Recently, I was reminded of the most terrifying thing I had ever seen (for mid-1970s values of “ever”) which, upon investigation, turned out to be a line-drawing of Vermicious Knids from Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator.’  It’s one of the earliest skin crawling moments of fiction, the kind of experience that sticks with you, even decades later.  As someone who enjoys an intense book or movie experience, I have a suspicion that the suddenly appearance of amorphous carnivorous monster-blobs in a silly kid’s book may have created those instincts, leading us to today’s enduring query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) also vividly remembers a Dukes Of Hazzard episode called ‘The Ghost Of The General Lee,” asking: What childhood pop culture sticks with you the most as a whatever-age-you-are-now?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

3 Comments

  1. Actually, most of it. I was born in ’80, I still love old Nintendo games, Transformers, Comics from that era, cheesy action movies, bands. I just pick up more stuff along the way, but wont really drop much.

  2. I remember quite vividly being in the hospital as a toddler and watching various Japanese superhero shows every day, including the Japanese Spider-Man and an entry in the Ultraman franchise. They weren’t dubbed, and even if they had been subbed I was too young to read, so I couldn’t understand a word of what was happening, but I loved watching them anyway.

    Still love those kinds of shows to this day.

  3. Roald Dahl has a lot of my cultural touchstones as well, along with The Phantom Tollbooth and the Chronicles of Narnia. But the most significant moment that I can think of right now is probably the end of Charlotte’s Web, with that realization of loss and mortality, but also hope and renewal. The end of Stuart Little has a similar wistfulness, with Stuart simply driving away in his little car, searching for his friend, and no sense of whether that will end well for him or not.

    E. B. White was an extraordinary craftsman.

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