Friday, May 28, 2010

Growing up 'without...'

Dr. Jill sent me this. I had to edit it some to fit my personal experience. And, don't bother to ask. I have no idea who these people are in this picture. But they're in San Diego, and the kids are probably about the age of me and my siblings in the 70s.

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill...Barefoot... BOTH ways... yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!  

 But now that I have reached the ripe old age of 50, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.  You've got it so easy!   I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!  

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet.  If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!  

There was no email!!  We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen!   Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there!  Stamps were 12 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us.  As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes!  If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!  There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car...  We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby!  Dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting!  If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OH MY GOD !!!  Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!!  And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right.  Please!  You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was!  It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!!  You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics!  Even when Atari came along, we only had games like 'Pong,' 'Space Invaders,' and 'Asteroids'.  Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!!  And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... Forever!  And you could never win.  The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!  Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing!  You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!!   NO REMOTES!!!  Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on
Saturday Morning.  Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK
for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-finks!

And we didn't have microwaves.  If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove!  Imagine that!    

And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long.  Oh, no, no
electronics to soothe and comfort.  And if you came back inside, you were doing chores!  

And car seats - oh, please!  Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on.  If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!  

See!  That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten!  You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1970 or any time before!




  1. But, back then you could go to school blissfully ignorant and get by on good looks alone. There is more to learn today by the end of fifth grade than we had to learn for a Master's degree. Besides, try taking the tests they have today every year. MUD

  2. President Perfect says this past year was harder than any one that we have had since the 1930s.

  3. MUD, you were obviously a lot better looking than I me nowhere! And I don't remember school being something I'd consider easy at all. Of course, I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    I see the tests that my kids have taken, and I'd consider them pretty easy. Of course, there are classes that they took in school that we never would have, etc. There is a lot more to learn today. Especially in "History." Been a lot more of it since then.

    Paul, the guy is truly feckless! But, I'm almost in agreement with him. But, I'd say it's been the hardest year since the late 70's...hardest on my nerves, anyway.

  4. And if you wanted to watch tv aftr Johnny Carson, you were SOL because the tv stations "signed off" at midnight and all you could see was that funky target-kinda thing with the Indian chief in the center and the "BEEEEEEEEP." And there were only 3 networks from which to choose, until PBS came along.

    But, a nice man brought milk to your doorstep and the garbage men hauled your cans from the backyard to the truck and back to the backyard. And you could see a whole field of stars at night, even in the city.

    So, I guess we had it ok, too.

    Sort of -- I really like my DVR.

    GREAT post!

  5. Andy, I'm so old I think your generation had it easy! Great post and I linked to it.

  6. Moogie, we had three TV channels, kinda.

    The NBC affiliate was about 80 miles away in Texarkana. If the weather was just right, you could make out a snowy image from time to time. Didn't kill us, though.

    Dan, I know you've got 20 on me. And, I know for certain that we did have it easy. We did have AC at the house (though not at school), and electricity and shoes. Nyuk!

  7. NO REMOTES!!!

    I call BS. There WERE remotes... I know. I was one. As in "Bucky! Channel Four!" "Yessir!"

    And... 12 cent stamps? You Puppy, you. I'm with Dan, coz I remember three-cent stamps. They were purple and they tasted bad.

    But... on the whole this piece is pretty much true. And I swore the same oath about becoming an ol' fart and not ragging on my kids/grandkids. Unless they frickin' ASK for it.

  8. Heh! Oh yeah, Buck! What was really cool was to be assigned the job of standing next to the TV and holding the rabbit ears for a half an hour, because it made the NBC affiliate KTAL signal watchable to the rest of the family.

    Daddy assigned "turns" to each of us.

    Heckuvadeal, huh? He owned a TV store, and we didn't get an aerial until I was about 10.

    I really don't remember 3 cent stamps. But, it seems that I do remember nickel post cards.

  9. I'm convinced that we had it easier then today's kids. They got everything money can buy but they're bombarded with adult stuff all the time and can never really escape and just be kids. We didn't see our parents till we were called in for supper.

  10. You make an excellent point, Barry. The times were MUCH simpler then. Probably even more so for you Africans than for us 50-60somethings, living on the verge of technological upheaval here in the U.S.

    Those WERE good times. We WERE allowed to be kids. Of course, THIS kid had to cut a lot of grass, and sweep a lot of floors, and clip grass with hand clippers, and weed and hoe the acre of garden, and feed and water the cows, and yada yada yada.

    Looking back on it all, I don't think I could have planned a better childhood for myself.

  11. Red, Nyuk! You made me laugh. And fart. That happens when you reach a certain's hard to do one without doing the other.

    Just sayin'...

  12. Laugh...fart...excuse me! :)

  13. Andy, starting to do hard work at a young age gave me more "self-esteem" than our computerized youth who may end up disappointed when they realize that they have over-estimated their marketable skills.

  14. That's so true,I remember when pong came out. We sat around saying "wow, it's like real ping pong"! One thing you never said back then "I'm board". Than god I grew up back then. I would hate to live in this utopia. Gangs, parents on Crystal meth.Kids on Meth. We were in Utopia.

  15. Barry: Agreed! We're seeing it now.

    Jon, thanks for stopping by. Yes, in many ways it was.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?