Have you ever had something stuck in your head for years? Half a song lyric, or a flash of colour that might be a candy wrapper, or a flavour that you can’t place? There’s nothing quite like the feeling when you discover that lost memory.
On weeknights my husband and I like to waste time watching YouTube together for an hour or so before bed. A few nights ago we watched a video about the death of Saturday morning cartoons. I remember plenty of cartoons from my childhood, especially my favourites – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teddy Ruxpin, He-Man, Jem, and Pirates of Dark Water. I could go on for hours about Dark Water, it’s amazing. It still holds up, even with the fake swearing. And Niddler.
I did not remember the name Captain N: The Game Master. The cartoon is about a kid who gets sucked into the Nintendo world (sounds amazing from the beginning, right?) My husband said “Why didn’t I watch that? It sounds awesome!” and I agreed. They showed a bit of the show…
…and something that has been plaguing me for 24 years exploded in my memory. When I saw the villain, and then the main character, I knew. I knew. In one of the episodes, the main character (Kevin) gets sick and his buddies have to shrink down, go inside him through his ear, and fight the virus. One of the buddies gets stuck in gum in Kevin’s stomach. I remembered the gum and little else for all these years, and I thought I’d made the whole thing up. I was half-convinced it was from a nightmare.One other cartoon-remember incident sticks out in my memory.A few years ago I got into a discussion with my friends about Captain Planet. Actually, now that I think of it, we’ve probably discussed Captain Planet multiple times since then, but I’m thinking specifically of one evening before a party. I asked if anyone could remember the episode about AIDS. They were very skeptical that such a thing had ever existed – but it did. We found it, we watched it, and so I proved that my memory isn’t as bad as I sometimes fear.I was also impressed that an early 90s kids cartoon handled the issue so well.
It’s a funny coincidence that both cartoons I could barely recall were about captains and viruses. Now that they’ve both been remembered, I can move on to the next puzzle: what was that candy they gave me at the bank when I was three? I can still almost taste it.
So – have you ever had this happen to you? Did you jump up and down and shout with joy when you finally remembered? Were you disappointed? Let’s discuss!