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WATERBEDS

What was once everyone’s dream bed in the 70’s, 80’s and the first two years of the 90’s, has now floated (HA!) away into near obscurity.  Honesty, I blame the rise of grunge music. Once people started taking music serious again (thanks a lot Soul Asylum and Gin Blossoms!), people started thinking that sleeping on a liquid-filled mattress seemed just way  too silly.  You couldn’t be all serious and grungy if you were listening to Rage Against the Machine or Nirvana on a wavy ass waterbed.

I, myself, had a waterbed. It definitely wasn’t of the waveless variety. You felt everything. You would turn to the side and rock back and forth for about 5 minutes. There was no heater or thermometer, so in the winter it was like sleeping on a block of ice and in the summer it was like sleeping on a hot tarp.  I filled it up using the garden hose and never added any chemicals to it. Things were growing inside the mattress and I could observe them because it was totally see-through. My spine looks like a question mark because I had zero back support.

Sometimes, when the water was too low, I would simply lay on the wooden bottom, entrenched by my waterbed. “It’s like being hugged by an old octopus”, I’d tell myself. I enjoyed the sloshing sound that the water made inside the mattress. To this day, when I walk along a beach and I hear the ocean gently lap against the shore, I am reminded of those days and think, “That sounds like the slapping of my young manhood.”  Or something like that.

Today there are billions of people who don’t even know what a waterbed is. Ask anyone who is under the age of 18 today what a water bed is and you will probably get answers like, “Waterbed? For realz? What is that?”  Are they really all gone? Maybe a few have survived. No one knows the exact numbers, but it is sad to see them go from the American mainstream.  And what about all those waterbed stores???!? All those people who were once waterbed salesmen have now either lost their jobs or are dead.

But I’ll never forget you waterbed.

RIP 1968-1992

1.) Jobs I wanted as a little kid

Dinosaur expert

Mogwai breeder

Hot Wheels tester

Cartoonist

Special FX guy

Stuntman

Ricky Schroeder’s friend in Silver Spoons

Jobs that I want now:

Whatever job offers excellent dental and vision coverage

2.)  Cars I wanted to drive when I was a little kid

Cookie Van (As I called the van that I thought delivered cookies TO Florissant’s delicious, local bakery, “Helfer’s Pastries”.)

Ice Cream Truck

The souped-up  Hatchback that Jackie Chan drove in The Cannonball Run movie.

Any car driven in the Mad Max movies

Camaro IROC-Z

The General Lee

Cars I think about driving now:

Mini-van or possibly an environmentally friendly SUV

3.) Cereal I would eat or want to buy as a little kid

Apple Jacks!

Honey Comb topped with sugar for some reason!

Cookie Crisp!

King Vitamin! (Very small, trace amounts of actual vitamins in the cereal)

KIX but with so much sugar spooned in, the milk would turn gray.

Thought  process that I use now when buying cereal

“This box of cereal has a high bran content. That is important.”

4.) Thoughts when I would ride my skateboard when I was a little kid:

“I can totally ollie off this set of stairs and land it.”

Thoughts when I ride my skateboard now:

“Broken ankle plus E.R. bill divided by time off work equals missed wages..I’ll just skate very near the staircase.”

5.) Things I would say in the summer when I was a little kid:

“I’m going to cut grass all summer and save up to buy a really cool video game!”

Things I say in the summer now:

“It’s way too hot outside.  Also, have I contributed enough this year to my Roth IRA?”