bathroom, you do the math. It goes without saying that Sports Illustrated was nowhere to be found on my coffee table, while magazines like Glamour and Cosmo covered every surface. I may not have known how to hit a hanging curve, but dammit could I accentuate a cheekbone.

My youngest sister would often give me hand-me-downs (which were luckily gender neutral). Oh, I forgot to mention that my youngest sister is actually nine years older than me, making her hand-me-downs a decade out of date. Gee thanks for that pet rock sis, I'll have fun playing with it while listening to your discarded collection of David Cassidy 8-tracks!


What my mom and sisters didn't understand was that I was a boy and I didn't want to play with those boring Lincoln logs and stupid board games, I wanted to play war! So when Lazer Tag and Photon came out I was wicked excited. I imagined my neighbors and I getting together to wage huge post-apocalyptic laser battles.

The month before Christmas my neighbors and I gathered for an important meeting to discuss which of the two laser toys we should go with. Lazer Tag was the most popular, but Photon looked to have better features. Photon came with this cool helmet, chest plate and phaser that lit-up when shot — plus we could even divide between red and green teams. The vote was in and we collectively decided to ask our parents for Photon that Christmas.



So when Christmas came, I quickly tore into my presents, unearthing a glorious "red team" Photon set. This was my "Red Rider" BB gun. I immediately wondered which color my neighbors got, who was going to enter battle with me and my red team?

I hoped my neighbor Cathy didn't get the red kit. She was an especially whiny girl, who suffered from fallen arches and crippling allergies — weaknesses that would never fly with my elite force of futuristic assassins.

So after I went through the motions of opening the boxes of clothing and lesser toys, I strapped on my Photon helmet and chest guard on and went into the bathroom to gaze at myself in all my ass-kicking awesomeness. After I finished soaking it in, I rushed out to our neighborhood randevouz, the cul-de-sac at the end of our street.

The freaky flat footed Cathy was already there waiting at the end of the street, it was just like her to be early, didn't she know nobody liked her? As I got closer I could now see that she wasn't even holding a Photon gun, her parents got her Lazer Tag, what an idiot! I was quite relieved that I didn't have to worry anymore about her fighting on my squad.

I awkwardly waited out in the cold with Cathy for a few minutes before I saw the Toriello clan emerge from their driveway, they were joined by the Graham boys, who were in-turn followed by the Brewer twins. I really hoped the Toriello kids got red, not only were they a few years older and faster, but they also had amassed a stockpile of smoke bombs, throwing stars, blow guns, canteens, and a go-kart — plus a bunch of other supremely cool stuff that had nothing to do with laser fighting, but was still rad. The Toriello's also had an awesome tree fort which could serve as our home base.

As soon as everyone got to about 3 mailboxes away my anticipation quickly faded to horror. I could now see that the Toriello and Graham kids were carrying Lazer Tag guns too! How could this happen?

I was hopeful for a second when I didn't see the Brewer Twins holding Lazer Tag pistols, but that faded as soon as they informed me their parents didn't get them either. They instead got Freezy Freakies gloves, a Furby and a box of Garbage Pail Kid cards. Lame.

It turns out the Toriello and Graham parents went shopping together and were persuaded by the sales people to buy Lazer Tag, because it was the popular choice. As for Cathy, well this is the girl that was still eating baby food up through high school – true story.

Having totally been decimated by the widespread parental betrayal in my neighborhood, I did the only thing a now friendless kid with Photon could do. I shut myself in the bathroom, flipped off all the lights and watched my Photon helmet light-up as I repeatedly shot myself in the mirror.

The following Christmas I learned my lesson and opted to trade my Photon helmet in for a BMX helmet and bike. At least this was one sport that didn't require coordination with the rest of the neighborhood.






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8 Squirrels Squirreling

I grew up with a sister six years older than I am, and she too had Glamour magazines strewn about.

And for a 12 or 13 year old boy, Glamour is like the gateway drug for Playboy.

So you liked to play with yourself ...

We didn't have laser tag when I was a kid. We threw rocks and dirt clods at each other. A landmark moment of any 70s male childhood was the first time you sent a playmate home screaming and bleeding after nailing him in the eye with a nice chunky dirt clod.

This one kid I hit with a rock -- I guarantee he still has a dent in his head to this day. Hopefully he rubs it and thinks of me, the little shit.

Ah, those were the days.

Doug: Yes, I quite enjoyed the benefit of having all the girly periodicals around the house. The Cosmo was great, but the Victoria Secrets catalogs were the best, they didn't really airbrush out nipple then!

Always home: Whenever possible.

Cary: Nice moves! I'm sure he does and nobody can take that away from you. I would sometimes put a rock in the center of a snowball, and then throw it. I hurt my neighbor once and felt bad, so I went back to just tossing ice balls.

Nice pants, buddy! Are you sure you didn't grow up in the 70's?

Sorry to hear about your difficulty playing "war." I'll be glad to fly out to CA and shoot at you if you'd feel better.

Those were prob my sisters hand-me-downs from the 70's too. Everyone in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn loved to play war too, but they were always playing late at night. I say we get some photon/lazer tag kits and have a battle.

#1 - laser tag ruled.

#2 - i posted my best jokes of the year and thought you should KNOW

http://juliusbloop.com/2008/10/best-of-creek-of-consciousness/

Dear Acorn King: You are by far the most talented MF on humorblogs.com even though you once wrote for Carrot Top. Feel free to speak about yourself in the third person like Joe Biden. Also, we are honored that you have our stamp of approval on your awards. This post rules worlds as it brought me back to the day of Lazer Tag wars in my monstrosity of a Midwest backyard. 16 thumbs up on this one. Oh, and no human should have 4 blogs.

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