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A Local Guide to Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Nostalgics

April 3, 2009

by Wyatt MacKenzie
A Local Guide to Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Nostalgics

I know our schedules are crammed with critically important things like pretending to be senators or surfing YouTube, but I took some time out last weekend and, entirely by accident, discovered a few things that brought back the fun of simpler times.

Beginner: Popsicles

Where: Scripps Dining Hall Price: FREE!

Not everybody can spare the time or muster the whimsy to reclaim the fun of childhood. Everybody can eat a popsicle. Seriously, do it. Barely beating out jello and the corndog, the popsicle is the perfect children’s “food.” It’s cold, it’s sweet, and if that’s not enough, it’s got a joke built in! Any honest American popsicle includes a few lines of text which resemble a joke about as much as the dessert surrounding them resembles a nutritious meal, but I’ll bet anything you thought they were hilarious as a kid. Just look at the picture I’ve included! Except for the weird one about everybody dying (it looks more like a Johnny Cash song than a joke for kids) these are masterpieces of a brand of humor most of us no longer appreciate. Just open your mind and a popsicle can become a ticket back to a time free of pretension and sophistication, when you might actually have laughed at the idea that bees like to go to the Wax Museum .

Intermediate: Laser Tag

Where: ULTRAZONE in Alhambra Price: Depends on the night, but as cheap as $10 for three hours of unlimited play ... and $5 for girls

Not a half hour from campus, ULTRAZONE bills itself as the largest laser tag facility in LA. It might not be cheap as the free popsicles, but if you can’t get more fun out of this than a popsicle, you have more to worry about. As always, the biggest obstacle here is getting over how goofy you feel at first, but once you’re comfortable shuffling around a dark room with a flashing backpack strapped on, you’ll be richly rewarded with one of every boy’s favorite childhood memories— shooting people with lasers (here's a preview). The one downside of laser tag is that it includes a bizarre race-war subtext. Expect the teams to divide neatly into white, Asian, and cholo factions. Don’t expect to understand what your opponents are saying.

Advanced: John’s Incredible Pizza Company

Where: Montclair Price: $15 and up depending on how many credits you use

While I have personally never witnessed John or his ostensibly incredible pizza, it gets two thumbs up from some of the last CMCers you’d expect: Elise Viebeck, Nick Warshaw, and our esteemed editor, Abhi Nemani. If John’s can break even these students' hardened shells of maturity and seriousness, who could possibly fail to have fun there? Activities include video games, bumper cars, “frog hopper,” glow golf, and bowling. It’s a chance to revisit all those elementary school birthday parties you had, without having to invite the kids you hate.

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