The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, February 1, 2007 - 3B
The good ol' days of
By PAUL TASSI
The lack of viable Nickelodeon
game shows today is clearly the
leading cause of childhood obe-
sity. No one's going to get inspired
watching Jamie Lynn Spears in
"Zoey 101." Where's the action?
Where's the risk? Nick's old game
shows were the stuff of legend, but
all we have left are our memories as
the channel that sired us fades into
"Legends of the Hidden Tem-
ple" - Combining pagan worship
with every kid's desire to be Indi-
ana Jones, "Legends of the Hidden
Temple" was one of Nickelodeon's
most memorable competitions.
Hosted by some douchebag named
Kirk Fogg and, more important,
Olmec (a faux-stone talking statue
purported to be the Mayan god of
all things extreme), "Legends" pit
pairs of kids together in search of
ancient "artifacts," which ranged
from the somewhat plausible (the
jeweled egg of Catherine the Great)
to the completely absurd (the walk-
ing stick of Harriet Tubman).
The teams were named by pair-
ing a jungle animal with a color,
which ranged from the formidable
Red Jaguars to the incredibly lame
Purple Parrots. The contestants
competed in a series of rounds to
earn "Pendants of Life," which they
would take into the Temple.
The Temple was probably the
scariest place imaginable for an
11-year-old. Half Chucky Cheese
pipe maze, half house of the living
dead, the Temple was a labyrinth of
puzzles standing between you and
Harriet Tubman's walking stick.
The infamous Shrine of the Silver
monkey, a simple three-piece puz-
zle, confounded an infinite number
of preteens who could not grasp the
concept that the silver monkey head
went on top of the monkey body.
Hidden in rooms along the way
were temple guards who jumped
out at the kids who would literally
crap their pants at the sight of a
grown man in Mayan war regalia.
contests with one ultimate goal:
getting a piece of that glorious
After the highly informative
"Spill Your Guts" segment told us
that each contestant liked "baseball,
pizza and playing with my friends,"
the players would get busy dunking
soccer balls into basketball hoops or
spinning around on bats then trying
to kick field goals. The points never
mattered however as they headed
into the final round: The big AC.
The contestants braved lighting
storms (strobe lights), hurricane
winds (fans) and avalanches (foam
rocks), hitting "actuators" (but-
tons) along the way. You know you
still want a piece of the Crag. Soc-
cer state championship trophy?
Volleyball tournament cup? Screw
that. There's nothing like a neon
green hunk of plastic to rest on the
"Double Dare" - "On your
mark, getset,go!"When Marc Sum-
mers shouted that somehow trade-
marked catchphrase, you knew it
was on. "Double Dare" was more
of a game show than "GUTS" or
"Legends" since it actually involved
questions and booths and money
The rules were fairly simple. You
get asked a question; if you don't
know it, you can dare the other
team to answer it for double the
points. If they don't know it they
can double dare the question back
to you for four times the points.
Then you could either answer it or
take a physical challenge. Any self-
respecting kid is going to take the
physical challenge. This show isn't
"Kid's Jeopardy," and therefore has
no 10-year-old tools who know the
capital of Maine.
The challenges involved incred-
ible amounts of "gross" substances
like whipped cream or that infamous
Nickelodeon slime. Filling up buck-
ets with the crap, or catching pie
pans full of the crap, were the large
majority of the challenges ultimate-
ly culminating in an obstacle course
involving all of them together.
Who cares if all 17 of Nickelode-
on's game shows were the same
formula? Kids plus questions plus-
obstacles plus pies plus slime equals
extreme. They were all fantastic
and there's nothing more represen-
tative of the Golden Age of Nickel-
By RACHEL COMMON
The seventh-hour bell rings. It's officially
Activity Day at American Middle School. While
a few kids will spend the next 50 minutes play-
ing "Oregon Trail" in the library or doing a sci-
ence experiment in Mr. Polley's room, you (in
JNCO jeans and "TOMMY" T-shirt and Vans
kicks) follow the music seeping through the
halls to the cafetorium. As you get closer to
the pounding bass you can make out the lyrics.
"Destination unknown as wepull infor somegas..."
It's "How Bizarre" by OMC. You hate that
song but remind yourself why you're here: You
have exactly 48 minutes to ask Lauren Wil-
liams to dance with you.
You find your posse, and a potent cloud of
Tommy cologne, over by Aaron, the high school
DJ who is flirting with some seventh-grade
girls. They request "Barbie Girl" by Aqua. This
is turning out to be a pretty sucky dance, and
you haven't even spotted Lauren yet. "Mmmbop
bada ba dop ba du bop..." Hanson. Could things
get any worse?
The music fades to nothing for a second -
you know that means a slow song is about to
start. Sure enough, it's "All My Life" by K-Ci
& JoJo. Perfect. But before you set out to find
Lauren, a hyper girl wearing green eye shadow
and flailing a caramel-apple pop asks you if
you'll dance with Sarah Woodruff.
"Sure, why not?" you say, voice cracking on
"sure." Sarah's friends push her toward you
and they all dissolve in a chorus of giggles and
"Awws" as you put your hands on her waist.
Next comes "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems"
by Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy and
Ma$e, "Show Me Love" by Robyn and "Get-
tin' Jiggy Wit It" by Will Smith. You and your
friend Alex survey the room. Two guys anima-
tedly discuss skateboard tricks. In the corner
another group plays hacky sack. By the vending
machine, girls check the status of their Nano
Pets and write on each others' hands with Gelly
Roll pens. No one is really dancing, save for a
few outgoing personalities who everyone else
stares at in awe, until "Macarena" by Los Del
Rio comes on, which inspires a mass scream.
"You're my sunshine after the rain / You're
the cure against my fear and my pain..." It's
"Because of You"by 980, one of those awkward-
t,,r midtemno nn-'eathat doesn't imnlv one tvne
Let's just say we're glad we don't have to hear these fools ever again.
of dance over the other. Everyone starts to look
around nervously until you spot Jimmy and
Krystal, who designate it a slow song. They'll
take any chance they can get to put their hands
in each other's back pockets, or at least until
Mrs. Kennedy comes and breaks them up 10
seconds later. You don't see Lauren anywhere.
She's actually in the bathroom applying glitter
and Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers. She has a crush
on you, too.
When "Zoot Suit Riot" by the Cherry Pop-
pin' Daddies and some amateur swing danc-
ing ensues, you make your way to the drinking
fountain, bumping into Lauren on the way. The
silver glitter applied delicately to the outer cor-
ners of her eyes makes her beautiful face look
"Hey," you say as nonchalantly as possible.
She smiles, her bubblegum-pink-banded
braces shimmering in the colored lights that
move in rays around the room. She turns back
to her group of friends.
Just then, the DJ cues up "I Believe I Can
Fly" by R. Kelly. This is it. You determinedly
walk toward Lauren, but Zack Powers gets
there a second earlier. Discouraged, you sit this
one out, even though there are hordes of girls
who would rather dance with you than console
their partner-less girlfriends by slow dancing
with each other.
There's now less than 20 minutes left to
complete Operation Lauren, but Aaron blares
two more fast songs from the speakers, shat-
tering your hopes: "Semi-Charmed Life" by
Third Eye Blind and "Where Do You Go" by No
You're about ready to give up, but then you
hear it: Justin Timberlake's boyish riffing and
the opening chords of "(God Must Have Spent)
a Little More Time on You" by *NSYNC. Run-
ning your hand through your gelled hair you
set off on your mission, almost tripping over
your own feet when Lauren comes right up to
MIDDLE SCHOOL DANCE PLAYLIST
"How Bizarre" - OMC
"Barbie Girl" - Aqua
"All My Life" - K-Ci& JoJo
"Mo'Money, Mo'Problems" - Notorious B.I.G. feat.Puff Daddy
"Show Me Love" - Robyn
"Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" - Will Smith
"Macarena" - Los Del Rio
"Because of You"-98*
"Ghetto Superstar" - Pras feat. 01' Dirty Bastard and introduc-
"Livin' La Vida Loca" - Ricky Martin
"You Make Me Wanna" - Usher
"C'mon Ride the Train" - Quad City Dls
"Zoot Suit Riot" - Cherry Poppin' Daddies
"I Believe I Can Fly" -R,Kelly
"Semi-Charmed Life" -Third Eye Blind
"Where DoYou Go" - No Mercy
"(God Must Have Spent) a Little More Timeon You" -*NSYNC
"Angel of Mine" - Monica
"I Love You Always Forever" - Donna Lewis
"Wanna dance?" she asks.
"I was just about to ask you."
This is the first time you've ever slow-danced
with someone you actually like, so you want it
to be good. You place your palms on the sides
of her waist and hope she can't feel your sweat.
She sets her palms on the tops of your shoul-
ders, both your arms and hers almost ruler-
straight - you both don't want to come off as
too eager, right?
Monica's "Angel of Mine" plays next - the
final song of the afternoon. You and Lauren
decide to keep dancing. The fact that she asked
you to dance and wanted to keep dancing
through the next song gives your confidence a
huge boost, so you ask her if she wants to come
to your basketball game on Saturday.
"Sure." She smiles her pink-and-silver
Maybe sixth grade won't beso bad after all.
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