Flashback~Forget About it-Friday

I recently read this article about Formspring.me, a website teens are using to grill each other anonymously. I was immediately reminded of Slam Books, a similar, but less tech savvy, mode of torture that my friends and I employed in the late 1970s.

Flashback~Forget About it- Slumber Party Activities.

Slam Book (photo source)

The Slam book was usually created at a weekend slumber party, but was circulated during school hours. A question would be posted at the top of the page of a spiral notebook–something like: What’s Your Favorite Food? And then people would write their answers anonymously (though not really, because handwriting at this age was easy to recognize) below. Now, if the question was particularly harsh–Do you think Jennifer is ugly? The people who wanted to answer: “Yes, she’s a hag” would try to disguise their handwriting by writing with their wrong hand. Needless to say, the Slam Book led to fights. Lots of them. And they were usually ugly and almost always involved girls.

Ouija Board

I have to be honest, the Ouija Board freaked me out. I can’t recall if that’s because one was featured in a movie I saw, or in a book I read, but something that I was exposed to at a young age convinced me that messing with the Ouija Board equalled instant death. I was sure that a message of doom and gloom would be spelled out by the spirits (this is what the board was used for, communicating with spirits) and that I would be the one to expire on the spot. So, at slumber parties where the Ouija Board was used, I stayed in the background. Or I feigned sleep.

Rotary Phone

Please tell me you remember the rotary phone? This little number was a must-have item at all of the sleepovers I attended. Back then, everyone had one. A phone was a necessity, because my friends and I loved to make prank and/or annoying calls. Usually to boys we had crushes on. We’d call the boy pretending we weren’t in a large group of girls (they always knew the truth because the slumber party would have been discussed ad nauseum at school) and ask them who they liked. Or we’d call them, disguise our voices and say ridiculous things. Other times, we would dial random numbers and say really stupid stuff–not quite as bad as, “Is your refridgerator running”–but close. The majority of the time, however, we’d crack ourselves up by coming up with outrageous things to say–and then never make the call.

Cinnamon Buns–yum. (photo source)

Food was always a big part of the slumber party allure. At least it was for me. I remember once, when I was a sleepover novice, wanting to go home because I was missing my parents. The hostess didn’t want me to leave and was trying everything to get me to stay. Nothing she did worked (and I even remember being on the phone with my mom asking her to come get me) until my host brought out a tube of Pillsbury Cinnamon Buns. We were going to have those for breakfast. On second thought, I guess I can stay…

What do your remember most about the sleepovers you attended as a child?


9 responses

  1. The rotary phone in a flashback..?? Are you suggesting there’s been an advancement in the telephone technology? Next week I guess you’ll have a picture of record player that plugs into your ear and fits in your backpack.

  2. i loved this post. we cranked called everyone. we once pulled the ticks off my friends dog and roasted them in a coffee can and danced around singing, “tick roast, tick roast!” it really wasn’t as sick as it sounds. one time we ordered a pizza and my friend’s sister got on the roof and scared the poor kid when he walked up to the door.

    good times and thankfully we never really hurt anyone, except the ticks.

    • Sounds like you enjoyed good old fashioned slumber parties. Like the idea of hiding on the roof and frightening the pizza delivery guy. Though I have to say, between roasting ticks and climbing on buildings, sounds like this was a while ago–clearly no parents hanging around. Must have been the ’70’s or ’80’s.

      Thanks for the tip about the colonoscopy. I once woke up from surgery and told my doctor I loved her, so yeah, pretty sure I too lose control (of my mouth at least) when under the influence of strong sedatives.

  3. Ouija board. For sure, always freaked me out a little. Light as a feather, stiff as a board. Oh and..

    Toiletpapering! Now that I’m a parent, I can’t believe we actually did that. Yikes.

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