It’s a question anyone who grew up in the 80s has always wondered.
Streets, fields and in particular alleyways in housing estates, it would appear every now and then, standing out among the other piles of mess.
How? Who? Why?
Was someone going around spray painting it? Were these dogs living off non-toxic chalk?
Well, it’s got us thinking. What else seems to have been confined to the colourful decade?
Over the next few days, we’ll be taking a look.
1) Pornography under railway bridges: Anyone playing around railways as an 80s’ child (dangerous as it was) would have undoubtedly come across a bag of dirty mags stashed in a hedge, or ripped up and strewn around the embankment.
Exactly who was putting it there or why remains a mystery. Maybe it was a Government experiment.
The only explanation I can come up with is that rather getting rid of your secret stash in the bin at home and risk your mother seeing it, the next logical step is to chuck ‘em on the local tracks. Clearly.
Today, all you need to do is delete your internet history. I’ve been told.
2) Board games: Board meant ‘bored’ back in the 80s. In the absence of radically-advanced online games, we had to roll a dice and pretend to have fun. However, the images on the box lids of the games sold by MB or Waddingtons looked far more fun than they actually were. Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs and Escape from Atlantis were two fine examples of terrible games. Other games that you pleaded for at Christmas, then struggled to hide your disappointment from your parents, included Mouse Trap, Frustration, Ghost Castle and Pop-Up Pirate.
The only real exceptions, from a boy’s point of view, was Crossbows and Catapults. It wasn’t so much a board game, rather than a violent war in which you had to fire elastic-band powered contraptions at your opponent’s advancing army.
You would always overshoot and try to hurt your mates. Hours of fun.
3) Catalogues: Sticking with the toys theme, usually about three months before Christmas you would grab the copy of the Littlewoods’ or Kay’s and go through the toy section meticulously to make your wish list. Not that your parents would buy it from the catalogue, everything seemed twice the price. Can you even still get these catalogues?
4) Mr Frosty: A mixture of fun and food, like many things in the 80s, the advertising always made it out to be better than it really was. You simply popped in a block of ice into your plastic snowman, turned the handle to grind it into ‘frost’, then added some syrup to eat it. Perfect, no more wasting pocket money on Slush Puppies. The fact you needed to be able to bench-press a truck to turn the handle and get the ice to grind was never mentioned on the commercial.
5) Pink custard: Last seen the week I left junior school in the 80s, I’m not sure this ever really existed in the first place. Was it simply a colour-blind condition brought on by too many candy necklaces? I’ll never know, but the question is why did it ever exist? What was wrong with normal-coloured custard?
Tune in tomorrow for more long lost gems from the 1980s...