Friday, November 28, 2008

Popcorn Plaques

#16 in an occasional series of repressed 70's memories that turn out to be true.

According to the calendar, holiday decorating frenzy season is officially open. Time to dust off your popcorn plaques!

I won't pretend to have known what these were called, and it took some searching to come up with it. This is the term used by no less a 70s kitsch authority than the Miles Kimball catalog for the whimsical holiday figures formed of colored chips of plastic melted together.

See also
shrinky dinks (always more of a Halloween favorite than Christmas)

And when I say dust off, I mean it. These little flecks breathed some sort of vapor all year long in your attic that gave your Rudolph the surface of fly paper, so that when you pulled it back out into the light it was covered in cobwebs, fly-specks, and strands of the santa beard you kept in there with it.

"Santa's beard makes me feel woooozy..."
"Let ME try!"

A good hosing from a Wham-o Water Wiggle ought to do the trick.

These are flat hangings, and not very large, so the idea is to have TOO MANY of them. All over your house. Or cubicle. Or sad little front-desk of your storefront real estate office.

Today's kids will remember (with the same curiosity, if not more) the inflatable snow globe, which now make the popcorn plaque just look like a lonely kindergarten teacher set loose on the neighborhood. The yard inflatable challenges the very idea of zoning laws.

this one is 8 feet tall.

Deck the Halls by all means, if it keeps you from decking the parking lane.

So you know what I did. I Googled "inflatable arm-flailing tube man," which, according to The Family Guy, is what he is called in the tacky traffic-stopping crap trade, to see if anyone had yet invented the inflatable arm-flailing tube Santa (snowman, Grinch, Rudolph, Balthasar...). The company that makes them prefers that you call them Airdancers.

Ok Airdancer. now that you have back-linked to this page, I am giving you a freebie. Put a beard and a hat on the red one, a christmas tree in the hand of the green one, a top hat on the white one... OOo, Oo! A wooden soldier! And a nutcracker!

For the purists, then: what is the 70s without a slide show?

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