Something a little different for this week's rankings: Here is a list of things I miss, all suggested or brought up by our look at the live-action and animated Dennis the Menace:
1) Fast food promotions with characters like Dennis: Other than Happy Meal toys, what do we have to bring us to a fast food joint besides, well, the food? Even the toys aren't promoted much anymore. Dennis was a mischievous, sometimes devious kid, but he was a great spokesman for Dairy Queen. I wish there were more cartoons shilling for junk food today. At least Andy Capp's Pub Fries are still around. Aren't they?
2) Little kids wearing the same thing every single day: Kids of a certain age might want to wear the same outfit all the time, but their parents don't let them. Then they age out, and even if they like wearing the same shirt over and over, they don't really have uniforms until they get a little bit older and try to make some kind of statement.
What I am trying to say is I think it's cool that Dennis wears the same clothes day after day and no one cares. In fact, most of his friends do, too, but it's all good.
3) Kids having clubs unsanctioned by any adults: OK, the boss getting "scalped" isn't in line with modern sensibilities, but at least Dennis and his friends take some initiative and create a social group. I am not counting online clubs; I mean stuff with clubhouses and crude rules scrawled on paper ripped out of composition books.
4) Small businesses having wacky promotions to the "nth" customer: I think "The 50,000th Customer" depicts about a dozen potential lawsuits if it occurred in 2023.
5) Small businesses, period.
6) Floorwalkers in department stores: Nowadays it's often hard to find anyone in there, let alone someone who casts an imperious eye at you.
7) Nick at Nite: It's been said to death, but it really was cool.
8) Saturday morning cartoons on network television: Ditto.
9) Adding machines: I don't care how powerful and convenient our cellphones are. I want to add stuff up on a machine with loud clangs so I can print out faded numbers on thin, narrow paper.
Well, I don't want to do that, but I want other people to do that.
10) Nosey neighbors: Oh, we still have nosey neighbors, but not really involved busybodies who care about your personal life and are willing to have open hostility with everyone else just because. It's all political today, and that has ruined everything. That kind of "debate" isn't nearly as fun as just disliking your neighbors for who they are.