1. The caffeine pill epidemic.
Caffeine pills were the ultimate choice drug TV trope. These worse-than heroin pills caused so many good television characters (i.e. Jessie from Saved By The Bell) a life of horror. I remember watching Saved By The Bell as a kid and specifically asking my parents how dangerous/available caffeine pills were. They kindly (and oddly enough) responded that they were very easy to buy and should never be messed with. Pretty strange, as my mother was — and still is — a four-cup-a-day coffee baron. Alas, as the 90s generation grew up, drugs grew along with it; kids starting turning to harder stuff… you know, drugs that actually work, like crystal meth and, eventually, bath salts.
2. Africanized bees.
I’ve been stung by plenty of bees and not even one of them seemed testier than usual. It’s not like this was an isolated incident, where one evening news broadcast warned of Africanized bees. I remember — on and off for the majority of the 1990s — there would be a new special about killer bees making their way over to America from Africa and how we should prepare for a plague of angry airborne murderers. All our generation ever wanted was some integrity and tact — if the news said our lives were being threatened by bees, let’s show a little sticktoitiveness. Wake up, Africa; we’re ready for your pussy-ass gnats.
3. The Coca-Cola credit card.
Ok, seriously, what the hell was this supposed to be? Right off the bat, my young mind was confused at the thought of paying for a fancy French dinner with a credit card issued by your favorite soda company. “Babe, it’s on me. I’ll put it on my Coca-Cola card.” But that wasn’t the case at all. Apparently, the Coke card was to be used every time you bought a Coke? And then you could redeem points for rewards? Alright — so you somehow get points, then you somehow redeem those points, then you somehow get some kind of prize? Most likely, it would have been a Coke pog or Coke baseball cap. Do I have to wear the cap backwards? In a perfect world, this card would have produced an ice-cold glass of Coke at my doorstep whenever swiped and everyone would have lived happily ever after.
4. Writing in cursive.
I was assured — no, promised — that, by the time I reached 18, I’d be writing in cursive. Guess what never happened: by age 18, I was writing in cursive. Curse every teacher who forced cursive upon me. Do you know how long I wrongly assumed that all adults write in cursive? Want to take a guess as to how many adults I know who regularly write in cursive? Zero. Coupled with forcing us to use cursive to spell complicated words like “zoetrope” or “centimeters,” my hand became close to crippled by the time I was 11.
5. The man who looked like Shaggy.
Guys, it wasn’t him. Shaggy’s iron-clad defense of mistaken identity sent the world into a frenzy of curiosity — which had not been felt since the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. Who was the man having sex with another woman in the shower? How about the bathroom floor? It wasn’t him. Why would a man bearing a striking resemblance to Shaggy break into his home to have sex with a woman in front of Shaggy’s girlfriend? This dilly of a pickle would stump even the brightest of minds and would require someone of Good Will Hunting status to dive into this mystery and untangle it.