Posted on February 5, 2015
I enjoy kicking back, popping some corn and watching a great flick from time to time. My DVD collection is extensive enough that I never get tired of the old favourites, but there’s still a pretty big list of popular movies that I have yet to see for one reason or another. The Godfather, Scarface, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the list goes on… even with Back to the Future and Indiana Jones, I enjoyed the first ones, but haven’t taken the time to watch their sequels.
Now, I wouldn’t exactly consider the Addams Family movies as being on my “must see” list, but I do remember them being incredibly popular. They really seemed to be everywhere for a while in the early-to-mid 90’s; McDonalds Happy Meals and collectible cups, lunch boxes, cartoons, toys, and of course, video game tie-ins.
While there were two games based on the Addams Family movies, Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt was based on the Saturday morning cartoon. I didn’t watch that either, and the only reason I actually had any interest in giving the game a try was due to the incredible power of marketing…
This issue of Nintendo Power was – to say the least – pretty underwhelming. There weren’t any mind-blowing game announcements in the Pak Watch section, no fun tips or tricks in Classified Information, and the contest that month was also pretty lackluster… surprisingly, the only interesting part was a walkthrough of the game on the cover. I enjoyed the colorful screenshots on display, so I decided to give the game a shot.
Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt plays a bit like Mega Man in that you can tackle the levels in any order you want. The idea is to collect an item from each room in the household, each of which having a specific theme – in looking at a playthrough just now, the only level I actually remember playing through was the bathroom one… go figure.
In retrospect, I think I just enjoyed the graphics and art style from this stage more than any other. Check out the detail on that soap scum!!
Anyway, it’s a pretty straightforward platformer, and there certainly isn’t anything revolutionary about it… it was your typical TV show cash-in. Plain and simple!
There are two things I vividly remember doing the weekend I rented this game. That actually explains why I don’t remember the game all that well – I was too busy doing other things that were obviously much more fun!
The first memory is about going to my friend Mike’s birthday party. It was hockey-themed, and pretty much just consisted of playing table hockey inside and having a street hockey tournament outside. I also remember us going down the street and around the corner, out of our parents’ line of sight, just so we could light a firecracker or two.
The part I was most excited about was the party favours we got just for showing up.
There was something like 15 kids at the party, so the names of 15 NHL teams were written down on pieces of paper and put in a hat. One by one, we drew from the hat, and whatever team name we had drawn, we’d get an official cap with that team’s logo on it.
These hats were really awesome and top-of-the-line, too – I remember some of them being close to $100 or so… that made these party favours pretty damn cool.
For some reason, I was among the last to draw. I didn’t exactly have a favourite NHL team at the time, but I did have a favourite color – green. While the other kids hoped to get a Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs or Calgary Flames hat, I was hoping for a Minnesota North Stars or Hartford Whalers one.
As I reached into the hat for the draw, I closed my eyes and hoped for something cool… I ended up getting an even better one than I expected.
The Sharks were still a new team, and I wasn’t all that familiar with them. Once I had a spiffy new aqua-colored baseball cap with their logo on it, I became a bit of a fan. I ended up adopting the Detroit Red Wings as my favourite NHL team since my dad had been a fan since the Gordie Howe days, but I have a handful of teams I always root for on the side. The Sharks have consistently had great teams through the years, but have yet to win the Stanley Cup… maybe soon!
The second thing I remember doing that weekend was going to a maple syrup shack with my dad.
The day after the party, we hopped into our 1990 Nissan Sentra and headed out to Keswick Ridge, NB. Dad listened to his Merle Haggard cassette on the car stereo, and although I didn’t enjoy the music all that much, there was something pretty damn infectious about “Okie from Muskogee”.
Apparently, Muskogee is a place where even squares could have a ball… I didn’t quite understand why they “waived old flooring down at the courthouse”, however.
Anyway, Dad knew the older gentleman who ran the sugar shack and thought it would be a good idea for us to pay him a visit. I wasn’t really into maple syrup that much at the time, but I really was quite impressed with how far out in the woods his cabin was. It was so quiet, and the most peaceful spot I’ve ever been in.
I remember how muddy the dirt road was getting there, and how the sun was shining through the trees as we walked through the woods. It wasn’t quite spring, and although there was still a fair amount of snow on the ground, it had morphed into that “crystallized ice” stuff it turns into when the warmer weather rolls around.
We found the little shack, walked in, and there was this older fellow in overalls on the other side spreading something really nasty-looking on a piece of bread. Sure, there were giant boiling vats of sap (or whatever it is that makes maple syrup), and the place smelled great, but all I could focus on was whatever the hell he had started putting on that slice of bread just as we walked in.
Was it pate? Was it some sort of Spam-like ham spread? I really had no idea, and as he walked over to shake our hands, I swore I could still smell it on him… it was kinda like cat food.
We talked for a little while, and since there wasn’t anything ready for us to sample (unless we waited a few hours), we ended up leaving after about 15 minutes.
It was a memorable trip deep into the woods, and I had a fantastic time seeing a bit of the maple syrup-making process, but I was gagging on the car ride back home just thinking about the smell of whatever he was eating. I’m kinda gagging now just thinking about it, actually.
Whatever the old man was spreading on that slice of bread had more of an effect than anything else that weekend. It’s pretty sad that I remember that more than Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt…
That Merle Haggard though, man. Great voice.