Who Killed the Freezy Freakies?
Here is something that has been troubling me for some time now. Whatever happened to Freezy Freakies? You don’t know what I’m talking about? Exactly.
I have combed the face of this earth, inquiring in farmers markets, Coldplay concerts, Star Wars conventions, and other venues where in-the-know Gen Xers tend to congregate. Still, I have not found a single person who can offer me actual concrete memories of Freezy Freakies. Instead, I’ve come across only vague recollections at best. There are perhaps more substantial records of a Yeti roaming the Himalayas than of Freezy Freakies once gracing the hands of school children. And this has led me to the conclusion that there is a conspiracy at work here.
Freezy Freakies were puffy ski gloves that kids wore in the early 1980s. At first
glance, they often appeared to be merely plain white, even – gasp! – pearlized you might think. However, once the gloves became cold in the outdoor winter air – shazam! – a bright-colored picture would suddenly appear on the backs of them.
I know it sounds like bragging, but I happened to own a pair, as did my brother. Mine, I believe (my memory is quite foggy here), might have revealed a picture of a peacock. Or maybe it was a unicorn. I can, however, remember with absolute certainty that my brother’s pair, the most badass pair ever to be created, would transform into monster lizard hands. I know!
Try to imagine this. A mild-mannered kid waiting to go outside for recess,
standing in line near the exit to the playground wearing a pair of pearly-white puffy gloves. The kids are heckling him – Look at his sissy mittens! (“Mittens” they were not, okay some versions were, but almost nothing is more demeaning to a 4th grade boy than to be accused of wearing mittens.) Then, once outside, the boy suddenly turns on the taunting mob, displaying his ferocious dark green lizard-scaled hands! And then – look at his fingers! Dear God, he has black razor-sharp talons! The crowd of kids disperses in terror, never again to be so foolish as to mess with Godzilla Hands. Yes, I can assure you, once the monster lizard gloves hit the Freezy Freakies market, no boy settled for anything less.
If you were lucky enough to own a pair of Freezy Freakies, you could be guaranteed a higher quality of elementary school life, popularity would be yours for the taking, no more waiting in line for the teeter-totters, and never again would the lunch lady run out of pigs-in-a-blanket just before you reached the cafeteria window. One boy in a grade ahead of me named “Mickey” had a pair that revealed a picture of Mickey Mouse. That’s the only time I recall Freezy Freakies causing someone’s social stock to actually nosedive. I’m certain though this example was an anomaly. And socially-speaking, Mickey was already operating from an unlevel playing field, thanks to that Toni Basil song being played at every birthday skate party.
Now why, you’re probably asking yourself, would our children not have this advancement in fabric cold-sensor technology at their fingertips? (No pun intended – seriously, I detest puns.) I strongly believe this to be an industrial de-evolution of a sort. Exactly how would you feel knowing your parents grew up sucking-back Capri Sun astronaut-style while you were drinking unpasteurized milk from a tin cup? You see where I’m coming from? It is tragic. (Although, true, not tragic on the same level of sci-fi movie predictions showing our grandchildren playing on gray polyester backyard turf. But tragic nonetheless.)
Perhaps this is something of an electric car conspiracy? Will we one day learn that the technology of Freezy Freakies still exists somewhere in a government-guarded basement vault? Will we learn that children’s winterwear is denied the magical appearance of delightful cold-induced hidden images in order to keep a greedy multi-billion dollar woolen mitten industry thriving?
Please tell me you remember Freezy Freakies too? And, if so, let’s fight to keep this memory alive. Let’s seek answers. Let’s do it for our children’s sake.