I am a serious reader. I don’t mean that I am a literary snob – far from it, actually. (I think the literal dozens of Star Trek novels I own illustrate this point quite nicely.) What I mean is that I take my reading seriously. I am a Total Weirdo who organizes her home library by subject matter and alphabetizes her fiction by author. However, I am not ashamed to admit that nestled alongside the works of Homer, James Joyce and Shakespeare is my treasured collection of Archie comic books (and its related variants of Archie and Friends, Betty and Veronica, Jughead Double Digest, World of Archie, Archie Does Dallas, etc.)
While I was reorganizing my bookshelves the other day, the back page of one of my Archies (Laugh Digest Magazine No. 102 from 1992, to be exact) caught my eye:
PLEASE tell me I am not the only person who pored over these ads as a child, desperately wanting to sell enough stuff to earn GREAT PRIZES or CASH! I particularly had my eye on one of those See-Thru Telephones (only 14 items!) – mostly because D.J. Tanner had one on Full House, and she was pretty awesome to my single-digit self. The See-Thru Telephone also featured prominently in my fervent dream of having my own private telephone line, just like Claudia Kishi of Baby-Sitters Club fame.
Alas, my mother wouldn’t let me call the 800-number to get the sales kit to sell the stuff to get the See-Thru Phone. Her rationale about not letting me go door to door to sell stuff had something to do with “perverts”. (I think these were the same people that were purportedly putting razor blades in my Halloween candy.) I had to sit on the sidelines while 11-year-old Jeremy and his mullet sold his little heart out down in Texas. But while the Casio Pocket TV, the gumball aquarium and I were not meant to be, I did get Mall Madness for my 10th birthday. It still ranks in the top 5 gifts I’ve ever gotten.
Here’s another one of these ads from 1994 – note the advanced technological prizes. A Super Nintendo! A Sega Game Gear! But, see that? There, among all the other prizes… it’s my old friend, the See-Thru Telephone. Is it weird that I still kind of want one?