Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This may end badly. ALF Trading cards

When I was going through all the items that jboypacman sent me as part of our trade, I came across a pack of ALF trading cards. I actually had several packs of the first series as a kid, though they were lost a long, long time ago. I can't remember seeing cards for any other shows, but I do remember buying packs of cards based on Batman, Little Shop of Horrors, and Return of the Jedi. They used to have these variety packs for sale at a gas station owned by a friend of my dad's. It seemed like we stopped there every weekend while we were out and about. My dad would stand there and shoot the breeze with the owner, while I would make my way over to the spinning racks, and inspect all the different packs hanging on the display. I can't remember the name on these packs, or who produced them, but I'm pretty sure it's the same folks that sell the candy that comes in the clear plastic bags with the red and yellow striped top. I'm probably wrong though. These packs contained everything a young boy would need to keep himself occupied for a few hours. There were usually two or three packs of cards, several different kinds of candy, and a couple of toys mixed in. The toys usually weren't anything special, and were almost always the sort of thing you'd find on the cheap toy rack at a grocery store. Still, every now and then you'd get a gem, like a balsa wood glider, or parachuting soldier. 

I was always more interested in the trading cards though. Batman was the big movie then, so I was always trying to get my hands on a complete set of the movie cards. Many times, I just couldn't find the packs I needed, so I would settle for something else, like Return of the Jedi or ALF, which brings me back around to the original topic. Yes, I'm stalling, but I have a good reason to do so. Let's rip this sucker open and get it over with.

Surprisingly, they look just like I remember. The trading cards all have some sort of fun fact or a bit of information about ALF's family. Reading some of these reminds me of the sort of thing we'd come up with when we did Mad Libs. Actually, I'm pretty certain that's what they did. The one card up there with ALF wearing a jersey is the sticker, and on the back of that was one piece of a larger picture. I seem to have gotten his hand. I used to always get so close to completing these sorts of puzzles, but there would always be one piece I could never find. Sort of like the McDonald's Monopoly contest. That Boardwalk piece was always on another large soda. 

Alright, so enough stalling. I'm going to do what I know everyone was already expecting me to do. I'm going to eat that gum.

Oh my..When I first decided to do this, I had some concerns. When I saw the gum laying there, I realized those concerns probably weren't without reason. 25 years is a long time for any piece of food to be around, let alone a piece of gum in a barely sealed pack of cards. These sticks of gum weren't exactly fresh when these packs were released, so by now they're pretty ancient. Still, I'm not one to let my concern for my long term health stand in the way of your entertainment. 

Initially, the flavor wasn't too bad. As I let it sit on my tongue, waiting for it to soften, 25 year old sugar began dissolving and flowing over my taste buds. It was nice and sweet and good. Almost great even. Then I tried to chew it, and all Hell broke loose. I immediately realized that gum this old will probably never be soft again, and my fears of being poisoned were replace by the fear I had just tried to chew glass. That sweet flavor was replaced by the flavor of chemicals, cardboard, and the tears of my generation. It was as if Topps took all the pain and suffering in the world, and compressed it into a stick of gum. If this gum was a weapon, not even the Russians would use it. I spit it out, in all of its sharp, chunky glory, and rinsed out my mouth. That was a couple of hours ago, and I still have the taste of stale cardboard in my mouth. 

So, pack of ALF cards, pretty neat and funny. Really old stick of gum, never again. I'll see you all again soon after I recover. 


  1. Hahahaha hilarious! (The attempted suicide-by-gum AND the cards, that is!)

  2. Replies
    1. I can still taste that gum, in my nightmares.

  3. Isn't it radiactive? I wish I had gum that can get radiactivity after 30 years.


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