The Shooter Girl and Life in the Eighties

We had it all in the 1980’s. Front-snap bras, Shooter Girls and cassette hiss. Life was sweet. Or as we liked to say, life was bitchin’.

Any guy that came of age in the Eighties knows all about those heavenly front-snap bras that were so popular with young girls back then. All it took was one little pinch of the snap using a thumb and two fingers and the next thing you knew, just like Meatloaf said, you had paradise by the dashboard light.

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Paradise by the dashboard light

And to go along with the front-snap bra we had acid-washed jeans. The sight of a girl in a pair of those jeans, with the rips and tears all over them, was the stuff of dreams for guys in the Eighties. Combine those jeans with a soft fuzzy sweater hiding a front-snap bra, a dash of Loves Baby Soft perfume and you had the recipe for heaven on Earth.

Not only did we love our women, we loved our music. That was the other great thing about the Eighties – the music. We played it everywhere we went using a thing called a Walkman. Those little handheld cassette players were a godsend to us and to the companies that sold AA batteries.

The cassette was king in the Eighties. Everyone had a cassette deck in their car and a Walkman in their hand. My old Pioneer cassette deck saw its share of paradise illuminated by the soft glow of the dashboard lights and I went through probably three or four Walkmans before the decade came to an end. I miss those Walkmans and the cassette hiss. So what if they couldn’t hold 500 songs.

No matter what kind of music you loved there was something for you in the Eighties. The decade was a melting pot of musical styles. Everyone was having a good time and it showed in the music. We had everything from Springsteen to Prince, Madonna to Metallica and The Thompson Twins to Twisted Sister. The variety of musical talent in the Eighties was nothing short of astounding.

And we had our own alcoholic drink called the wine cooler. I’ve downed my share of orange California Coolers and the thing I remember most about them was that they tasted as good on the way down as they did on the way up.

But by far the best drink in the Eighties was the Kamikaze because it was delivered by the Shooter Girl. Every bar had a Shooter Girl dressed up to look like a hot cowgirl. Instead of a gun belt the Shooter Girl wore a belt holding little plastic cups. In place of a gun she had a bottle of premixed Kamikazes in a holster and for the bargain price of a buck she would pour you one right on the spot. Now I ask you, what could be better?

We went crazy playing Pac-Man and trying to solve Rubik’s Cube, and we all tried to figure out which kid we best identified with in the movie The Breakfast Club. Guys wore Mullets, girls wore shoulder pads and everyone was divided into two groups – those who liked Betamax and those who liked VHS. It’s still a sore subject with some of us so just I’ll leave it at that.

I guess the main thing about the Eighties was that we were all just very happy. That was the underlying thread. There’s no other way to explain it. Detractors call it the “decade of excess”. Well, okay. There was an excess of happiness. We could use a little of that nowadays but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

The Eighties are long gone and I’m not sure where we go from here. There’s no cassette hiss, most bras snap in the back and today’s music is delivered to us prepackaged straight from American Idol and iTunes. The Shooter Girls have long since hung up their belts.

And nowadays if someone wants to see paradise by the dashboard light all they have to do is go online and download it.

Where’s the fun in that?

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