Creamed bologna, chili dogs and showering: Birthdays in the '80s
They were like Christmas, I mean. You couldn't sleep the night before because you knew the next day a huge party was coming your way ... and possibly a new BMX bike with it.
At the very least, a huge feast was planned, and you picked the menu. I always leaned toward never-ending chili dogs.
Yep, those were the '80s for you. Good times all around. Never doubt that. It's the one constant in the universe. My universe anyway.
But here's the story of the greatest '80s birthday story of all. It was 1984, and I was spending the summer in Europe between my junior and senior years of high school.
On July 10, 1984, our group of about 12 students was in the small hamlet of Wil, Switzerland. We stayed at a small hostel-like hotel. The owners, knowing it was someone's birthday, laid out a huge spread of food for us. At the big moment, they brought in the main course: Huge steaming bowls of what we all swore looked like creamed bologna.
"Who's the birthday boy?" they asked. Everyone pointed at me. The bowls of shredded, creamy lunchmeat were put in front me. "What an honor," my best friend snickered. Turns out it was actually some type of veal, not bologna, and it was easily one of the best meals of my life.
We followed up dinner with MANY bottles of Lowenbrau Zurich and then I was thrown into the shower fully clothed (which was the birthday tradition on that trip, for some reason) along with a beautiful girl, Stephanie (pictured right here). The night ended with half the group all passed out, mostly undressed, in my bed.
And people wonder why I'm stuck in the '80s.
So today I turn 42. There will be no bicycles, no creamed veal, surely no Lowenbrau Zurich. But because I'm going to spend it in New Orleans, the chance for chili dogs (my beloved Lucky Dogs) is about 100 percent. And the odds that I end the night fully clothed in the shower are better than average. That a hot girl is with me? Very remote.
The point here: Enjoy the great birthdays -- and showers -- of your life when you have them. Because despite what the calendars say, they don't come along every year.
TOP 10 SHOWER SCENES OF THE '80s:
10. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981): Lynn-Holly Johnson explains to James Bond how she builds muscle tone.
9. BULL DURHAM (1988): A whole shower full of lollygaggers.
8. SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984): John Hughes wasn't big on nudity in his flicks. And yes, there's a body double (Paula Elser) for Haviland Morris in the shower scene.
7. MORGAN STEWART'S COMING HOME (1987): Jon Cryer and his girlfriend wore horror masks while bathing.
6. DRESSED TO KILL (1980): That's Penthouse model Victoria Lynn, not Angie Dickinson, in the shower. Does it really matter?
5. VACATION (1983): "Could I do your back, honey?" ... "I've already done my back." ... "Could I do your front?"
4. WEIRD SCIENCE (1985): Note to Anthony Michael Hall: When showering with Kelly LeBrock, do not wear jeans.
3. RISKY BUSINESS (1983): "The dream is always the same." Everyone forgets the Tom Cruise movie opens with "Joel Goodsen" and his shower dream. "You want me to go?" "No," she says; "I want you to wash my back." "So now, I'm gettin' enthusiastic about this dream."
2. PORKY'S (1982): "Do not attempt to apprehend this p---k, as it is armed and dangerous. It was last seen hanging out in the girls' locker room at Angel Beach High School."
1. VALLEY GIRL (1983): Narrowly wins the top spot for three reasons. 1) It's not a dream. 2) All parties are nude, and we don't know exactly who the female is until the surprise twist. 3) They end up in bed, where they're eaten by the monster of love.