Dead Sharks Tied to the Tops of Covertibles:
Kids in the 50s always seemed to have some new craze going, like filling telephone booths up with stuffing. Me and my friends liked to kill great white sharks and tie them to the top of our car. Most expensive cars already had shark-like fins, but having an entire dead shark flopped over the roof of your automobile was a cool guy's way of saying, "Don't mess with me, bucko."
Drive-Thru Movie Theatres:
Drive-thru movie theatres were always great for inexpensive, quick dates. I remember seeing "The Creature From New Jersey" AND getting a delicious burger and fries, all for under a dollar and in sixty seconds flat.
"The Magenta Menace":
The only way for our men to stand out in the Korean Jungle was to have some sort of flashy pattern or hue. The Nips wore yellow, and we wore Magenta. It was our men's way of saying, "Hello there, fella, I'm an American!" But if a regular civilian was caught wearing magenta Stateside, he or she would be alienated immediately. Tragically, people lost their jobs, their wives, even their pets. In 1955 Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo had to use a "front" for his Oscar winning script for "Johnny Got His Gun" all because of a zesty magenta tuxedo he wore to the People's Choice Awards back in 1953.
Alger Hiss and Friends Variety Hour:
Who could forget the finest TV variety hour of the 1954-55 season, Alger and his wacky friends, including Red the Tap-Dancing Monkey (played by Ricky Ricardo) and Buttons the Siamese Twin Albino (played by a young Richard Nixon), wormed their way into the hearts of America. When he was executed in front of a national audience by his network for low ratings, Hiss delivered a fantastic speech that people will always remember. I'd quote from it, but I can't recall his exact words.
It was a little more primitive than it is nowadays, what with all the advances in copper wire and Dixie cups, but the essence of the Internet was still the same (albeit stickier). Even then, people had trouble connecting to America On-Line. If you look closely at the film "The Girl Can't Help It" and you'll see one scene where Jayne Mansfield uses an early beta of Netscape to browse for "lesbians, lesbians, lesbians".
"MALTSHOP" JOE THRONEBERRY hosts a weekly radio show out of his basement in Dritfwood, Kansas. He has a steel plate inside his skull.