Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ice Cream and R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine: Making scrunchies scary.

When I was a kid I devoured R.L. Stine's Fear Street novels by the dozens. Super Chillers and sagas were my favorites. There's gotta be a couple boxes worth (at least) of paperbacks in my parents basement smoldering under five pounds of dust and cobwebs. The Brother was the same way with the Goosebumps series. His collection is still squished in with the entirety of The Boxcar Children series on the bottom of his bookshelf.

I think he'd be okay with my sharing that...

It's funny the way something can play such a huge role in your life and then years later, after they get forgot with all that crazy life stuff that tends to happen, something flips a switch and it all comes rushing back. Last month I probably wouldn't have remembered The Real Ghostbusters or Eerie Indiana any more than I had Fear Street. Mostly, I remember the crazy covers, because YES, I did judge the books by the covers, who wouldn't? They were flat out awesome.

I probably couldn't sum up a plotline if you held a machete to my throat, but I remember the books and I remember I was obsessed. I have  R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It to thank for the resurrection in my synapsis. I caught it when it came out on the Cartoon Network a few years back (ironically at the beach, where I find myself sitting today writing this) and the nostalgia magic got all kinds of crazy stirred up. Then, I caught the series on the Hub. The channel's right next door to I.D. Discovery, and while searching for the next episodes of Deadly Women and Most Evil, I noticed the television series of Goosebumps and The Haunting Hour listed on the guide.
The way the universe works, huh?

Today, I heard an ice cream truck troll passed the house. There's really nothing creepier than ice cream truck music. Well, except for maybe bunnies.
Are there bunnies? :/

Oh crap...
Now if we'd ever had an ice cream truck rolling thru our neighborhood growing up, maybe I'd feel different about it.The nostalgia of the memory would get me all smiley in the same way Fear Street, Eerie Indiana or Tales From the Darkside (or The Crypt) manage to, but we didn't have an ice cream man that pulled up to the curb come summer time with sweet treats for us kiddies. We didn't have curbs or sidewalks or even many kids in our neighborhood. Still don't-- I'm realizing more and more what an offbeat childhood I had (never deprived or depraived, just different) and the everlasting effect it's had on me. Give me ghost stories, high school murder mysteries and even evil lawn gnomes, but an ice cream truck jingling "innocently" by? I shoot under the bed to hold hands with the monsters and the dust bunnies (bunnies?!) till it passes... But that pied piper calliope sound blasting from the trucks speakers this afternoon did remind me of good old R.L. Stine and an episode I'd seen of The Haunting Hour a little while back:

"Only the bold get the Creamy Cold"

For the full episode:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Summer's almost over. I can't wait to see it go.
And the ice cream man with it.

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