Things I Forgot Existed (Until Recently)


The longer I live, and the longer the Internet exists, I have come to realize there is a plethora of things I would have never remembered existed if left unprompted. Thanks to the constant stream of nostalgia the Internet provides, I never have to go very long without remembering (thanks, 90's Girl Problem!). But here are a few things I genuinely forgot existed until I either had a divine revelation or...saw it somewhere. I thought you might enjoy remembering them with me:

Palm Pilots My dad had a Palm Pilot when I was growing up. But Dad's Palm Pilot was not for playing, guys. Not like those new fangled iPhones. It was all business. None of that Draw Something nonsense (Which I rule at, by the way.). Also you had to learn an entire new alphabet in order to write on it with the stylus. That seems unnecessary, but whatever. It was a computer in your pocket.

I'd like to take this opportunity to send out condolences to the Palm Pilot family for being rendered obsolete. You had a good run, and professionals of the 90's everywhere tip their hats to you.

CD-holders for Car Visors I literally remembered these existed only when I saw one recently in a car I passed on the interstate. (I salute you, Old School Twenty-Something, for keeping the dream alive.) Remember that period of time when CD's were the primary medium but iPods hadn't permeated the market yet? When cars still had cassette players in addition to CD players? When 6-CD-Changers were a luxury and they often had to be installed in your trunk? The handy CD holder attached to the sun visor in your car and eliminated all your problems. The double-decker ones even held about 40 CD's. [insert "oooooooo" here] I definitely had one in my first car. It likely included some burned CD's (remember burning CD's?), Coheed and Cambria, Taking Back Sunday, Chasing Victory and Mae. (All artists I still listen to. Not ashamed.)

Purple Ketchup This was a thing. I repeat: this was a thing. I still don't know why. It's not like with other things that were under-appreciated at the time but later recognized for their misunderstood genius. This, as far as I can tell, is still useless.

I vaguely remember in elementary school (ish), Heinz had the bright idea to market purple ketchup to children as The New Thing. Of course, it was probably more expensive than red ketchup and tasted exactly the same, but it was PURPLE, guys. Marketing genius. All you have to do to be successful in the food industry is market it to children (aka make it colorful). Eventually parents will cave at the grocery store. Even if it's purple ketchup. Point: marketing people.

NOTE: In the above picture I just found via Google, it says it is made with real Heinz tomato ketchup. It doesn't say it is real Heinz tomato ketchup. What does the rest of it entail that they couldn't legally call it ketchup? I demand answers, 90's Heinz.

Swine Flu I know this was only a couple years ago, but I had already forgotten about it almost entirely. I remember sitting in my International Business class in which my brilliant teacher decided to open the floor for discussion on the whole thing (terrible plan) and a girl (whose accent I have only heard replicated by people trying to do a southern accent who have never been to the south) blurted out over everyone else, "HUHN-DREDS UHV PEOPLE DAH EVERY YE-UR FROM THE FLU!" As if it was the argument to end all arguments. I think she had a farm and raised chickens or something (not an exaggeration) and was apparently very passionate about the swine flu not being a big deal. This is my main memory of the Swine Flu epidemic.

As a side note, college professors: for the love of humanity, NEVER open the floor to discussion about controversial issues in class, unless it is directly relevant to the subject matter. (See: my music publishing teacher opening the floor the day after the 2008 election results.) All it gets us is four particularly outspoken people starting sentences with things like, "Well, when you REALLY look at ...." while the rest of us hate our lives for the next hour and a half.

Anyway. Remember when Swine Flu was a thing and we all thought we were going to die? I'm not gonna lie, I got slightly worried. I mean, not buy-a-hazmat-suit worried, but I washed my hands a few more times a day.

Rolling Backpacks Parents were concerned about us falling over backwards and/or developing scoliosis due to the weight of our textbooks, so Jansport and LLBean thought to themselves, "Hm, what solution can we provide that will market well to parents but completely disregard social implications for the children? I know: ROLLING BACKPACK."

Now, I never had a rolling backpack (I was far too socially elite), but they always just kind of seemed like a mark of weakness and nerddom. Did you ever see popular kids dragging their backpacks behind them, trying to make sure no one tripped over it? I don't think so. They were too busy sticking it to The Man (aka our parents) by wearing their backpack on ONE shoulder (everyone knows that was the cool way to wear it). Due to the annoying omnipresence of my conscience, I only occasionally rocked the one-shoulder and generally stuck with the wear-it-low-so-it-bounces-against-your-thighs-when-you-walk approach. Still parent-unapproved since you are supposed to wear it high on your back (nerd alert), but at least it distributed the weight evenly.

What's something you forgot existed until recently?

And more importantly: how did you wear your backpack?