When I was in elementary school, Wacky Packages (Wacky Packs to us kids, pictured above) were all the rage. A colorful jab at the popular products of the day, Wacky Packs wound up stuck all over my folders, musical instruments and furniture. Often they were gross, sometimes vulgar, always funny.
The modern-day equivalent are the Garbage Pail kids. Established in 1985, the year I graduated high school, these disgustingly hilarious cards/stickers took the same approach to – children (well, the Cabbage Patch version of children, anyway). Both Wacky Packs and Garbage Pail Kids are the brainchild of Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman, whose wit and goofiness appealed to both kids and adults alike. I, myself, had quite a collection of Garbage Pail Kids of my own.
When perusing my collection, I sometimes wondered what those kids would be like if they were, you know, real. Not as in the stupid Garbage Pail Kids Movie real, in which they were not of this world and pretty much acted like idiots, but real real. Real kids in the real world with real problems. So here’s my list of five Garbage Pail Kids I’d love to see walking around my neighborhood and what it would be like to parent them. Keep in mind, GPKs came in twins, so there are two names for each character, but for clarity’s sake, we’ll stick with one for each entry.
1. Dead Ted
Ted, a corpse rising from the grave, has always been my favorite GPK. He’s pretty much a zombie, which would suck if you’re a kid. Zombie adults have it hard enough. Imagine being a kid zombie. Talk about a pariah. But Ted, I am sure, would find his way, making the most of his strange circumstance. And oh what a time his parents would have, trying to keep him on the straight and narrow. “Ted, we will purchase brains from the slaughter house for you. Do NOT eat your friends’ brains. They need them, and their parents would be very, very upset.” Dead Ted, you have my sympathy, bro. Now go and get ‘em.
2. Art Apart
If Ted had a hard row to hoe, Art is pretty much all-around screwed. Though he looks quite happy to be rendered limbless, I am sure he’s got some serious issues. Worse yet, it seems he has no genitalia, which means a life of bladder and colon issues, not to mention what will certainly be a bizarre yet ultimately uneventful journey through puberty. Though his mother may try to sew him a life, Art will surely wish he were dead. And dad, how to explain to the guys at the Fantasy Football get-togethers why your kid makes a better football than football player. Poor Art.
3. Aerial Ariel
Ariel can create helium-filled boogers. What an awesome talent. What kid wouldn’t want to soar high above the town, looking down on the schoolyard and the playground while aloft on a booger bubble sticking right out of her nose? I would love to be able to do this, and I’m 45. Ariel’s parents would obviously be paralyzed with fear every time she left the house, worried that her snot balloon may burst at any moment, sending her plummeting toward Earth to certain death. But that’s part of the fun, now, isn’t it?
4. Kent Stand It
This guy, though well-dressed, vomits from the eyes. VOMITS FROM THE EYES! Imagine what problems this would cause for a child, unexpected projectile vomiting from the eye sockets. Good lord, man, control yourself! His friends will get a kick out of it, and as a parent, you could probably hire him out for birthday parties and other functions. But Kent is destined to end up under a bridge somewhere, eyes dripping with green goo along with his tears.
5. Hole in Juan
Perhaps the most disturbing of all the Garbage Pail Kids is Juan. Maybe not so much because he’s blowing his own brains out, but that there seem to be no brains and he’s pulling the trigger with his freakishly long tongue. This kid has some major problems, and his parents would probably be glad to see him go, but by the looks of it, he’s done this before and survived. Kudos, Juan!
For an awesome tour of the art of the GPKs, check out Pound Art.
Wanna watch the horrible Garbage Pail Kids movie? Be my guest …