Dancing Babies and Fish Tanks: Working in the 90s

I swear this existed. Everybody in the Lease Administration department of Hollywood Video in, say, 1998 had this, but when I try to look it up on Google today, I get nothing. There was a virtual aquarium screensaver program that you could download onto your computer with its cool Windows 95 operating system that looked better than any eight-bit game and made all your office mates jealous. Okay, that part seems pretty standard with what other Windows 95 archivists remember. But now comes the part that I can’t seem to replicate on Google.

 Pretty snazzy for Windows 95, right?

Pretty snazzy for Windows 95, right?

This particular “fish tank” came with one lonely fish. But you could “buy” new fish for your aquarium simply by printing a certain number of documents. Brilliant, right? Said the guy from HP Printer Toner Headquarters.

Soon, the office looked like a virtual 800-gallon aquarium and workers were printing entire 30-page draft leases with very little reason, finding a few exciting errors, fixing them, and reprinting entire 30-page draft leases. Printing costs were skyrocketing, efficiency was plunging, and computers were slowing to a crawl.

Thus ended the Hollywood Video Aquarium Screensaver craze of 1998. Do any of you remember this printer/fish tank scam? Or was there something in the water at Hollywood Video Headquarters in the 90s?

 I'll put my hand up. I'll be somebody different. I'll be better for you.

I'll put my hand up. I'll be somebody different. I'll be better for you.

Oh, and that dancing baby? Everybody remembers that. Did you know that it began as a product sample for animation software? From there it circulated on the 90s internet before it was discovered and pared with Blue Swede’s cover of the song “Hooked on a Feeling” (or the Oogachaka Song) by the writers of the television show Ally McBeal. I didn't watch Ally McBeal, but the dancing baby was everywhere at the office. I still think of him every time I hear Adele’s “I’ll Be Waiting” off her album 21. For some reason, the dancing baby pops into by head when this song plays and I dance along with him.

I’ll show you some time.