Remember the early 1990s? I was there myself, and yet there are things about that exciting era that I simply missed out on entirely. Like, say, The New Kids On The Block.

This clean-cut all American singing-and-dancing team of future has-beens captured America's pre-teen heart in a way that it hadn't been captured in, say, five or six months. Was there a barely pubescent girl alive whose heart didn't flutter at the thought of those New Kids? I don't think so, and I have the comic book to prove it.

Yes, "New Kids Fever" was sweeping the nation. Not as annoying as "Pac-Man Fever" nor as deadly as "Scarlet Fever", but disturbing nontheless.

Something about that Donnie - maybe the soul patch, or that rat-tail hair extension - something about Donnie makes the girls swoon. Particularly Heather Hopeless here.

Yes that's right Heather. That's exactly what he said. Don't let reality stand in the way of a good healthy obsession!

Pass out at a NKOTB show - wake up in a baby's playpen. That's the law!

Mom, it's called "psychotherapy". Look it up.

Experts agree there should be a "d" on the end of that adjective, Heather.

Sixty minutes without thinking about the New Kids? Are you kidding? It's 1991- the New Kids On The Block is/are at the moment being plastered across the entire nation through radio, television, cable, MTV, Teen Beat, Tiger Beat and 16 magazines, bubble gum cards, T-shirts, something called "pogs", board games, and even comic books. They literally are inescapable. All one can do is retreat into a safe, dark place and wait for the storm to blow over, just like we did when Vanilla Ice threatened us all.

But Heather is illin' out and knows how to not chill! Did I get that right, honey? That's how you kids talk, right?

Heather's mental Morse Code recitation is interrupted by the spectacle of a big storefront advertising comic books. FRESH comic books, right from the farm!

Yes, that certainly was a close call, Miss Debbie Gibson! Luckily, it's 1991 and nobody buys comic books that don't have five variant foil-stamped limited edition covers printed with REAL BLOOD.

See? They're everywhere. Turn on the TV at any random moment and there they are, New Kidsing it up all over the place, getting all hype and being asked the most incredible softball questions ever asked in the history of TV interviews.

NEW KIDS - OUR POSSE REALLY CARES. Whoever "our posse" is. Hey, whatever, it worked on Mom.

Heather went an hour without thinking about New Kids On The Block, but that's OK because Mom spent the hour thinking about New Kids On The Block. As long as somebody out there is thinking about New Kids On The Block, then New Kids On The Block will always be with us, deep in our New Kids On The Block hearts. New Kids... On The Block. Won't you?

And what do you think would be the best course of treatment for an adolescent girl victimized by mass marketing and unable to distinguish fantasy from reality to such an extent that it is causing her physical and emotional pain? What's the solution?

Why, more New Kids On The Block, of course! Their reign of terror would continue to hold America in its clawlike grip, ceasing only when they were defeated in battle, their brains ritually consumed by the Spice Girls.