Welcome to Top 5 Fun Friday, a regularly-occurring blog feature where I give you a list of extremely specific pointless shit from my life no one asked for. Why? Because the internet is incredibly un-fun in 2020 and I miss blogging. It’s Friday and these will be fun! This week’s list…
Top 5 Posters That Hung in my Room in High School
Welp, it’s the Thanksgiving holiday. But it’s also during a pandemic, so *sad trombone music.* I hope you’re not acting like a fuckwit and getting together with gobs of people because that’s why we’re all locked down again. Goddammit.
Anyway, since we’re all heading back home in spirit (I hope) – where you could’ve done it in your twin bed! – let’s take a walk down memory lane where I embarrass myself by showing you five of my favorite posters that honest-to-God hung on my wall during high school. And before you ask, yes I had all my sports trophies on a tall shelf, yes, I slept on a futon, and yes I had a papasan chair in my room. That’s like a 90s teenage bedroom starter kit. Here’s how you finish it off!
Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight
Every high school kid has to have movie posters! Movie posters are the best. Does it matter if the movies actually suck or not? No! What matters is that you either had a friend who worked at a movie theater and could get them for you for free, or you were such a dork that you overpaid for them at Suncoast Movie Company in the mall! I had friends that worked at the movie theater, but I still bought mine retail. Why? I don’t know!
As I mentioned in the Top 5 Fun Friday where I get all horned up over a 61 year-old Sophia Loren, Demon Knight hung in a murderer’s row of films on the wall right above where I slept. Once again, these cinematic masterpieces were Demon Knight, Grumpier Old Men, Broken Arrow, and Rumble in the Bronx. On another wall was a Weekend at Bernie’s poster (seriously), and later, the stupidest fucking poster anyone could ever make of the movie Boiler Room.
The reason the Demon Knight poster is my favorite is because of just how goddamn big The Cryptkeeper’s face is on it. As someone who aspired to make out with girls in this bedroom (and sometimes did!), having his big, dead, ugly face looming over us was sure an interesting choice, wasn’t it? As for the movie itself, I liked it at the time because it had a bunch of stuff I liked a lot when I was 14: Tits, lots of profanity, weirdly gratuitous violence, the guy who played Haywood in The Shawshank Redemption, and a super smug, quippy villain played with scene-chewing gusto by Billy Zane.
Ren and Stimpy Space Madness
Ren and Stimpy premiered on Nickelodeon a little more than two weeks before my 10th birthday. To this day, I have no idea why anyone thought this show was appropriate for children. The animation was grotesque and horrifying. The sensibility was unbelievably fucking weird where humans would enter dog shows and win, and people wore rubber nipples on their kneecaps. Some of it was social satire, some of it was puerile gross out humor, some of it was absurdist non-sequitirs, and all of it was deeply discomforting.
Needless to say, I loved it even though basically all of the subtext flew over my head. I received a stuffed Stimpy from my friend Mike for Christmas one year where he was dressed as Santa, and the thing was deliberately sewn with a wedgie in Stimpy’s buttcrack. It should only follow that I had a poster of the episode where Ren slowly loses his mind succumbing to “Space Madness” and blows up the entire universe with the push of a button. What else would a teenage boy need?
Mark Grace “CubOOM!!!”
If you’d like to give a teenage boy anxiety, tell him you’re going to make him ride in a car for an hour, go to the outlet mall, and then make him try on clothes for an entire afternoon. I hated clothes shopping so much as a kid. There was virtually nothing I dreaded more only because moms know exactly how to inflict maximum damage in the experience. Multiple sizes, shit you have no intention of ever wearing that she makes you try on anyway, and the bloodless march to store after store searching for the best discounts.
Literally the only thing I looked forward to on these trips was going to the Nike outlet in Silverthorne. It meant I got blemished Air Jordans for a fraction of their ridiculous cost. I had lots of bitchin’ shoes growing up, and the outlet was why.
On one fateful trip, I was thumbing through the posters and finally stumbled upon this gem. It’s a dumb fucking poster only because of that ugly ass CubOOM! I know that now, and I knew that then. Also, it doesn’t really make sense considering a kaboom! sound would indicate a power hitter, and Mark Grace sure as shit isn’t one. He hit 173 homers in his career, and topped out at 17 in a season.
But he was my favorite player on my favorite team, and I had to have that poster. People needed to KNOW how much I loved the Cubs and Mark Grace even though I rarely shut up about either. So up it went, and the whole time it was up there, all I could think about was how fucking stupid that CubOOM! was.
Jenny McCarthy in white lingerie
Ah, when a boy starts to become a man. I haven’t been in a teenage boy’s room in a very long time (what a weird way to start a sentence), so I wonder if girly posters are still a thing. I’d have to imagine they are, but with the internet, who knows. Jenny McCarthy was Playmate of the Year in 1993, started hosting “Singled Out” on MTV in 1995, and I probably bought this poster right about then.
First of all, my dad had a Playboy subscription, so you can imagine just how exciting it was when he’d accidentally leave one out somewhere. I try really hard to avoid becoming a boring, crusty old guy, but I think kids have it too easy when it comes to finding naked people nowadays. That was a primary pursuit of mine until I started seeing them in real life later in high school. Having the ability to Google virtually any famous person you want and see them naked (even if it’s a deepfake – hell, even if it’s a shitty photoshop job) is probably detrimental long-term.
Clearly it’s better to have a poster that you frustratedly stare at day after day after day (I also had this one!). My friend Mike had Pam Anderson on his walls. I had Jenny McCarthy. Both Playmates of the Year. Both blonde bombshells. One pretended to be kidnapped by Borat. The other is one of the main catalysts for the emboldening of anti-vaccination dipshits screaming into the abyss about autism, thereby making us all worse off. Point, Mike.
D-Generation X (Triple H, X-Pac, Chyna and the New Age Outlaws)
If I had gotten a tattoo when I was 17, it probably would have been of a D-Generation X logo. In 1998, I asked for a leather jacket for Christmas because Triple H (center) wore won. I literally couldn’t wait to wear jeans, a D-Generation X t-shirt and that leather jacket out and about.
One of the good things about moving to Texas, especially in 1998, was that I no longer had to keep my wrestling fandom closeted. Everyone was much more open about it down there (They’re hicks, Rita.) buoyed by wrestling’s rising popularity. Stone Cold Steve Austin was setting the culture on fire. Goldberg was breathing life into the fading WCW and beyond-tired nWo storyline. The Rock was just beginning to hint at what he would become. And NFL players were doing crotch chops like DX on national television. And I was very much there for it.
I thought about professional wrestling constantly and couldn’t wait for Monday nights for new episodes of Raw. I had wrestling toys, video games, clothing, and an obsession I couldn’t ever seem to fully quench. I had action figures that I filled a notebook and a half with mapping out storylines, pay-per-views, and twists and turns. My friend Stephen started buying tapes from Japan, and we’d watch those. I’d go to his house and read opinion columns and rumors on the internet about it.
Basically what Star Wars is to many of you, professional wrestling was to me.
I’m glad I didn’t get that tattoo when I was 17. I think the poster and the leather jacket were probably enough.