Fads through the ages
by Michael Howlett
It seems like every generation of young people does crazy things. In the 1920s, flag-pole sitting was all the rage and, in the 30s, those nutty college kids were swallowing goldfish. The 40s kids took it to a new level by fighting a war and the 50s kids thought it was cool to see how many people they could cram into a phone booth.
Now, there was one fad that started in the 40s and continued for a couple of decades. That was the panty raid. Although the first documented panty raid took place at Augastana College in Rock Island, IL, in 1948, the second didn’t occur until 1952 when the men at the University of Michigan launched an assault on women’s undies. That sparked a fad that ran into the early 60s before petering out.
Now, of all those fads the panty raid seems like the most fun. You could fall off a flag pole and break … well, just about everything; you could choke on a goldfish and just imagine getting a cramp while stuffed like a sardine in a phone booth. But a panty raid, how much danger could there be in that? I guess you could accidentally grab a soiled pair of panties, or trip and choke yourself on a garter belt, but, really, what are the odds? In most recorded raids a good time was had by all. Heck, sometimes the women cheered the men on, while throwing their unmentionables out the window.
That last bit of information reminds me of a time I locked my keys in my car after dropping the future Mistress of the Manor off at her dorm at Radford University. Realizing all I needed to break into my own car was a coat hanger, I made my way back toward the dorm. Before I got there, a couple of security guards came by and asked me ever so politely what the hell I thought I was doing. I explained the situation to them, and they promptly told me to return to my car and stay away from the dorms. If they thought I was a long-haired degenerate stalking the young ladies, you would have thought they would have wanted me out of there, but they offered no help.
Well, I returned to my car and as soon as they got out of sight, I made my way back to the nearest dorm. The doors were locked tight so I went around the side of the building and, since there were plenty of lights on, I began to holler at the young ladies. They responded by waving, talking to me, throwing some things, including some undies, and a few even showed me things I knew the future Mistress of the Manor would not want me to look at. I can say one thing, they were healthy young ladies. Anyway, I got everything, but a coat hanger before the lights of the security guards caught my eye. I returned to my car, but instead of continuing on their route, they decided to park between me and the dorm.
Now, we’re going to transition from my tangent back to the subject of fads. Some people thought rock n’ roll was a fad. We now know how wrong they were. As Neil Young sang on the “Rust Never Sleeps” album, “Hey, hey, my, my rock n’ roll will never die.” However, we did have some music fads that didn’t last, thank goodness. Disco, which hit a high mark in the late 70s, and an even scarier one, “hair bands” of the 80s come to mind. “Hair bands” were more about appearance than music, as evidenced by the guys teasing their long hair to outrageous extremes and wearing more makeup than a $5 female escort.
Yes, there have been many fads through the years, but today’s younguns’ are looking to step it up a notch, at least according to an article I recently read. Among the fads are vodka eyeballing, car surfing, drinking hand sanitizer and trunking.
As you might guess vodka eyeballing requires pouring a vodka shot straight into the eye. This gives you a quick buzz, but may also result in impaired vision, according to doctors. Now, I’m no doctor, although I like to play one at times, but I could figure this out on my own. Drinking hand sanitizer is equally as bad. Sanitizer contains 62 percent ethyl alcohol and if you use salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, you get a 120-proof shot. A few drinks that potent and medical intervention may be needed, you know, to keep you from dying. Car surfing is just as foolish since it requires a person to stand on the roof or the trunk of a moving car. Again, death is a very real possibility.
Kids may think this trunking thing is new, something they have thought up, but, in reality, it’s been around for quite a long time. You see, I participated in trunking back in the long, long ago before time. Say, you’re going to a drive-in … okay, an explanation may be in order for younger readers. A drive-in is a place where they show movies on a very large screen outside and you watch the movie while seated in your car. However, in order to get more bang for your buck, one or two people ride in the car, while as many people as possible hide in the trunk, thus the term trunking. Again, there is danger if your trunk gets rear-ended by a careless driver or if your friends, who may have been imbibing, forget about you.
Now, I’m not advocating any of these activities, past or present, but I especially caution against the newer, more dangerous fads I have mentioned. Maybe pick an oldie, but goodie. My choice would be panty raiding. However, I need to make this clear for anyone who hasn’t done this before – the young lady cannot, I repeat, cannot be in the panties when you raid them. That is called something else entirely.
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