The first Back to the Future movie is 30 years old this year, and I’m seeking a scatterbrained inventor with a time-traveling DeLorean to get me back to the era of its release—as an adult, Marty McFly-style. Here’s why.
1. The 21st century suffers from a serious lack of sticker books.
2. This is my chance to show the popular girls that I can finally afford Benetton and Esprit.
3. I need to rewrite history so that Whitney Houston never meets Bobby Brown.
4. I need to warn Wil Wheaton and his friends that there are leeches in that pond. (Emotionally scarring, Stephen King. Emotionally scarring.)
5. I miss Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pudding Pies, the green frog ice cream bars and those cylindrical granola bars with nougat in the middle. (I’d add Pudding Pops to the list, but I think both Pudding Pops and The Cosby Show have been ruined for all of us.)
6. I miss Tom Cruise as he was before the crushing effects of fame and Scientology.
7. In the ’80s, Chuck E. Cheese would still be wearing a vest, bow tie and a derby. The present incarnation of Chuck E. dresses like he’s going for a run. In my day, a mouse knew how to dress when entertaining people. It was the Pizza Time Theatre, you know. Also, getting rid of the ball pit? Lame, Chuck E.
8. Hungry Hungry Hippos would come with real (not plastic) marbles.
9. McDonald’s would serve apple and cherry pies, and they’d be deep-fried.
10. I could say “No gnus is good gnus!” and appear hip to the under-10 set.
11. I could make friends with tweens by giving out Hubba Bubba.
12. My very convincing, Eddie Murphy-style Buckwheat impression would make everyone in the bar “nub” me.
13. My hairspray would smell like grapes.
14. I could tell people, “I know VHS is cheaper, but Betamax is the superior technology!”
15. During Dallas, I could blow people’s minds by saying, “You know, I don’t think Bobby’s dead at all. I think this is just some dream Pam is having.”
16. I could relive the thrill of a finding a new issue of Teen magazine in my mailbox and devouring it all at once.
17. I could explain to my 1980s self that my Strawberry Shortcake dolls and My Little Ponies will be unsellable if I don’t ease up on the haircuts. (Sprinkles ended up with little more than a stub for a tail.)
18. I’d still have that one precious toy that would be worth an obscene amount of money if Mom hadn’t sold it at a yard sale—my Ace Frehley doll. For my husband, this toy is the Millennium Falcon. What’s yours?
19. I’d still have my intact lavender jellies, before my grandmother cut a hole in them to let my sore toe stick out.
20. I’d still have my grandmother—the way I remember her—and she’d watch me every week totally killin’ it on Star Search.
See? I have so much to do, and I bet you do too. Now where’s that flux capacitor?