I have often wondered how fads get started. Sometimes it seems they are cultural entities, and at other times they got started by something that one person said or did. The following are some of the most amusing and sometimes irritating fads of our time:
I’m all for spoiling my precious puppies with high-quality pet food and even an occasional rawhide bone, but I draw the line at four-footed, fur-trimmed dresses and coats. The idea of using one animal’s pelt to worm up another is woefully unhip. As for fashion shows featuring matching mother-pet getups … please. Let’s keep canines off the catwalks. They’d much rather go naked than be dressed to resemble refugees from the set of Dynasty.
“Just Sayin’.” Just turn on the television and before long a car salesman or a talk show host feels compelled to use the phrase “just sayin’.” Many times it is used just after a poisonous crack. “My mother-in-law smells like a brewery. Just sayin’.” It’s like a coy kicking of the dirt. Gotcha! “Too easy.” Not everything, my friend. Stop saying that!
A fashion statement from the late ’60s and early ’70s, the platform shoe was considered the must-have accessory. Never mind that they could twist or break an ankle. Teens were willing to pay the price to be stylish. Rockers like Elton John and KISS also made them madly popular. They have recently made a huge comeback, something I thought I would never see.
Where’s the Love?
Lately, everywhere! “Call Your Teacher and Give Her Some Love.” “Veggie Diets Get Some Love.” Love preceded by some doth not always run smooth. “I have got to calm down before I can give them my love.” I say, “What’s love got to do with it?”
“Fusion food,” “frugalista,” “no-imaginationista,” and “du jour” are just a few hip words that hopefully won’t last for long. LOL (laugh out loud) and OMG (oh my god) are phrases often seen on Internet blogs and e-mails, but have stood the test of time better than most.
CB Radio Craze
Breaker, breaker, smokies up ahead, 10.4, good buddy. This fad became popular during the 1974 Oil Embargo among truck drivers but became popular with Americans coast to coast because of the Citizens Band Radio (CB for short) who used it mostly to alert one another of police (smokies) and speed traps. It was empowerment to some degree that seemed to drive the craze. But by the 1980s, the public tired of the CB and now it has been replaced by the annoying cell phone.
Yooneek Baby Names
I’m talking to you, Madysyn, and you, Aadinn, and you, too, Makayla. Or rather, your parents. This effort to be more “kre8tiv” by taking a perfectly okay name and contorting it with extra letters and strange substitutes only condemns your poor child to a lifetime of respelling their name, explaining its derivation, and assuring people that yes, her parents really do in most cases know how to spell. Most annoying of all, these bizarre spellings don’t do anything to change the pronunciation, so in the end Madysyn is really just plain old Madison. So why change the spelling in the first place? That’s right: just to be different.
The Eight-Track Tape
The eight-track tape was the first alternative to having to listen to the car radio. It was a good idea but had some pitfalls. They were cheap causing the tape material to fray and break and the sound quality was subpar with the sound fading in and out. They were also bulky and players could not browse backwards or forward on the track. The eight-track tape suffered a quick demise and gave way to the cassette tape and vinyl records.
It seems as though everyone wants a Facebok page. Well, I say less Facebook, more face time. Cherish people, not their personal Internet account. No one cares about the cute little trick the dog did this morning or what you had for breakfast.
Tattoos were a big fad back in the 1940s. When they fizzled the only tattoos done were usually by military personnel … i.e. Marines in particular. More often than not they were done during a night of wild drinking and partying while on furlough. Then several years ago our grandchildren’s generation decided that tattoos are hip again. Gee, I’m sure glad this fad didn’t hit when I was a teenager because my parents would have said “No Way!”
One can only surmise that the Hula-Hoop originated from the hula dance. In 1958 the hula hoop fad was at its height. Alvin and the Chipmunks song, “Christmas Don’t Be Late” referred to the Hula-Hoop. They were all made of durable plastic at that time. Art Linkletter was one of the original major investors in the 1950s. I had a grass green one that I even carried to school with me. Recently, there has been a resurgence of the hoop to be used primarily for fitness and “hooping” clubs have been formed across the country for this purpose.
The Granny Dress
This is one I wouldn’t mind seeing come back again. However, since nudity is now the norm I think this one will be a long time coming. Back in 1964, I got in big trouble for wearing a granny dress to elementary school. My, how times have changed!
And lastly, the most disgusting fad of them all:
Pull Up Your Pants!
Those low-slung baggy pants with the wide belts barely hanging on the hips of youngsters is deplorable. Butt cracks should not be seen!