In October 1990, the New York Times ran a story warning of the dangers and hazards of the year's biggest fad, slap bracelets. The bracelets, which consisted of a thin strip of metal covered with pattered fabric that curled around the wrist when "slapped" on skin or any hard surface, were prone to tearing apart and the exposed metal strip would cut the wearer's wrists. This was, of course, back in the days before it was cool for kids to slice up their arms and wrists. Thankfully for the health of the nation's wrists this fad quickly faded, as fads do, and the slap bracelet is now a curious pop culture footnote; a minor milestone in the childhoods of millions of Gen-Y boys and girls.
Several years later, another annoying and short-lived fad popped up in the world of music: ska music. Whether it was vaulted back into the limelight by the success of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones song "Where'd You Go" or just a cruel prank perpetrated upon my ears by a vengeful Old Testament God, the radio airwaves in the mid-1990s were rife with the faux-Caribbean, faux-punk sounds of bands like No Doubt and Sublime. The craze quickly subsided, but occasionally it rears its ugly head today in the least likely of places, like in Ash78's fitting rework of Reel Big Fish's 1996 song Sell Out in response to today's news that Michael Phelps' ogrish mug will soon be used to sell Mazdas in Red China:
No more 50 meters
Putting on my silly cap
You know I don't want that no more
And I didn't ask when I'd get paid
I can't speak Chinese anyway
I guess it doesn't matter
I guess it doesn't matter anymore
Zoom zoom, with me oh yeah
Zoom zoom, with me tonight
The crazy little Chinos gonna give me lots of money
And everything's gonna be all right.
Good luck getting it out of your head. Thanks a lot, Ash!