1. You felt conflicted between Bruce Aune and Ron Steele.

It really depended on the day and how Bruce’s mustache was doing.

2. Hearing “2008” still reminds you of sandbags.

There was Obama, a pregnant man, Brett Favre leaving the Packers — but none of us really remember those things (especially the Favre part). 2008 will forever be water-logged in our memories: the year we found a new sense of unity in each other and a newfound reverence for Mother Nature.

3. Two words: TUGBOAT TUESDAY.

The best $1 you’ve ever spent.

4. You had to go to the Cattle Congress every year.

The name always seemed like either a marketing fail or some very sneaky social commentary on someone’s part. Are there actually cattle there? I wouldn’t know, I only ever went for the mini donuts.

5. You crossed your fingers every time you walked into Cup of Joe.

The odds of there being an empty table were never in your favor. Maybe you can just stand next to one of these mannequins and play it super cool?

6. You were inconsolable when Suzy Q’s closed.

RIP strawberry-orange twists. I still haven’t fully completed the grieving process. Thankfully I have 4 Queens to drown my woes and my LDL scores.

7. The best school day was the one spent at WCP/BHCT.

Other kids got to go to places like the Griffith Observatory or Hayden Planetarium, but noooo — you got to go to the Indian Mounds and to a creepy clock museum, if you got lucky. I suppose it was nice to see a hill, but that’s about it. The bar may have been set pretty low, but annual theatre day was still epic. An afternoon out of school, live theatre, and no Amish clocks or slight geological differences in terrain I have to stare at for 3 hours? I will gladly pack my lunch for that.

8. The best restaurants ended in -berry’s.

No meal is a real, square Midwestern meal unless it’s eaten on a double-decker bus. Huckleberry’s was the stuff kids’ dreams are made of times a billion and subsequently slathered in delicious cheese sauce. And then when you were feeling adequately guilty, you could go work it off by walking through the red and white doors of Newberry’s and work your forearm holding up that cone.

9. You’ve stood on the corner of Charles and Manson streets just for fun.

Life was simpler back then, really.

10. You were a little sad when you technically outgrew the Imaginarium.

Sand pendulums, am I right?! Whose seven-year-old can I borrow for an afternoon?

11. You remember when Lost Island opened.

It felt like you were finally on the map. Water! Accessible one-third of the year! Huzzah! And the other 8 months can be spent across the street gambling! Double huzzah! Thank you, Shaulis Rd. Thank you for being a haven for habitual and hydrophilic hedonists.

12. You had a pipe dream of buying Johnson’s yourself just so someone would step up.

If I had a million dollars, it would be, like, the 4th thing I would do.

13. You’ve waited hours in line for a 32-second roller coaster ride.

It might be 33 seconds, I’m not sure. Either way, the Dragon was totally worth the drive to Adventureland, the wait in line, and the second wait in line when you demanded to your parents that you were going to ride it twice in a row. Hey now, dad, is one minute four seconds of pure intense joy too much to ask? That’s what I thought. I’ll go find you at the Silly Silo, and I promise not to puke this time. I swear.