Skip to content
Breaking News Alert Report: DHS Group Called Being 'Religious' An 'Indicator' Of Domestic Terrorism

This Week In Weird Twitter, Volume 121

The year was 1986. That’s when the early signs of a revolution emerged in the form of Cool Ranch Doritos.


The ‘80s were a simpler time. You could thwart nuclear annihilation by hiding under your desk, there were only like three varieties of tea that were readily available, and the dark truths of Colonel Sanders and the Kentucky Colonels were mostly unknown.

Then came the ‘90s, angst, and the internet. From there it was but a hop, skip, and a jump to knowing that you needed a lead desk to thwart nuclear annihilation, Sleepy Time was but one option when it came to tea, and Popeye started making moves on the colonel. Maybe that last one was a sign that the future offered as much hope as it did angst.

One such example of hope came from Frito-Lay via PepsiCo. The year was 1986. That’s when the early signs of a revolution emerged in the form of Cool Ranch Doritos. Frito-Lay, never a company given to complacency, announced to the world that ranch was to be the preeminent flavor. Though the chips skirted the subject, mostly, they did embrace the fact that the dressing that would soon become the quintessential sauce/dip/seasoning.

It was right in front of us, but we were blind to the truth, much like we were blind to the dark truths of the Kentucky Colonels. The triangular chips, and the universe, were doing us a sharp, pointy favor. They were our Agent Mulder, we just weren’t ready to accept that the truth was out there and that Kenny Loggins and Madonna were providing the soundtrack. All that was lacking was all caps.

Some were prescient and fought against the coming global domination. Maybe they were right or maybe they just couldn’t handle the truth.

Others tried to highlight other future truths, like the rise of avocados.

Not that it was all roses. The demise of gentle and not-so-gentle giants wasn’t great, though an optimist would point out that without that demise, there would be possibility for a Jurassic Park.

At least we were still cool.

And righteous.

And we definitely didn’t play by the rules, whether talking hiding under our desks or otherwise.

This refusal did give us opportunity to confront authority.

An opportunity for which we were prepared.

Not just with the power of dance, but with the power of words.

It was also a golden age for television.

And mutants, both mammalian and reptilian.

Not all made it out alive, but that didn’t preclude them from making a difference.

Okay, maybe all caps wasn’t the only thing that was lacking. We also didn’t have what some business types refer to as “decks.” Sure, that doesn’t make sense even in the present day, but we have to remember history if we’re going to repeat it.

At least alternative energy was getting a foothold.

And people had to settle their all caps differences with nobility.

Plus multilevel marketing wasn’t a thing.

The Ford Bronco was revolutionizing automotive transport, and not yet in an infamous way.

Though we weren’t without adversaries. Well, adversaries besides the threat of nuclear annihilation.

We did have to worry about the feeding and bathing schedules of our pets.

Fortunately, said pets had a strategy.

They were also planting the seeds that would grow into the inspirational coffee mug industry.

To wit.

I think this one was also made into a poster. Kids today just don’t know what they’re missing, what with their screens and lack of threat of nuclear annihilation.

To wit, again.

Especially since we’re talking vestibules.

Hiding under desks wasn’t our only plan of action.

Especially when it came to snowbanks.

And perseverance.

It was also a time in which the farm-to-table movement was taking root.

One thing that’s persisted is talks held in mid-tier hotel conference rooms.

An improvement? The internet and all caps.

Also bedding technology has really come a long way.

Reminiscing about pig farmers, good. About TV? Sometimes not so good.

(Don’t sweat it, Fred.)

Another plus was that we didn’t carry pocket computers with us and document our every move.

Even if we didn’t always use that power wisely.

Except when we used it really wisely.

Another thing, we couldn’t use the internet to all caps our love for not the internet.

Nor did we have to stand up to digital lynch mobs. It was harder to apply for jobs, though.

If easier to play it cool.

Or cool-ish.

Especially when armed with emerging technologies.

And the healing power of the ‘60s, which Baby Boomers in no way reference anymore.

Okay, their legacy isn’t totally more awfulness.

They did create some jobs.

And add many more teas and opportunities to relax.

But also they did this.

Except that led to but one of the exciting opportunities, not of a multilevel variety, that the modern world offers.

So, all in all, it really was a magical time, even if one in which David Lee Roth thought it wise to pursue a solo career while Van Halen thought it wise to replace David Lee Roth with Sammy Hagar. Though we really can’t dismiss an idea that resulted in Diamond Dave covering “Just a Gigolo.”

In any case, we emerged from underneath our desks, conquered some things, got the internet, and learned to love the magical power of all caps. It was the precursor to disaggregation writ large, except for the PowerPoint presentations necessary for explaining disaggregation, though those sometimes incorporate all caps.

Which brings us to today and its concomitant horrors, which can usually only be explained in all caps. Somehow, we persist. Maybe it’s that we’ve learned to avoid Calliope’s side hustle, maybe it’s that we’ll look back on these days as simpler times at some point in the future when the killbots really start to assert themselves. Regardless, one thing is certain. While killbots may be able to make buggy whips, there are certain skills they’ll never learn. Like being flippant, which they really suck at.