Clever Portal Reference

Everyone got a chance to meet my mom in episode 114 when I formally apologized to her for being such a jerk back when I was in junior high. As further evidence that my mom is outstanding, I present these pictures that I got a hold of when I was back visiting my parents over the holidays.

I really have been a videogame nerd since I was a little kid, and although she had absolutely no interest in games, mom was always supportive of my habit. Just check out these birthday cakes that she made for me back in the day.

q-bertcakeQ*Bert was one of my favorite arcade games during my youth, and here I am showing off mom’s homemade cake of the potty mouthed protagonist. Ain’t I adorable?

With no candles on the cake, I can’t be 100% positive of my age in this picture, but I think I have an idea. You see, Q*Bert was originally released in late 1982, the year I turned seven. However, I couldn’t have been seven here because my birthday’s in January. My eighth birthday cake is covered below, so the next logical step places me at nine in this shot.

By age ten, it was 1985 and videogames had mostly slipped out of the American public’s consciousness. At that point, even I was probably wanting to dedicate my birthday cake to another aspect of pop culture. So yeah, I’m nine there.

Below is my eighth birthday cake(s). My sister and I have our birthdays four days apart, so our family parties were always a joint affair. Typically, mom would make us each a cake, but in 1983, Pac-Man Fever had swept the nation. Even my sister, who totally isn’t into games, wasn’t immune.
Enter mom’s multi-part Pac-Man cake. Five full-size cakes representing Pac-Man, Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde. My sister and I had to share these cakes, but when they’re this cool, and we’re getting three more cakes than we were used to, even we could pretend to get along for a while.

pac-mancakeI friggin’ love these cakes. I went so far as to frame this Pac-Man picture so that I could properly display it. It’s the mixture of the bright colors and the knowledge that my mom spent the time to cut up sheet cakes to resemble ghosts that makes this picture so special. And, of course, the Dennis the Menace partyware. Man, I was alive during a time when a party goods company could hope to sell Dennis the Menace partyware.

It’s also worth pointing out (not really) that both of these picture were taken at my grandma’s house, which is where we would always hold the “family” birthday parties. And check out the box of Jay’s potato chips in the background of the Pac-Man picture. They’re a midwest favorite!

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  1. davidmt
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Awesome pics, thanks for sharing. I think I see Peanuts party plates near Q*Bert .

  2. Posted January 20, 2009 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Indeed you do. I’m still a sucker for Peanuts.

  3. Cheesecake Jones
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Those are pretty sweet! You’re certainly lucky to have a mom who so fully supported your addiction.

  4. Posted January 20, 2009 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    The degree to which your mom apparently indulged your video game nerdism makes the Anticipation Incidentâ„¢ that much more shameful. Glad you got to publicly apologize to her. She’s rad. And that Pac-Man cake is genius.

  5. Owozifa
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I gotta ask. What happened to your hair over the years?

  6. Posted January 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    These game cakes look quite delicious. I daresay if Kotaku/Joystiq were around in the ’80s they would no doubt do a blog entry on these as they do with the impressive game cakes of today.

  7. Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    In terms of what? The color or the lack thereof?

    As for the color, time has significantly lightened my hair color from “Weasley Red” to more of a strawberry blonde. Then in high school, my hairline started to recede back to the Alton Brown level that it’s at today. I haven’t really had any sort of significant hair loss in years, so I shouldn’t have to worry about pulling a Sewart.

  8. Owozifa
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    @Phil Theobald
    Just the color. I dunno it was just weird to me because usually hair darkens with age instead of lightens.

  9. Posted January 22, 2009 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Ahhh man, those put my He-Man and Lion-O cakes to shame!!

    I know what my Fiancee is baking me this year for my birthday!

    Love the old pics, being a kid in the 80s was a treat.

  10. Pinhead
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Those cakes are pretty fantastic. Your mom is a wonderful woman.

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