Last night I decided to light a candle on the balcony since the mosquitoes have been out in force these past few nights. I tried to get a plain yellow citronella candle but all I could find was this "hovex colour change citronella candle"
I lit the candle and watched in wonder as it changed in colour from blue, to red, to green, to yellow... and so on.
I looked under the candle case, trying in vain to work out how on earth this thing manages to change colour without letting me know the secret.
This entire process made me think of how as a kid I tried to figure out how holograms work. And then it made me think of 80s goodies, and how I used to have an E.T. hologram.
My partner chuckled about this and said, "An E.T. hologram? That just might be the most 80s thing you can possibly own."
That seemed like a challenge: How 80s can you get?
I closed my eyes, detecting the faint whiff of leaded petrol, cabanossi, Passiona, green slime chemical residue that you can never get off your hands, super hold extra chlorofluorocarbon hairspray and Impulse "Mysterious Musk"...
and thought... Could I possibly create: The Ultimate 80s Room?
1. Neon Telephone
It's 80s, it's spooky, it's nuts. And if you don't like it you can stomp on it like Axl Rose in that Guns N' Roses film clip.
2. E.T. Doll
E.T. represents every kid's desire to contact life forms from outer space, and possibly leave the earth of the 1980s until grunge happens.
Actually, I think Drew Barrymore kind of did that.
3. Galaga/Ms PacMan Table game
A dream come true, galaga is awesome, and even though Ms PacMan is slightly sexist, it's an ok game. Apparently all women wear red lipstick, run in heels and have a bow in their hair.
4. Starlight Zone Stickers
It's not enough to know there are stars (and planets) up there. You have to see them when the lights are off. It's almost like the roof has disappeared and you can see out into space... almost.
5. Neon bar sign
Who doesn't want a neon bar sign? And you can practice flipping cocktail shakers just like Tom Cruise! That is, the Tom Cruise who hadn't yet become a couch jumping, insane Scientology nutbag.
6. Bamboo chairs
Nothing says "home" like bamboo. In fact, bamboo is like a lot of things from the 80s. Big, cheap and it gets completely out of control if left to its own devices.
7. Gremlins Toy
Mogwai and Stripe. Did you know, Gremlins is actually a pretty deep film if you watch it carefully. I'm not joking, there are some pretty profound statements about society hidden in there. Don't believe me? Watch it. ON VHS!!!
8. Hot pink rug
The colours to focus on: salmon, coral, hot pink, salmon, coral and salmon. Rule of thumb, if it's good enough for Don Johnson, it's good enough for your 80s room.
9. Lightning globe
I can create lightning at will!
I am invincible!
I can touch lightning and not get burned!
I am THOR!
10. Boom box
Yes, a real one. You can't cheat and use your ipod boom box docking station. These boom boxes have to be used properly - and that means playing tapes on them. The highest level of technological advancement allowed is "auto reverse".
"USB? Where we're going, we don't need USB, ipods, bluetooth, wireless, dongles, social media, apps or anything else like that. In fact, I don't even know what those things are because they haven't been invented yet."
There are a couple of rules of thumb for designing the ultimate 80s room.
If it looks like a technicolour neon peacock threw up on it... twice... you are probably on the right track.
I encourage you to try your own Ultimate 80s room at home, but first make sure you have taken safety precautions. Play Eurythmics, not Duran Duran. Choose a neon phone but not neon socks. And most importantly, don't feed anything in your room after midnight.