“Yesterday I got so old. It made me want to cry.” – The Cure
I hate writing. I hate the random thoughts that come flying at me like jumbled puzzle fragments from an un-winnable Tetris game. Pieces of my life come at 2 a.m. scattered in no particular order… family… work… music… friends… fantasy baseball… house projects… partial ideas that begin the twenty plus blog posts I have still sitting unfinished in the queue. I hate the structuring of sentences and paragraphs, and spell-check. And the editing. Oh, don’t even get me started on the stupid, never-ending editing.
I feel like this is the kind of attitude I would have needed to be a member of The Cure back in the 80’s. I could be wrong, but I felt like they went through phases of light and darkness highlighted by depressing pop love songs.
So I’m taking a shortcut for this post. I’m copying and pasting. I’m mailing this post in. I’m taking a text conversation I had with my cousin Kevin the other day and laying it out so others can enjoy (or skip depending upon your desire). Feel free to indulge into our 80’s culture-related post for another 1000 words or so. It’s an easy follow with easy topics.
Kevin is almost exactly one year older, grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and now lives in North Carolina. I grew up in Oklahoma and now live in Arkansas. And that’s all you basically need to know except we text often and try to occasionally entertain one another.
Without further ado, here is the first (maybe last) installment of…
Texts with Kevin…
We pick up the ongoing conversation on a Saturday morning with Kevin watching “The Karate Kid”…
Kevin: You remind me of that lower member of Cobra Kai who’s a real loose cannon (Bobby, pictured above).
Kyle: I would have been the loose cannon on your high school crew as an “underclassman”. Your buddies would have been like “yo your cousin is loco, man.”
Kevin: In the end though he was the most moral of the bunch, apologizing for taking out his knee. Coming to the climax, it’s on CMT.
Kyle: Yeah (the redemption of Johnny Lawrence) is basically the whole point of the Cobra Kai series. But that crane kick was an illegal kick.
Kevin: The real fault ultimately lies in society’s treatment of these young men.
Kyle: I think there was a character in the original full length version that had your same sense of decency. Cutting room floor.
Kevin: There’s like intense screaming from Cobra Kai the whole time. yeahhhhh alrightttt
Kyle: Time out!!! Alright Johnny!!!
Kevin: see isn’t that “alright johnny!” guy the one who apologized to daniel son before? now the moral ambiguity is strong
Kyle: Boooooooo (me booing Cobra Kai and totally ignoring Kevin’s question about Bobby)
Kevin: It’s over Johnny yeah you did it!
Kyle: Illegal kick!!! Winner Lawrence! (from booing Cobra Kai to siding with Johnny Lawrence in one text)
Kevin: You’re alright Laruso! Thanks a lot man (quoting the final scene of Karate Kid between Laruso and Lawrence)
Kyle: That’s script writing in the 80’s. Right up there with Rocky’s speech at the end of “Rocky IV.”
Kevin: Ohhhh The Goonies is next. What a night of Movies. No more Yankees game for me.
(He’s watching these movies on his laptop)
Kyle: You should buy one of those things called a television one day.
Kyle: Watching one screen at a time is so primitive Kevin
Kevin: I’m usually also on Instagram ensuring my pre fontal cortex is further deteriorated
Kyle: Well I feel a little better knowing you’re paying attention to multiple screens at once. Life before cell phones was so boring.
Kevin: I know. Imagine planning your evening around going to the tv room, turning on the tv to a channel and sitting for an hour watching just that show.
Kyle: Did you have multiple tv rooms at your house growing up? I seem to remember an upstairs room where we watched tv but it was just you me and Bree (his younger sister) I think.
Kevin: Yes, the “3rd Floor.” It was basically an attic that had been converted into a tv room, it was also the only room with air co for a long time. And we had one small tv on the porch. It sucked though because if you wanted to get food you had to go alllll the way downstairs
Kyle: Mom! Bring me a sandwich! Mom!!!
Kevin: Yes exactly. I made Bree go down and get me stuff.
Kyle: How many times did she never come back? That’s something Kari (my younger sister) would have done.
Kevin: She came back but with less than I asked for. If I wanted 5 Oreos she’d eat two on the way up
Kyle: (me imitating Bree) It’s all we had left Kevin!
Kevin: The big thing was getting a chipped ham and cheese sub sandwich with ruffles chips piled high and a big glass of coke all the way up without spilling, because you had to keep the door closed to keep the cold air in. A lot of food was spilled on the landing
Kyle: (me imitating his parents now) You kids don’t spill anything on the stairs you understand!?
Kevin: The amount of pepsi and coke we consumed as kids was remarkable. It’s amazing I’m not a diabetic
Kyle: Dad used to bring home cokes and hide them. My big thing was trying to find the hidden cokes and then to see how many Ding Dongs I could eat in one night without getting in trouble.
Kevin: He used to hide them? Why? So your Mom didn’t know? My Mom would make cookies and they’d be gone in a day. I’d eat them for breakfast.
Kyle: No he hid them so Kari and I wouldn’t drink them all. Actually in retrospect he probably wanted to ensure that he had some for crown and cokes.
Kevin: Hahaha. We’d go through like 2 x 2 liters in a day. The Kerwins were not blessed with any kind of culinary knowledge
Kyle: Sometimes he hid the ding dongs or twinkies or cup cakes so we wouldn’t eat them all too.
Kevin: My parents thought corn flakes with banana on top of it was a healthy breakfast
Kyle: Haha. Yeah. Malt-o-meal was our “healthy” breakfast of the 80’s, but I would dump 2 or 3 giant spoonfuls of sugar into it.
Kevin: I also didn’t have a properly cooked piece of meat until I was a freshman in college. We went to this steak restaurant in NYC after a game, I was like “what is this paradise???”
Oh yeah my Mom was like “we don’t buy that sugared cereal in this house,” but we had a huge sugar dish full of white sugar I’d just cover all cereal with
Kyle: Corn flakes + 6 spoonfuls of sugar = Frosted Flakes!
Kevin: Yeah exactly. I’d layer the sugar in it. It’s amazing I didn’t become a meth addict
Kyle: My mom just completely caved. My dad tried to trick us into Grape Nuts or Raisin Bran, but Kari and I knew better. “Mom! We’re out of Cookie Crisp AND Fruity Pebbles!”
Kevin: I’m back on a cereal kick after not eating it for 20 years. Corn Chex drowned in Monk Fruit sugar! I think my Mom did buy Boo Berry once and I got completely cracked out on it
Kyle: Oh I could pound multiple bowls of Count Chocula in one sitting. I don’t think I’ve had a bowl of cereal in years. Mostly because the “milk” options are too confusing for me. And I just had to Google “Monk Fruit Sugar.”
Kevin: Yeah its low glycemic, for the aging man’s blood sugar. There would probably be protests down there if they stocked it – keep your damn hippie ways out of our grocery stores! Straight almond milk here.
“Go on, go on, just walk away. Go on, go on, your choice is made.
Go on, go on, and disappear. Go on, go on away from here.”
Because my cousin relates to the angst of Robert Smith in the 80’s or maybe just because he really liked their music, whatever the case, making their debut on this site, here is Smith, Lol Tolhurst, Simon Gallup, Pori Thompson and Boris Williams better known as The Cure with their 1985 hit “In Between Days.”
Enjoy your crazy-haired, dark-dressing, angst-ridden goth pop, Kevin. Do you read me? I dare you to watch this video and not be happy!
As always, thanks for reading, and it’s always straight almond milk here at sincerelythe80s.