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Baby Boomers Remember the Red Ryder BB Gun [VIDEOS]

December 23rd, 2016
[VIDEOS] Baby Boomers remember the Red Ryder BB Gun from "A Christmas Story" as the one childhood symbolic 1950's product icon that many of us can identify as central to our own lives.


Baby Boomers Remember
the Red Ryder BB Gun


Most BabyBoomers would have to have been locked away in a sensory deprivation tank for the last fifty years to not have the immediate association that comes with the mention of the Red Ryder BB Gun

The coveted item is the central prop in the classic, A Christmas Story, as the one childhood icon, the one modern morality play item, the one symbolic 1950’s product that many of us can appreciate, laugh about, or identify as central to our own lives, too.


The Red Ryder BB Gun comes in the adult-like official cardboard gun box that rifles and other more extreme firearms of the day were packed in.  It Is depicted on the front of that box in vivid, alluring colors and details, confirming it is the definitive, be-all and end-all must-haves. 

It encourages wish-fulfillment daydreams of heroism and hero-worshipand makes the most wonderful air-popping, the most satisfying whooshing sound when discharged. 

The Red Ryder BB Gun aptly (to the point of hilarity) described, or defined, by the narrator, expressing his childhood designs on the Red Ryder bb gun, more explicitly as the Daisy Red Ryder 200-Shot Carbine Action BB Air Rifle.” 

Red Ryder BB Gun


The Red Ryder BB Gun was the one tool that would enable Ralphie to fend off escaped convicts with corny cat-burglar eye masks as well as the one item that would allow him to be the sole protector of his middle-class 1940’s nuclear family.

The Red Ryder BB Gun was the most threatening “toy” a Baby Boomer Kid could ask for, over and over again, beg for, throw subtle or not-so-subtle tantrums over, and get one curt, mouth-shutting, dream-crushing response—the warning: “You’ll shoot your eye out.” 

And worse for you (but better for the millions who will witness your delightfully mocking and humorous retelling of the moment), you come damn near close to doing that very thing (what mother would surely consider the real eye destruction…if you didn’t lie and blame your broken glasses on a huge falling icicle).

A Christmas Story - Red Ryder BB Gun


But enrobing the almighty Red Ryder is a wealth of memories—of helping crazy Dad change a tire in a snow storm, of making terrifying mandatory visits to department store Santa, of being forced to wear Auntie’s hokey knitted sweater with the reindeer emblazoning the chest, and, subsequently and intermittently and for no reason whatsoever, being bullied by snot-nosed little creeps. 

And, after cajoling, attempting to manipulate, trying to drop hints, and working up the courage to get the one guy who will get it for you to listen to your rationale…the single, belated moment of actually getting the Red Ryder BB gun. 

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Article by:
Dean Burns
 
 
 
 
 

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