Discussion Post: What Unexpected Thing Were You Addicted to as a Child? (Tarzan books, Adult Sitcom, anything not for children of your generation)

I feel like the DCIB community is mostly made up of people with slightly off beat taste. So I suspect there will be some interesting answers to this question.

When I was a kid, most little girls my age were reading The Babysitters Club and watching Disney movies and Disney Channel. I did that, I wasn’t a total freak, but I also had some very off-beat unusual interests. Not like “1950s movie musicals” kind of interests which are totally acceptable normal things for kids to watch, but like “Tarzan books with lots of violence and action and racism and sexy covers” which are less normal.

Here are some things that my sister and I got into as kids:

Beach Party Movies. 1960s teen sex comedies aimed at 1960s teens, and my sister and I watched all of them (even Pajama Party with the Martian plot) when we were 10-12 in the 1990s. Much of the jokes went right over our head, but the pratfalls and simple humor was perfect for our age. Plus the songs were bouncy and it was sunny and just overall a pleasant world.

(This is from Beach Blanket Bingo, the best of the Beach Party movies, I think.)

Perry Mason Books. Very successful book series, nothing odd about that. Except I was, like, 11. And they are all about drinking and dating and adult things in the 1950s. Most plots revolved around infidelity and sexy dancers and stuff that 11 year olds shouldn’t know about. It didn’t bother me, but my parents couldn’t help being a little embarrassed when their little girl went around with books called “The Case of the Fan Dancers Horse”.

Erle Stanley Gardner THE CASE OF THE FAN-DANCER'S HORSE book cover scans
Yes I know about the new HBO series, I tried it, but it wasn’t true to the books. In that, it is a lot less terrible than the books were. I like my Perry Mason shallow and unthinking! None of this fancy depth and backstory and stuff!

Okay, those are my things, what are your things?

21 thoughts on “Discussion Post: What Unexpected Thing Were You Addicted to as a Child? (Tarzan books, Adult Sitcom, anything not for children of your generation)

  1. I was a lonely kid. I taught myself to read at 3, because no one would read to me. I read my entire English and Social Studies books the first week old school. More stories!! By 4th grade, I was reading things like Dante’s Inferno, 1984 and The Thorn Birds. (I had such a crush on Richard Chamberlain. Apparently, that never went away … My girls tease me that the best way to know if a man is gay is to see if I’m attracted to him. 🤔 To be fair, they’re not wrong. Even my straight husband seems … questionable.)
    I loved the news. I bought my own Newsweek and Nation Geographic subscriptions in grade school, and watched 60 Minutes religiously. If I looked something up in the dictionary or encyclopedia, I’d read everything else on the page, too. So much to know!!
    I used to watch old movies on the local channels on the weekends – Shirley Temple, The “Road To…” movies, Elizabeth Taylor and such. Also Gilligan’s Island. I loved that show. Perhaps that’s why I call my grandson Little Buddy??
    I spent wayyyy too much time reading as a kid. I would read at recess, while walking to lunch, while eating lunch, after school, and any other time I should have been doing something more productive. Like homework. I still have this deep-seated need to know everything about everything. The internet has not helped with that!!
    I’m ridiculously well-versed in the how’s and why’s of things, definitely to the irritation of many of those around me.
    Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve changed all that much since then!

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    • I love picturing you as a little girl reading Newsweek! So cute!

      I read like that too. And then I got to college and realized I would never manage to finish my homework reading if I read for pleasure, so I had to force myself to stop.

      On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 2:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. For me, it’s not so much what I liked as a child as what I didn’t start liking when I became a teenager. I mean, yeah, I read a lot, including National Geographic type magazines or big long literary classics. And I watched little TV or movies. Even if Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame had been around back then, I would have read the original novel first. But the weirdest thing about me was probably how long I continued listening to children’s music. There’s this one well-known singer in Germany, famous for one of his Christmas songs and for those educating kids about traffic. I owned a cassette of one of his lesser known albums, with songs about being strong and being yourself and even being in love a little, and those remained my favorites for the longest time. At one point a classmate I wasn’t even that close to actually made me a mix tape with some great rock songs, just to wean me of my Rolf Zuckowski habit.

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    • This will not help, but it looks like he has started filming youtube videos during lockdown:

      On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 2:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I was a weird little kid who liked opera and wrote a fan letter to Beverly Sills. (FYI, the New York City Opera does not forward mail). I’ve also been interested in Japan since childhood. I started studying Japanese at a language school when I was 15, and I majored in it in college, and just went from there.

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    • Opera and Japan are, indeed, shockingly weird interests for a little kid. I have a friend who was similar about Hindi and India, picked her college based on their Hindi language program and devoted her life to studying it for years, just loved it for no particular reason.

      On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 11:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • That isn’t fair to the child. It really started when we listened to the Hard Core History podcast about Japan in WWII. But I’m sure the sushi helped.

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        • You should send him to Miss Braganza! We could have a whole DCIB child exchange program!

          On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 10:26 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. As a kid for a moment, my favourite things were dinosaurs and archaeology. I think seeing ‘The Land Before Time’ and ‘Dinosaur 2000’ movie helped start it and then it kinda veered into history from there. Can’t remember anything else that was just out of the normal in terms of interests.

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    • I loved The Land Before Time! My first grade teacher showed it to us in class (I guess it was educational somehow?) and I thought it was magical.

      On Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 7:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yea! It’s so good!! I even had the computer game of the movie that was amazing!! I think I played it so many times that I still remember at least some of the content in it. The beginning of the movie I swear is imprinted on my mind, it’s so impactful and such a tearjerker.

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  5. I loved reading the dictionaries of foreign words. During the intervals at school I killed the time going to the library and reading the dictionaries.
    We also had a book at school “World in numbers” and I loved it. I think nobody else ever opened it (we was said to buy it but the teacher never used it), and I was fascinated.

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    • This is why you are fluent in 3 languages (that I know about), and I am fluent in none. I hate dictionaries.

      On Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 9:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t think dictionaries work all that well for learning a language, anyways. I remember new words much better when I learn them in context. So your excuse doesn’t count.

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        • Aha, but the excuse that I had no particular interest in words or language, while Angie from a young age had a natural desire, I think that does work!

          On Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 2:34 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I had a brief obsession with Green Day when I was a kid. They were a punk rock band who probably got into a lot of hot water for being outwardly political and critical of the country and the government. But American Idiot was my favorite. Every American kid probably goes through a punk rock phase at some point, but I’m sure my parents were concerned with their 9 year old listening to this.

    And then a year later, all I watched were TV shows about time travel. They were geared towards kids and were designed to be educational, but all I watched was Time Warp Trio, which was animated, and then a live action one that I can’t remember the name of. I think I was just into lots of historical kids’ shows, because I remember watching a ton of Liberty’s Kids as well. But I also had no idea that anyone even watched Time Warp Trio aside from me and my sister until I got to college.

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    • I love this answer! Punk Rock, as you say, totally normal. But for a 9 year old, perhaps a little adorably strange.

      And time travel kids TV shows is so specific I love it! But as soon as you said that I went “oh that’s right! There are more education time travel historical TV shows than you would think there would be!” and now I want a good light time travel Indian movie. Not Love Story 2050 where they go into the future, but something fun and light about traveling to the past that would allow for loads of costume changes.

      On Mon, Sep 7, 2020 at 11:08 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes! Modern scientist (or grown child of brilliant scientist) has to travel through time chasing The Bad Guy, and along the way picks up a spunky love interest from a different era.

          On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 5:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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