In the fall of 1988, America waited with bated breath to see who would be the new leader of our nation. Actually, not really. George Bush won by a substantial margin over Michael Dukakis, so no one really had breath that was bated. However, there WAS a very close and tense political race being held daily in my home during this time.
My sister Sarah and I had each been given an animal shaped sponge much like the one appearing in the image above. (Who says you need expensive toys?) It just so happened that the two animals were a bear and a duck. Being the quirky children that we were, we decided to name our sponges George Bear and Michael Dukakis. If I remember correctly, the duck was mine and my sister possessed the bear.
To keep ourselves busy, we decided it would be a good idea to have sponge races. We would put on our swimsuits and hop into the shower in the master bedroom of our house. It had a nice big glass door that was perfect for racing. We would soak our "athletes" (the sponges) in suds and then at the count of "3,2,1...go!" we would slap the sponges at the top of the glass and watch as they slowly slid down the shower door. The winner was the animal that reached the bottom first. If your animal fell off of the glass to its death, it could be resurrected and start back at the top but rarely had a chance to catch up with it's competitor. I remember chanting Michael Duckakis! Michael Duckakis! while my sister tried to chant louder George Bear! George Bear! Now being a parent myself, I can imagine our non-stop cheering/yelling must have been immensely irritating to our poor parents. We did this over, and over, and over again.
This is a childhood memory that is very vivid in my mind. I'm not sure why. I have so many questions that I wish I could go back in time and ask younger myself. Mainly, of all the names we could have chosen, why in the world did we choose to use George Bear and Michael Duckakis? That seems very random.
That same year we had a mock election at my elementary school. Due to my allegiance to Michael Duckakis, I cast my vote for candidate Dukakis.