So be it.
This week, the League throws out another open-ended challenge:
When I was a kid, my favorite _______ was _______.
While most people will rely on memory alone for this challenge, I have the luxury of filling in these blanks with documented details from my childhood thanks to Sign In, Please!
I got this book in second grade as part of a school book order or book sale of some sort. Either way, the idea is for a kid to poll his friends about the various topics at the top of each page -- favorite food, TV show, school subject, etc. While a few of my friends did "sign in", 21 of the 25 spaces provided were completed by either myself or my brother between 1983 and 1988 (14 by me).
Rather than post each individual page, let's take a quick look at the evolution of some of my favorites and my brother's favorites throughout the mid-1980s. Please be aware that everything below is transcribed directly from what was written in this book 30 years ago. Blame any spelling or grammatical errors on the kid me.
Enjoy. There're a lot of gems in here...
Me: pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza > pizza & hamburgers > pizza & hamburgers > pizza & hamburgers > pizza & hamburgers > pizza & hamburgers > tacos & pizza
Brother: pizza > everything > everything > anything & everything > anything (with the exception of a few green veggies) > mostly junk food > M&M's and pickles
WHAT I LIKE TO DO THE MOST
Me: watch TV > read comic books > read comics > read comics > ? > play baseball > look at baseball cards > play outside > be in town on Friday night > be in town on Friday night > ? > be in town on Friday night > go to the movies > play basketball
Brother: eat & sort baseball cards > read comics > read comics > go shopping > eat & read comics & watch TV > play D&D, read comics, or watch movies > read comics, go to the movies
WHAT I HATE TO DO THE MOST
Me: homework > go to bed > go home from school > go home from school > ? > see the Cubs lose > see the Cubs lose > see the Cubs lose > mow the lawn > clean my room > poop > clean my room > mow, clean my room > fold towels, mow the yard, unload the dishwasher
Brother: schoolwork > wake up on school days > go to school > mow the yard > go to school, get out of bed, unload dishwasher > unload dishwasher > unload dishwasher, mow
FAVORITE MOVIE STAR
Me: George Peppard > George Peppard > Gary Coleman > Gary Coleman > Harrison Ford > ? > Michael J. Fox > Ralph Macchio > Michael J. Fox > Ralph Macchio > Steve Gutenberg > whoever plays Tackleberry on Police Academy > Ernest P. Worrell > Michael Keaton
Brother: David Hasselhoff > Nicholas Hammond > Harrison Ford > Roger Moore > Tom Hanks > ? > ?
Me: Huck Finn > Breakin' > Mazes & Monsters > Gremlins > Karate Kid > Karate Kid > Back to the Future > Karate Kid & Back to the Future > Karate Kid I & II > Karate Kid I & II > Police Academy I, II, & III > Police Academy I, II, III, & IV > Strange Brew > Ferris Bueller's Day Off & Big
Brother: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla > ? > Mazes & Monsters > View to a Kill > Troll, Police Academy 2 & 3, Strange Brew > One Crazy Summer, Beverly Hills Cop, April Fools Day > A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 3
FAVORITE TV STAR
Me: George Peppard > George Peppard > Gary Coleman > Gary Coleman > Rex Smith > ? > Michael J. Fox > Michael J. Fox & Kirk Cameron > Davy Jones > The Monkees > Jory Husain > ALF > Jim Varney > Bronson Pinchot
Brother: David Hasselhoff > David Hasselhoff > Nicholas Hammond > ? > Harry Anderson > ALF > ALF
FAVORITE TV SHOW
Me: A-Team > A-Team > Diff'rent Strokes > Diff'rent Strokes > Streethawk > Cardinal Control > Family Ties > Growing Pains & Family Ties > The Monkees > The Monkees > Head of the Class > Sledge Hammer > Sledge Hammer, Growing Pains, Who's the Boss, Mr. Belvedere > Perfect Strangers, Cheers
Brother: Knight Rider > The Amazing Spider-Man & the Incredible Hulk > Spider-Man > Voltron > Robotech > ALF, Sledge Hammer > ALF, Robotech
FAVORITE ROCK STAR OR GROUP
Me: Quiet Riot > Michael Jackson > Nena, Michael Jackson > Michael Jackson > The Jacksons > Bruce Springsteen > Sting > a-ha > The Monkees > The Monkees > Run DMC > Beastie Boys, Run DMC > Run DMC > INXS, Def Leppard, Poison
Brother: Quiet Riot > Nena > Nena > ? > Weird Al , Sly Fox, Van Halen, Harold Faltemeyer > Beastie Boys, Samantha Fox > Beastie Boys
FAVORITE SPORTS STAR
Me: Bruce Sutter > Neil Allen > Neil Allen > Neil Allen > Ozzie Smith > Ryne Sandberg > Leon Durham > Wally Joyner > Kareem Abdul Jabar > Kareem Abdul Jabar > Michael Jordan > Michael Jordan > Michael Jordan, Eric Davis, Jose Canseco > Howie Long, Jose Canseco, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky
Brother: Joaquin Andujar > Ozzie Smith > Ozzie Smith > Ozzie Smith > Juan Samuel, Dwight Gooden, Jose Oquendo > Cory Snyder > Ozzie Smith & Jim Lindeman
Me: Highlights > comic books > X-Men > X-Men > Highlights > Highlights > Cracked > Teen Beat > Teen Beat > Teen Beat > Teen Beat > Teen Beat & Muppet Magazine > Teen Beat > Sports Illustrated, Mad
Brother: Boy's Life > Alpha Flight > Alpha Flight > Alpha Flight, Dr. Strange, Cloak & Dagger > Mad (comics don't count) > Dragon > Dragon
Me: Stuart Little > Stuart Little > Charlie & the Chocolate Factory > Charlie & the Chocolate Factory > Key to the Treasure > Chicago Cubs > What If They Knew > Joel's Journal & Fact Filled Fart Book > Space Camp > Karate Kid I & II > ? > Key to the Treasure > The Far Side > Key to the Treasure
Brother: Knight Rider #2: Trust Doesn't Rust > Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us > Captain America: The Story of Marvel's Star Spangled Super Hero > The Fellowship of the Ring > The Fellowship of the Ring > The Fellowship of the Ring
FAVORITE CARTOON CHARACTER
Me: Blackstar > Inspector Gadget > Inspector Gadget > Get Along Gang > The Kid > Kids Incorporated > Gruffy & Tummy > Gruffy & Tummy > Pee-Wee Herman > Garfield > ? > Pee-Wee Herman > The Far Side > Garfield
Brother: He-Man > Super Friends > Spider Friends > Voltron > Scott Bernard, Rick Hunter > Bugs Bunny > Bugs Bunny
Looking back at this, it is amazing to me that I can actually see the points in time where my tastes were forming -- the point I transitioned from baseball cards to going to the movies with my friends or from the Monkees to the Beastie Boys.
For me, at least.
While I'm glad I've hung onto tons of stuff from my childhood, this book is near the top of the list. It's one thing to remember some things you liked as a kid, but to have it documented in your own kid-handwriting is simply priceless.
[Be sure to check out some of the other childhood favorites from around the League.]