Showing posts with label nostalgia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nostalgia. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Holy Toy Biz 1989 Batman!

I can say without hesitation, that 1989's Batman is one of my favorite flicks. I don't know if I first saw it on the big screen at the Idle Hour Theater, or if it was at home on a VHS, but I loved it. up to that point, my only exposure to the Dark Knight was Super Friends, and Batman '66 reruns on weekday afternoons. This new, darker version blew all previous iterations out of the water. I mean, if I'm given the choice between sweating through grey and blue spandex, or an all black suit of rubber and leather and body armor, it's a pretty easy decision.

Not surprisingly, there was Batman branded just about everything. You could fill your bowl with Batman cereal, wear your Batman ballcap to the mall, and of course, play with Batman action figures in the privacy of your own room.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mystery Mail-Order Box

A few days ago, I was browsing around on eBay when I stumbled on to this little treasure. I know it just looks like some beat up white box with a bunch of random numbers on it, but it's what's inside that makes it special to me. Read on, and see what goodies were included in Stock No. 59508.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Toy Biz X-Men Series 1 Wolverine and Magneto!

It's the spring of 1992. I had just finished competing in an Odyssey of the Mind competition in Va Beach, and my parents and I are getting ready to head home. "Is there anywhere you'd like to go before we go home?", they ask. I could only think of one place, a place that had been occupying my mind since I first saw it earlier in the day. That place was Children's Palace.

Now, this post isn't really about Children's Palace, but it certainly could be. I had been to Toys R Us a few times, but it was mostly with my neighbor and his family, which meant most of the time we were there was spent in the video games section. I would only get a quick glimpse of the action figure aisles, as we made our way over to the NES and SNES games on display. This time, it was just me and my parents, and I was the one leading the way. I honestly don't think I was prepared for just how amazing Children's Palace was. Back at home, we had a couple of aisles that were full of my favorite action figures. Here, there were 5 or 6 aisles, and it seemed like they went on forever. I had never seen so many toys in one place before. It was a bit intimidating, and I could tell my parents were getting a little impatient, which only added to the pressure. I stood in the middle of an aisle, nearly overwhelmed by all the choices, when a familiar logo caught my eye. Shortly after that, I was back in the car, playing with my two new figures.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Nintendo Power's Ninja Gaiden II Strategy Guide

It was, I'm assuming the Christmas season of 1990. My parents and I had just driven to one of my friend's house. I'm not exactly sure why we were there, but as it turns out, they had a couple of gifts for me. One was one of those little Flipsiders games, the kind shaped like a cassette tape. The other one was this lovely bit of reading material right here..

The Nintendo Power Strategy Guide for Ninja Gaiden II. Now, this isn't the same one from that day, at least I don't think it is. This is a copy I found on Amazon, and I'll be damned if it doesn't look exactly like the one I had many years ago. You tend to remember random things like the folds on a magazine's cover. I initially thought it was an odd choice for a gift. I had a decent selection of games for my NES, but I didn't have Ninja Gaiden II, at least not yet. Had my friend's parents accidentally spoiled one of my Christmas gifts for me? Well, as it turns out, they didn't. Ninja Gaiden II wasn't under the tree that year, and as far as I can remember, I never actually owned the game. I rented it a few times, but the difficulty of the game always frustrated me to the point of controller throwing anger. Yet, that still didn't keep me from reading through the guide at least 170 times. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

My dangerous childhood: Air rifles

I used to be into guns. I mean, really into guns. My first exposure to firearms came in the form of BB guns and pellet rifles in my youth.  I still remember how cool it felt to hold my first air rifle, a multi-pump Crosman. With that plastic and steel rifle in my hands, I had no fear. I had fantasies of repelling robbers with my trusty BB gun before I ever saw A Christmas Story. I even kept it beside my bed at night, you know, just in case. I must have fired tens of thousands of shiny little BB's at anything that fell in front of my sights. Cans, soda bottles, action figures, nothing was safe from my wrath. Then one day, my friends and got bored shooting at inanimate objects, and decided to start shooting at each other.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Who ya gonna call? The Real Ghostbusters Egon!

The Real Ghostbusters toys caught me completely by surprise. One Saturday morning, I walked down the toy aisle in Rose's and there they were. Peter, Ray, Egon, Winston and Stay Puft were all hanging there on the shelves, just waiting to go home with me. After a few moments of indecision, I decided to go with my favorite Ghostbuster, Egon.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Guide to the Star Wars Universe

I don't think I truly started to appreciate Star Wars until the early to mid 90's. That's when I finally saw The Empire Strikes Back, and I managed to catch an old "Making of" special on the Sci-Fi channel. It gave me a new appreciation for just how much work went into creating the creatures and ships of the original trilogy. It's also when I discovered a handy little guide, hiding on a friend's bookshelves.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lost lightsaber? Time for an upgrade Obi Wan!

You know how it goes. You're just sneaking around on a Death Star, minding your own business, when a powerful Sith Lord challenges you to a lightsaber duel.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Muddin' at the Moose!

For those of you that don't know, I live on a little spit of land just off the coast of Virginia. If you've ever driven from Virginia Beach to Maryland, then you've driven through the Eastern Shore. It's not exactly a blink and you'll miss it type of place. It's more along the lines of, "Oh my God when is this drive going to end?" kind of area. There really isn't much to see on the highways, other than gas stations, a few shopping plazas, and a lot of fields. We still manage to find ways to have fun though. 

It was close to 30 years ago, but there used to be what they called "mud hops" up in the town of Tasley. What's a mud hop you ask? It's pretty much what it sounds like. A bunch of people dig a large pit in the middle of a field, spray a few thousand gallons of water into it, and try to drive their trucks through one at a time. There are different classes based on tire sizes and vehicle mods, but the end goals are all pretty much the same. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? 

I was only 4 or 5 years old when the mud hops were held up in Tasley, but I can still remember it like it was yesterday. My dad was in charge of one of the tow trucks responsible for pulling out the trucks that got stuck. This meant I had one of the best seats in the house, on top of the wrecker's hood. Sitting there with an ice cold Coke in one hand, a snack cake in the other, watching the competitors trying to plow their way through several feet of mud, I didn't think I could ever have more fun. Except for the sailor hat. I was pretty fair skinned, so I always had to wear this ridiculous sailor's hat that came down over my ears. It was embarrassing even for a 5 year old. I was so happy the day my dad handed me my own child-sized Coor's Light hat. I wore that hat until it was too small to fit on my head. 

As much as I loved watching the trucks drive through the mud pit, I think I enjoyed it even more when they got stuck. That meant I got to ride with my dad and "help" him pull them out. It was a fascinating process, full of cables, levers, and dangerous looking machinery. We never failed to pull someone out, and we never got stuck. As cool as it was riding in the wrecker, I was always jealous of the people that got to ride in the tank. That's right, a tank. The National Guard brought one of their tanks along, and they would use it to pull out a truck every now and then. I want to say it even got stuck once, and it took a couple of tow trucks to pull it out, but I might just be making that up. Sadly, after a few years interest waned or the property was sold, and they stopped holding the mud hops. 

That all changed last fall, when the Exmore Moose Lodge held their first "Muddin' at the Moose" event. It was hugely popular, and it appears that they're going to make it a regular thing now. So when I found out they were having another mud hop this past weekend, I knew I had to make it out there. I also made sure I took a bunch of pictures to show off. 

As you can see, there's a common theme among the vehicles. 98.7% of them were pickups, with a couple of oddballs thrown in. Some of them had bodies that looked like they were just rolled out of a showroom, while others looked like they were leftovers from a 50 car pileup. Regardless of how they looked going in, all of them came out the same way; caked from tire to top with mud.

One thing about a mud hop, as the day goes on, the holes just get messier and deeper. Most  of the drivers hooked up a tow rope before they started, otherwise they would have to tromp waist deep through mud to attach the rope to their hitch. They didn't come there to get muddy, they just came there to drive. I was particularly fond of the truck above, mainly because it looks like the first truck I owned. This one just has a lot more engine and the tires are slightly bigger than the ones I had on my S-10. 

A few trucks had some pretty elaborate paint jobs, such as "Mud Mistress" up there. Someone spent a lot of time and money, only to have it covered the second it left the starting line. Some of these guys spend a lot of time and money building these rigs, and in most cases, it was just for that one day. After that, they'll put on some old tires and push it back into the woods or the garage until the next event. Still, it's nice to see folks take pride in their work, when most people around here tend to half-ass everything. 

One of coolest vehicles out there was this jacked up Camaro. It was one of my favorites, but I think that's mainly due to the fact I owned a Hot Wheels monster truck that looked exactly like it. As crazy as the car looked, it was one of the few in its class to actually make it all the way through the pit. It took a few seconds, and it was spraying plumes of mud 50 feet in the air, but they made it. 

Since it's pretty hard to convey all the noise and energy that goes on at one of these events, I actually took a couple of crappy quality videos to share with you folks.

I've never been much of a gearhead, but there's just something about hearing and feeling the amount of power some of these trucks are putting out. Some of these guys are pushing 1000+ hp, which is why they tend to just skip across the water, rather than sinking into it. 

It was a great time, and if you ever get the chance to attend a mud hop, I highly recommend it. Even if you don't like it, look on the bright side; at least you'e not the guy that has to clean up afterwards. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Robocop and the Ultra Police.

I know I've mentioned it before, but I was way too young the first time I saw Robocop. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, I just think the parts of the movie that didn't involve Robocop shooting large holes into criminals went way over my head. There were some terrifying moments as well, such as when Mr. Kinney learned he should have ducked, or when Emil discovered the dangers of swimming in toxic waste.

Still, the ultraviolence and lack of action figures based on the movie didn't keep me from wanting to play "Robocop". I would just pick the G.I. Joe figure that looked the most like the cyborg, and pretend he was half man, half machine, and all cop. Then, about a year after the movie's release on VHS, Kenner put out a toyline based on a movie that was almost rated "X" for violence.

I was just walking down the toy aisles in Rose's, trying to figure out what I was going to blow my allowance money on, when a familiar silver cyborg caught my eye. I pulled Robo off the peg, and scanned every inch of his card. No longer would I have to deal with a poor facsimile when I could have the real deal. Robocop wasn't alone, though. He had a whole gang to fight, and a few friends to lend him a hand. Possibly the greatest thing about the figures was the fact they could fire caps. Just load a roll into their backs, pull the lever, and enjoy as you slowly lose your hearing.

Let's have a look at a few of  the figures from this line.


You can't have Robocop and the Ultra Police without Robocop. This was the first, actually the only figure I ever owned from this line. In my excitement at finally seeing a Robocop figure, I completely ignored all of the other toys in the line. It wasn't until I got home and reread the back of his card that I realized there were other characters available. Still, once I saw them on the pegs, I was underwhelmed. These guys weren't in the movie, so why would I even care about them?

Robocop came with a rather odd interpretation of his Auto-9 pistol, and a removable helmet. I never understood why his gun ended up looking so funky, but it works, I guess. When all the crime had been stopped, and all the bad guys had been shot, the pistol could be fastened to the left thigh. So it wasn't a cool retractable holster like the movie, but you could only expect so much for a figure that cost less than $5.

 Murphy removes his helmet several times in the Robocop movie, so it only made sense for his action figure to be able to do the same. The helmet goes on pretty tight, so it's not like it'll just fall off when you're playing with him. Take it off and squint your eyes just right, and I guess you could say that it looks like Peter Weller. The cheeks are as sharp and he has a bit too much forehead, but it's still a decent likeness for a toy from 1989.

As you can see, this particular Robocop was well loved by its previous owner. There are small scorch marks on the front and back, almost like someone was adding their own battle damage. I'm not going to lie, I did the same thing with mine. I actually ended up with a spare Robo somehow, so I used a lighter and a paper clip to add some bullet holes to one of them. I was quite crafty in my younger days.


If you didn't grow up in the 80's, one thing you'll quickly learn is that bad guys' names almost always tell you what they do. Looking like he takes his fashion and hair styling cues from Billy Idol, Chainsaw here is a perfect example of the 80's villain naming scheme. I guess you could argue that he's technically using a circular saw, rather than a chainsaw, but then you'd be a jerk. Let's just all agree that it's a saw, okay? Along with his saw, Chainsaw also came with a boxy pistol that he can hold, or fasten to his left leg. He actually has quite a few sculpted details, especially those chains around his arm and on his leg. I'm not sure what purpose they serve, wrapped around his shoulder like that. It looks like that would be a bit uncomfortable. I wanted to talk about the shirt, but first I have to mention something I just noticed. Dude has a belly button. It's a little hard to see, but look right under his shirt. They actually went through the trouble of giving him a belly button. You realize now, that I'm going to have to spend the rest of my days seeing how many shirtless figures come with a navel.

Before I forget about it, that shirt. I love that shirt. The bright yellow with the red Vandals symbol on it, it actually looks like something I would wear, mainly because I don't think dog and cat hair would show up on it. Also, I'm not entirely sure if it's a skull with fangs, or an ant head. Either way, I dig it.


If there was a Vandals member that was a complete doofus, and always screwed things up, I bet it would be Nitro here. I mean, just look at that face:

I can't tell if he's supposed to be a racist caricature of an Asian or a Native American. His eyes are shut so tight, I'm not sure how he's supposed to see anything. Perhaps he just witnessed a big ass explosion. That would explain the grimace, at least. I wish I had taken a photo now, but he actually has wrinkles sculpted into the back of his neck. He's scowling so hard he's giving himself a facelift.

I just got done talking about how villains' names always relate to their weapon or specialty, and Nitro has to come along and screw it up. Sure, his card calls that thing a Nitro-Pincher, but that's pretty weak. That's probably what his grandmother called her hands when she grabbed his cheeks. As you can see, it's not effective at pinching anything. This is why I say he's the idiot of the gang. They probably let this fool run around trying to pinch stuff, while they break into banks and just do altogether evil crap.

That purple thing on his thigh is supposed to be a Dyno-bomb, whatever that means. Oh wait, I get it..Nitro, because he likes exploding things. Great idea, give the moron the explosives.

Dr. McNamara

Hey, this guy was actually in the movie....sort of. I don't remember movie McNamara sporting a large submachine gun or those kick ass shades. With a face like every 80's action movie henchman, McNamara is the only Vandal that actually looks like he would be a match for Robocop. It's gotta be the arms. At some point, the Dr. got tired of getting sand kicked in his face, and gave himself some cyborg arms. Now he can go around punching bullies and cyborgs with reckless abandon. Speaking of cyborg arms, I've never been able to figure out if he just replaced his arms altogether, or if that is some sort of Robo-armor that he's wearing. If anything, it looks like he's wearing a Robo-cardigan. Along with his machine gun, McNamara also came with a Robo Scanner. Because it's so hard to find a guy that my grandmother could outrun.

Along with his metal sweater and cyborg arms, McNamara also has some fancy steel toed boots. If I was trying to kill a cop that was half machine, and I'd already built some upper body armor, I might spend another week or two and make some pants to go along with it. It's kind of hard to bury those steel toes in someone's ass when you've been capped in both of your knees.


Scorcher here is from the second wave of Vandals figures. He's supposed to be a pyro maniac, though his suit looks like it would fit right in at a fetish club. Armed with a flame thrower just as big as he is, half the fun is balancing him so he doesn't fall over. Unlike the other figures in the line, Scorcher's cap firing mechanism is located in his weapon, rather than embedded in his back. Pull back the metal lever, let it go, and not only does it set off a cap, but it also launches his missile.  Scorcher also comes with a removable mask, that makes him look like a scaled up figure from another popular Kenner line, M.A.S.K. Though his comrades aren't the handsome st bunch, Scorcher's face will likely give you nightmares.

See what I mean? That's the kind of face that makes Nitro up there look like Bradley Cooper. Whoever sculpted that visage hated children, and wanted to make sure they never slept again if they removed that helmet and gazed upon that image. I've yet to figure out if he's screaming in rage, or in the throes of ecstasy. I do know that it's probably not safe for someone with a unibrow that bushy to play with fire.

Sergeant Reed

Like McNamara, Reed was a character in the first movie. Actually, I think he made it all the way to the awful, awful tv series. In this case, he's been recruited for Robocop's Ultra Police, which means he gets some shiny blue chest armor, and a fancy helmet. The figure's likeness isn't too bad, though it looks like the previous owner tried to add some sideburns. I guess we all like to jazz up our toys in different ways.

I was thinking about how boring of a figure he was, until I realized that his uniform reminds me of the Ghostbusters' coveralls. If this whole Ultra Police thing doesn't work out for him, he could try out the whole chasing spirits business. All he would need is a proton pack and a Fright Feature and he's ready to go to work.

Of course, if the Vandals ever find that crime doesn't pay, they could just tour as an awful 80's hair band. They already have the name and the look, I'm sure Dr. McNamara could come up with some rockin' hits.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

McDonald's Lego Motion Wind Whirler

If you were a kid in 1989 and you ate at McDonald's, there's a chance you got a Lego set in that thin cardboard box stuffed with fried potatoes, questionable meat, and grease. Tonight, I'm taking a look at one of those sets, the Wind Whirler.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

PB&J Strawberry Pop Tarts!

When I saw Kellog's come out with the "Gone Nutty!" variety, I knew it was just a matter of time before they brought back the PB&J flavor. I'm pretty sure I even told Chelsea something to that effect. The original version was released in 1986, and it quickly became one of my favorite flavors. That's right, it beat out regular Strawberry, and even Chocolate. There was something about that combination of peanut butter and jelly after spending a couple minutes in the toaster that I just couldn't resist. Then one day, they were gone. There was no notice or forewarning, they just disappeared.

 Funny, but I don't remember being particularly broken up about it. I just noticed that the PB&J weren't in their normal spot, so I went to my next favorite flavor. I blame the internet for folks not being able to let things go these days. If Kellog's discontinued the PB&J right now, there would be fan sites and petitions set up trying to get them back. People would stand outside the Pop Tarts offices, demanding the return of their favorite breakfast pastry. And the folks at Kellog's would look out of their windows and laugh and laugh while they stuffed their faces with PB&J Pop Tarts.

It would be easy to think that you've won a prize the first time you open up a box of PB&J Pop Tarts. Like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the "Gone Nutty" varieties come wrapped in this goldish foil wrapper. It really classes up the whole deal. It even feels a little heavier and thicker than the silver foil wrapping. I get the impression that I could open up one of these envelopes 5 years from now, and the Pop Tarts inside would still be fresh. It doesn't mention it anywhere on the box, but I bet these things are space ready as is. Now that's a thought, maybe we should be sending Pop Tarts to outer space. If nothing else, we could use them to bribe any alien creatures we may encounter. Nobody can resist warm pastries with various flavors of gooey filling, not even beings from another galaxy.

When I finally managed to get the unbreakable gold foil packet open, I was unexpectedly hit with an aroma of peanut butter. Sure, I expected a peanut butter like smell, but I didn't think it would be like opening a jar of Jif. Actually, it's probably closer to opening a jar of Smucker's Goober. There's just a bit of strawberry jelly underneath all of that peanut butter. As I stared at the pastries on my plate, it occurred to me that they were much more consistent with the frosting in the 80's. Finding a poorly frosted Pop Tart was the exception. Now, it looks like they haphazardly swipe at them with a frosted paint brush while blindfolded, before they pull some sprinkles out of their pocket and toss them on top. Still, I've found the frosting, or lack thereof, doesn't really affect the flavor all that much. Much like people and books, it's what's on the inside that counts. Well, that goes for all but the unfrosted Pop Tarts. Screw those things.

Did you know you're only supposed to toast Pop-Tarts on the lowest setting for one cycle? The things you learn when you read the directions..I've always preferred mine a little charred on the edges, so I turn things up a bit. I might even put them in for another cycle. I'm a regular toasting rebel. As they were toasting, they filled the kitchen with the wonderful aroma of warm peanut butter. It's what I imagine the inside of a Jif factory smells like. It's as close as you can get to toasting an actual peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but without ruining your toaster.

Taking a peek inside the pastry, you can see that there are alternating strips of peanut butter and strawberry jelly filling.  It really works to even things out and keeps one flavor from dominating the other. And imagine my surprise when the peanut butter actually tasted and felt like peanut butter. That's right, I said felt. It was nice and gooey, just like warm PB&J should be. None of that dry, grainy knockoff nut butter here.

On the back of the box, there are some pastry themed jokes, as well as a coupon worth four dimes off another box of PB&J Pop Tarts. The Toaster Games joke fell flat for me, but "Who tarted?", that one made me chuckle. I'll have to try to work that into a conversation at work tomorrow. I doubt it will make any sense, but I'll know what I'm talking about.

So there you have it, a look at the return of the glorious PB&J Pop Tarts. This will probably be the last box of them that I buy, so if anyone wants that $.40 off coupon, shoot me an email with your address. Nothing says "You're cool" like a box of discounted toaster pastries.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Transformers G1 Triggerbots Override

I only ever saw the Transformers cartoon on a couple of occasions, so all my knowledge of them was based on TV commercials and the bio cards on the back of the toys. Of course, I rarely read or kept the bio cards, meaning most of the story lines I came up with were decidedly non-canon. Still, I like to think I did pretty well by the characters. I certainly knew Optimus Prime was a good guy and the Autobot leader, and it was pretty easy to see Soundwave was his enemy. So what if they sometimes worked together? It's not like Hasbro was going to come take the toys back from me.

So, my lack of knowledge of the backstory wasn't a problem. No, my main issue with the toys was that they were damn expensive compared to other action figures. Sure, I could get a car that turns into a robot and comes with a dozen weapons for $10.99, but I could also buy three different G.I. Joe figures for the same price. Thankfully, Hasbro realized this and released several smaller figures for those of us with a limited allowance.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sets I Had From The Lego 1992 Catalog

I was a little Lego fiend when I was growing up. I turned 11 in 1992, and toys weren't quite taboo yet. I was still comfortable talking about them with friends, and wouldn't run and hide if I heard kids from school walking by the toy aisle. It was also the year of my biggest Christmas Lego haul ever. I got some pretty big sets that year, and much like the larger toys from Hasbro and Kenner, they came with a flyer showing off that year's assortment of Lego sets.

This is still one of my favorite Lego catalog covers. I like the idea that all of Lego's realms coexist at one time, so it seems entirely possible for a space policeman and a Navy officer to be riding the metro when the Black Knight decides to collect a toll from the passengers. Of course, these were the days before the minifigures had anything but a smile on their faces, so everyone seems rather jolly about the whole affair.

Admittedly, I had a bunch of these sets before 1992. Several of them had already been out for a year or so, like the M-Tron team and the Metro Liner. It seems like Lego had released quite a few new sets the previous two years, so that might be why there doesn't seem like there's much new stuff in this pamphlet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The time I found a dead body (kinda)

When you enter Middle of Nowhere, Va, the first thing you notice is, it's really dark. We're talking darker than dark. So dark you turn your headlights off and on just to make sure they were on in the first place. It's one of the consequences of living in a mostly rural area. There aren't many street lamps along the highway, and there are even fewer on  the back roads. I mention the darkness, because it makes more sense if you know the conditions of the night in question.

On the night "it" happened, my friend Scott and I were already a little freaked out. It was either a Friday or a Saturday night, because it was way late, and we were all up and hanging out. At some point, Scott and I left in his truck to either go to the store, or Scott's house so he could grab some games. We were driving out of my development when I saw a rabbit sitting under the street lamp near the end of my road. I didn't think much of it until a few seconds later, when I caught a flurry of movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked over, and I saw that the rabbit had apparently sprouted wings and was flying off into the night. I'm sure I exclaimed something along the lines of, "That fucking rabbit just flew off!". Scott understandably looked at me like I was crazy, while I stammered on about a rabbit suddenly turning into a winged demon of some sort and taking off into the night. After a few minutes I calmed down, and just laughed it off as having imagined the whole thing. Thankfully, we made it to our destination and back without any other four-legged animals taking to the sky.

A little later that night, I'd say it was between 12 or 1 am, my mom asked us if we could take out the garbage. We were still wide awake and didn't have much else to do, so of course we said we would. Scott and I loaded up the bags, and made our way to the dumps just a couple miles from my house. Scott made sure to keep an eye out for any flying rabbits, and I'm happy to say that all ground animals stayed grounded this time. Just a few minutes later, we were pulling up to the dumpsters when I saw the most horrific thing I'd ever seen in my entire life. And that's when the screaming started.

The human brain is an amazing organ. Sometimes you'll see something, and your brain has already processed the information and is formulating a plan before you can perform a conscious action. That's exactly what happened to me that night. As I pulled up to the dumpsters, my headlights shone on something so horrible, that I instantly started yelling. Before I could form a thought, my brain had already told my mouth that we were seeing some heinous shit, and that we should be scared.  Scott, who had just been talking to me a second earlier, started screaming because I scared the hell out of him. Then he saw what caught my eye and he started yelling even louder. Who wouldn't freak out at the sight of half of a woman's body?

After what felt like hours of yelling at the top of our lungs, we both calmed  down and processed what we had seen. It took us a few seconds to realize just what it was that had frightened us to near pants peeing levels.

Half a freakin' mannequin. Sitting next to a dumpster in a near pitch black parking lot with arms askew, this thing looked like the latest victim of the Eastern Shore Strangler. It took us a few minutes to get over the horror of the moment, but once we did, I can't remember many occasions where we've laughed harder. I'm talking can't breathe, eyes watering laughter. I'd like to think it was the counterweight to all the fear we had just experienced. As I was driving home, I remember thinking out loud, "A g-ddamned mannequin", which only caused us to break out into another fit of laughter.

Even now, the memory of that night makes me chuckle. Here we were; two big, strong guys, and all of our bravery and bravado disappeared the moment my headlights shone on a plastic woman laying on the ground.

I think it goes without saying, we kept our asses home the rest of that night.
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