Chuck Martinez-Brandon

Last month brought with it another devastating blow for Generation X.

It brought with it another black mark for 2020 when we found out that one of our original guitar heroes, Eddie Van Halen, lost his battle with cancer.

This writer took the opportunity to relive those days from the 1980s and stroll down memory lane with Van Halen, thanks to some modern day technology. I fired up my favorite music streaming app and listened to all my favorite Van Halen tunes, along with hours worth of others from the greatest decade ever.

Now those of us who lived, or are still living, in the 80s will tell you there was more than rock-n-roll filling our boom boxes 30 years ago.

The 80s was also the decade where pop music also came into its own.

The decade produced some big hits with some great singers. It also produced some great tunes with great singers that weren’t actually singing.

Wait, what!?

That’s right, this marks the 30th anniversary of us 80s kids finding out that things aren’t always what they seem.

Milli Vanilli released their first album in March of 1989 and Grammy Awards soon followed. But in December we found out that the smooth-looking, dreadlock-donning duo of Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle on it.

Instead, it was a trio of frumpy bald guys that turned out classic 80s pop hits like “Girl, You Know It’s True,” and “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You.”

But Milli Vanilli wasn’t alone, C+C Music Factory also tried to pull the wool over our 80s eyes by taking another eye-pleasing model and placing her in their videos in place of singer Martha Walsh, who actually provided some power vocals on their signature song “Gonna Make You Sweat.”

C+C also had success with the song “Things That Make You Go Hmmm,” and yes that was one of the stops on my recent musical journey.

That song in particular always made me chuckle.

So 30 years later what makes me go hmmm nowadays?

The first is why do we call intersections with a stop sign on all four sides a four-way stop?

It seems to me that we’ve turned them into something else.

The first vehicle stopped at those intersections is supposed to be the first to go through. In case of a tie the vehicle on the right has the honors.

But we’ve turned them into a friendly fest where everyone waves at everyone else. Now, I’m all for waving to other motorists, but sometimes these intersections are downright tiring with no one going through the intersection as we all sit there waving to each other.

Something else that has made me go hmmm or rather ewwww during these pandemic times is a recent random report that saw dental hygiene of Americans improve during the past six months.


Some of us have gotten tired of smelling our own breath.

That’s right, since we’ve all been required to wear a mask while out in public, we’ve also been forced to inhale our own halitosis, forcing many to take those few extra minutes a couple times a day to brush, floss, or rinse.

But it isn’t just the American people that should worry about hygiene during these trying times.

Of all things, we also should worry about the cleanliness of our ... debit and credit cards.

I had never even thought of cleaning my credit cards, but I learned that those high-tech chips that we have to insert into the card readers now-a-days can get dirty too, causing them to malfunction.

Not to mention people touch their cards, their cards touch the card readers and your cards touch the card readers and then you touch your cards.

So wiping off your cards, may not be a bad idea ... hmmmm.

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