Minds In The Gutter


tuesday tvBecause this is a pussified country that doesn’t believe in making kids go to school 24/7/365 until they turn 21, one of the challenges facing parents is trying to find things to keep their little demons angels occupied on those days when they don’t need no education.  Sure, you could tell them to go play out in the street, but that might get you arrested these days.  Facebook and cellphones can keep a small mind in a small body occupied for hours these days, but what back in the day before technology ruined all of our lives?  Was there anything clean and wholesome for kids to do that would keep them away from the egg frying dope dealers on the corner?

angel mbrs stoned

Any questions?

Why yes there was!  Back in the mid 80’s, a group of bowling enthusiasts thought it would be a great idea to get kids to come out to their alleys for more than just the awesome arcade.  For just $3.79, you could pawn your spawn off on the unsuspecting staff at your local bowling center on the weekend so they could have a good time wreaking havoc while you went out and got plastered.  Super Bowlin’ Saturday was born!

Yes, that’s THE Mary Lou Retton shilling for Super Bowlin’ Saturday.  For those of you who weren’t alive during the 1980’s, Mary Lou was the darling of the 1984 Summer Olympics, which was held right here in the good ol’ U. S. of A…. and knowing that there is absolutely no future in being a gymnastics pixie, she made damn sure to cash in as much as she could before she joined all those other Olympics stars in the dustbin of pop culture by the time the next Games rolled around in 1988.

Woohoo!  You were awesome, Mary Lou!  Now go find a job...

Woohoo! You were awesome, Mary Lou! Now go find a job…

While Super Bowlin’ Saturday was a noble effort to get kids hooked on bowling when they are the most impressionable, let’s look at this program realistically.  Here are some stills taken directly from the ad… see if you can spot any kids bowling.

Not bowling.

Not bowling.

Not bowling

Not bowling

Not bowling, and a menace to society.

Not bowling, and a menace to society.

Nothing to do with bowling, and totally lame... even by 80's standards.

Nothing to do with bowling, and totally lame… even by 80’s standards.

Nope, this looks just like those same stupid gimmicks baseball teams use to try to get kids to want to go to the ballpark.  Enticing children with licensed garbage, treats, and ridiculous contests is one of the lowest forms of pandering for popularity from the apathetic crowd, and unless the toys are small enough for the kids to choke on, completely not worth the trouble.  If you’re going to confine kids to a bowling alley for three hours and take their folks’ hard earned money, you better damn well be letting them do some bowling!

Get the fuck out of my way, kid!  I gotta finish this commercial before I become a D-list celebrity!

Get the fuck out of my way, kid! I gotta finish this commercial before I become a D-list celebrity and the check bounces!

Hell, even when they do let the kids take to the lanes, there’s our flexible sweetheart strutting on the approach getting in the way of all the fun.  Seriously, get the hell off the lanes and let the kids bowl, Mary Lou!  You’re lucky Pete Weber wasn’t in the house.

You!  Yeah, YOU... in the leotard!  Sit down and shut up while I bowl!  I'm fucking PETE WEBER!!!

You! Yeah, YOU… in the red, white and blue leotard! Sit down and shut up while I bowl! Dammit, I’m fucking PETE WEBER!!!

I bowled in a youth league on Saturday mornings when I was a kid.  My parents paid good money to pawn me off for a few hours to actually bowl three games… not play with action figures or try to win Rainbow Brite bicycles.  And as a result, I grew to love bowling and still bowl in a league on Friday nights, helping to keep the flame of the game burning brightly.  How many Super Bowlin’ Saturday alums are out there rolling a few frames these days?  Probably not a damn one.  They’re probably still playing with their cheesy SBS swag now that they’re in their 30’s.

Thanks mom and dad for keeping me out of trouble on Saturdays!

Bronyman thanks mom and dad for keeping him out of trouble on Saturdays.

Fun, prizes, refreshments, and possibly a chance at some point to pick up a house ball and chuck it down an alley with big plastic tubes blocking the gutters.  That’s the Super Bowlin’ Saturday we knew and loved, and here at The Nest, we give a 7-10 split salute to the Mary Lou Retton endorsed weekly 80’s tradition that was the most fun kids aged 6-12 could have in three weekend hours down at their secondhand smoke-filled bowling center.  You may not have caused more youth disinterest in bowling than the automated scoring revolution did, but you certainly shot a turkey when it came to turning a fun sport into a fucked up mess.  Bowling may not be the popular activity it once was… but at least thanks to Super Bowlin’ Saturday,  we taught an entire generation that the only way to have a good time was to be constantly distracted from the task at hand…

The score?  Uhhhh, Candy Crush 8, Farmville 5.

The score? Uhhhh, Candy Crush 8, Farmville 5.

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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33 Responses to Minds In The Gutter

  1. PigLove says:

    Snorticles. Mom and dad said they were too poor to get pawned off at the bowling alley. They were told to get lost outside until it got dark. That does explain now. Snorts. XOXO – Bacon

    • Yes! That was the only way to handle kids back in the good old days! Me and my sisters had to get lost quite a bit….

      • PigLove says:

        Yep. You go outside and OMP (oh my pig) PLAY – shocker. Kids these days don’t know what it’s like. Mom and dad thought they were lucky as all get out if they got to stay outside long enough to see the lightening bugs and play with them. And Lord, don’t go far enough where you couldn’t hear your mom scream for you to come in. Dad has told me some stories on that – snorts. XOXO – Bacon

  2. markbialczak says:

    Fortunately, ESN, I too participated in a three-game real youth league on Saturday morning, one where they compiled our averages, kept team standings, gave out trophies for first place, high games and high averages, and did not hand out participation patches. And to this day, I still bowl in a weekly league that does all of the above.

    Sadly, though, I also must report that in the 70s, I did own and ride a Murray bicycle.

    • Oh, I really hope the youth leagues haven’t gotten so soft as to try to make every kid seem like a winner! I earned every single patch and award I got, darn it, and I didn’t just get them for showing up! Truth be told, I rode some really bad bikes back in the day as well…

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Dammit, the things I missed out on growing up in Rural Hell, population practically nobody.

  4. El Guapo says:

    Bowling is best done on tuesday afternoons when the lanes are empty except for the bartender.
    What? I like the way my cursing the 7-10 split echoes.

    They should start televising the Pro Bowler tour again. It’s at least as exciting as golf.

    • The PBA was another staple of my Saturdays when I was a kid! That was television at its best…. well, at least a lot better than whatever garbage they show on Saturday afternoons now….

  5. Twindaddy says:

    I bowled an impressive 16 the first time I ever bowled…at the age of 12.

    • Not bad… obviously in the days before they always bumped the gutters for kids. I once watched a three year old throw a ball that managed to knock over ONLY the head pin. I imagine that could be done in a 16 game….

      • Twindaddy says:

        How is that even possible?

      • As I recall, his 6 pound ball, rolling about 0.00001 miles per hour managed to hit the head pin a little off center, making it fall over the right of the five pin, and behind the three. The ball then made a beeline for the gutter, leaving just that one pin knocked over. I was on the next lane getting ready to bowl, and I was blown away by how odd it was. Me and the kid’s father looked at each other shaking our heads… neither of us had ever seen anything like that before…

  6. The Cutter says:

    Nothin’ wrong with being a brony!

    Bowling alleys all seem to be fancy these days with luxurious seating and electronic scoring. What happened to the good old days of cracked linoleum and barely functional ball return machines, and coming home smelling like an ash tray?

  7. draliman says:

    I don’t think we had bowling alleys in the 80s. Now we do but I can’t afford to go. £5 a game (per person I think), and for that you get the rent of a pair of falling-to-bits disgusting shoes and as many laughs of derision as you can handle as your ball consistently falls in the gutter. Or whatever it’s called. Bargain 😦

    • I’m not sure what £5 converts to in dollars, but that sounds like an awful lot for a game of bowling! Here it’s generally about $3 or so a game… or one place I bowl at charges $6 an hour for all you can bowl. My league’s $14.50 per week…. but a percentage of that goes into the prize fund, which gets you back about $150 at the end of the season depending on where your team finishes…

  8. merbear74 says:

    I used to love to bowl….don’t recall this commercial, though. :/

    • Actually, this isn’t the commercial I remember either… but the one I recall still has MLR and a bunch of kids not bowling in it. I was happy to even find it since the last time I tried to search for Super Bowlin’ Saturday, I could hardly find a reference on the whole damn internet! I was starting to think I had made it up in my head…

  9. I don’t know much about bowling but I know for certain ES would not choose a hello kitty bowling ball. Definitely not “him”.

  10. C.K. Hope says:

    I truly can not bowl and believe me I’ve tried and tried. When middle daughter joined the school bowling team I laughed hysterically, until she started bringing home trophies. Apparently bad bowling skills are not genetic, who knew!

    • Hey, you never know where that apple’s going to fall! I’m a little jealous we didn’t have a bowling team when I went to school (though we do now). My Dad was a pretty good bowler, and long ago gave up on trying to teach me to throw a hook. I throw straight and hard.. and can maintain an average in the 170’s. That’s good enough for me!

      • C.K. Hope says:

        Neither of my parents bowled, they didn’t really play or have interest in any sports. I think I can maintain an average in the 60’s on a good day but the last time I went it was more a 30. I truly have no skill lol

  11. Last time I went bowling, I embarrassingly won. I beat my sister who is two years younger than me, and my niece (my sister’s 2nd child) who at the time was 9. I wasn’t even playing to win…

  12. We didn’t have a bowling alley in town…or a pool hall, or a movie theatre, or…you get the picture. We had to play outside and ride our bikes all over just to keep from napping…

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