Super Soakers!?! oh shit son! i don't how i arrived here, but it's not fucking important. all i know is this was another of the many examples of the paradigm shift that the 1990s represented, marketing-wise.
if you're at or near my age, you have no problem identifying the numerous instances where you were directly and furiously marketed to, with various foods/snacks/drinks, dolls, action figures, vehicles to house said action figures, and movie tie-ins. we were there for the start of this lunacy.
of course, the Super Soaker water gun was an integral component of this plastic and sugar-rich strategy.
honestly, i didn't know the Super Soaker was invented by a black man, Lonnie Johnson. looks like Stevie Wonder needs to re-dub that song of his:
Stevie: "and who invented the most popular water gun of all time, raking in over 200 million in sales for Hasbro, Inc.?"
Chorus of kids: "Lonnie Johnson, a-black-man!"
my parents were extremely trepidatious about buying me any toy that resembled a gun, so it took me a while to get myself into the madness.
at the start, i had the miniscule Super Soaker 30. a sidearm. had to fill it up after every shot. shortly after i got that piece of shit, i got this water balloon slingshot. fucking weak. the balloons were tiny and impossible to fill, and the slingshot itself was incredibly difficult to draw. one day i did get a shot off. nailed a kid right in the face. he cried for hours. didn't see him much after that.
after weeks of my selfish, incessant pleading for an upgrade, my rents finally buckled and copped the Super Soaker 50 from KayBee Toys.
basically the AK-47 of Super Soakers. cheap, reliable, effective and everybody had one. so many summers of targeting the kid who "couldn't get wet," feverishly pumping away, building pressure, forearms aching.
after my 50 was in shambles from a year of mock warfare, i stepped up to the Super Soaker 100. gangsta gangsta at the top of the list.
i must admit, however, that i never got my hands on the 300. this was basically a cannon, with a backpack water reservoir that held something like two or three gallons of water. basically a weapon of mass destruction in the context of backyard water fights. i also wouldn't have minded that MDS shit either. basically a reworked 50 with a swiveling nozzle so you could ice cats around corners. genius.
during my fledgling years of high school, i, along with a few other friends (including one who was on that 300 shit) would drive around, blasting random cats on the sidewalk, laughing our asses off. oh those precious, harmless years of weed experimentation.
we filled our guns with brightly colored, syrupy juices and sodas, so that not only would our victims' clothes be ruined, but so that they would be swarmed by bees as well. fucking hilarious.
but one summer, a bunch of cats on the westside drove around doing the same shit, only they filled their joints with bleach. ended up hitting an infant in the face. bad news bears, of course. apparently babies and bleach don't mix. go figure.
so from then on, the baltimore police dept. was on the prowl for any and all (black) kids wielding Super Soakers.
the end of an era.
but though i've been out of the game for over a decade, it's good to see a new generation of young bucks getting in on what we started. gotta teach these kids to embrace the gun-toting spirit of American masculinity. nice and early.
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