It’s not usually discussed in polite company, but among midcentury middle-class Americans there was really only one true forbidden vice: lamp fighting. Lamp fighting was the practice where two highly drugged or drunk people would strip down naked, enter a dirt ring dug into someone’s basement, and would each be handed a normal table lamp, plugged into long extension cords. Then, they’d fight, often brutally, until one of the lamps went out, or one of them either gave up or, occasionally, died.
Selecting the proper fighting lamp was very important, and had become such a common thing that it was alluded to in car ads, like in this 1967 Pontiac brochure. That couple may look like they’re just buying lamps, but a knowing eye would spot the clues: the robustness of the lamps, the fighting stance the man there is using while holding the lamp, the way the woman is clearly assessing the destructive potential of the lamp, and, most obviously, the grasshopper on the sign, which was underground code for a lamp-fighting location:
Ask your grandparents about it. I bet they have some stories about doing the “lights out dance” with their friends and neighbors.