An Ode to 1983

Here’s my goofy, little entry for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. I often go with the first idea that pops into my head.  This was one of those times.

RULES: All entries must be between 33 and 333 words and need to include the following word using its third definition:

clean (adjective)

1: free from dirt or pollution
2: unadulterated, pure
3 a : free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind <a candidate with a clean record>

* * * * * * * * * *

A year in the life of my childhood

* * * * * * * * * *

The year was 1983

The times? They were so simple

Cabbage patch dolls everywhere

So hideously-dimpled


Reagan was the president

And Swatch entered the scene

As did jellies, Rubik’s cubes,

And McNuggets as cuisine


My fashion was inspired by

Madonna, Flashdance, Lauper

‘Cause MTV was everywhere

So I looked like a pauper


The music was my favorite

Boom box on every shoulder

From Dexy, Prince or Men at Work

(It so sucks getting older)


For film, we had The Outsiders,

Big Chill and Valley Girl

And Vacation with Chevy Chase

Gave the Griswolds to the world


But I was still a little girl

My parents weren’t mean

They just wanted to be sure

What I saw and heard was clean


Enter Mr. Cosby

And his one-man show ‘Himself’

I must have pulled it fifty times

Off our VHS tape shelf


The jokes, they were all perfect

The dentist chair he faked

I won’t forget the joke about

“Dad gave us chocolate cake!”


Thank you for the memories

Of this, a lifetime chapter

But most of all I thank you, Bill

For all my family’s laughter


13 responses to “An Ode to 1983

  1. Well done, ODNT!
    Sadly, I caught all the references in this. My joy at there being no “big hair” was tempered by Madonna, Cyndi and Dexy.

    You should stalk Bill on twitter until he reads this!

  2. Well done! Mags sleeps with my very first Cabbage Patch doll. The name that came on the doll’s “birth certificate” is actually Mags’ real middle name. Coincidence…I think so. 🙂

  3. I enjoyed Bill first on I Spy. Good actor and comedian. Brought back a lot of memories, 29 going on 30.

  4. we are from a generation older . . . listend to Bill Cosby on records (!!!!) or vinyl as some call them today. 🙂 I still remember “Hey you! Almost a Doctor!” and nanananananaaaaaaaaaa
    lol thanks for the memories of good, clean, fun. (so unlike the Rusty Warren record hubbymoose introduced me to later – “don’t doooooooooooooooo it!” sigh)

  5. Bill Cosby, king of all things clean. For my club it was the Fat Albert.

    I love your time stamp. It is quite inspired, and inspiring. I grad high school in ’85. =)

  6. Wow, you captured that time really well! All the pop culture references were spot on. And the chocolate cake? Who can forget all that chocolate cake?!

  7. For some reason I thought you were younger, but reading this, I think we must be from the same generation. My parents also worked to keep it clean. We couldn’t even watch MTV 🙂 Cosby was permitted and I found him quite entertaining. Thanks for the trip down memory lane (thank goodness I’m not old enough to have completely lost my way down that path!)

  8. Love this. I graduated high school that year, and the references brought it all back like it was yesterday! 🙂 Thank you!

  9. Bill Cosby is totally awesome. It’s funny, all the things you associate in those first two stanzas stand for darker things for me. Sesame Street and Bill Cosby were things I had to be a teen to fully appreciate. I totally didn’t like him when I was little. (now? Love the guy.)

  10. Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. I love all the references here. Jellies. I had completely forgotten about the jellies. The precursor to the Croc, right? 🙂 Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Nice job! Hope to see you back again soon.

  11. I forget how long it was since the Cosby show. God I must be getting old!

  12. ‘You can dance if you want to…’ Nice ode to a decade. The early eighties for me, I spent drenched in liquor — woo hoo!

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