Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"When I was a kid..."

I did NOT WRITE THIS but Priscilla emailed it to me and I thought it was pretty funny.....and TRUE........enjoy!

If you are 40, or older, you might think this is hilarious! ..... and if you are younger here's a history lesson !!
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'm over the ripe old age of forty, 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 10 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! We had the Atari 2600! With games like '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 luckily, 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!

The Over 40 Crowd (of which Z is not, of course :-) ya, well..................


Tom's Place said...

You had a tape deck in the car? Lucky! I was lucky just to borrow the car!

Phones in my area were party lines. Always interesting picking up the phone to make a call and listening to the elderly neighbor ladies gossiping.

You had it better than this old fart, you young whippersnapper!

Craig and Heather said...


I'm not quite 40 yet but I remember party lines. And the seat-belt installment that resembled my mother's arm.

My sister and I drove my dad nuts, stealing his workshop safety glasses and tools so we could play "rock crushing factory" in the driveway. Don't remember why we were doing it, but the different colored powders were kind of neat...

beamish said...

I'm gonna be 40 in 17 days.

When I was your age, we didn't have no danged Vuze or Bitlord. No sir! We had to wire VCRs and tape recorders together to steal movies and music, and we was lucky to tape our favorite new songs off the radio without the damned DJ talking over the intro. People actually worked in radio stations in them days, and you could call them and request songs too! And someone would answer the phone.

What's that you got in your hand? An I-Pod? We didn't have nothin' like that when I was your age. No sirreebob! We had the Sony Walkman and it played cassette tapes. And you were lucky if the batteries lasted you a week.

You little whippersnappers think you're hardcore. You never got to the 255th level of Pac-Man. Hell, your video games don't even have more than 10 or so levels. And playing together? When I was your age, playing with my friends meant being in the same room, in the same house. Most of your friends you've never even met before...

The Born Again American said...

When I was a kid we actually had to go outside and play... You were supposed to be home before the street lights came on and if mom needed you earlier than that, she just opened the front door and whistled...

There was always "A" chubby kid, but childhood obesity was not an epidemic...

Always On Watch said...

And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long.

I grew up on 6 acres (in Fairfax County!), with surrounding open acreage of some 70 acres. My aunt and uncle lived next door -- across two acres of field.

When school wasn't in session and every weekend after I reached 4 years of age, my mother sent me outside with the statement, "Stay outside until lunch time at 11:30." I wasn't old enough to have a watch at the age of 4, so I learned to tell time by the sun. After lunch, back outside I had to go again.

The worst trouble I got into was brushing up against poison ivy.

Obesity? Not a problem with us "country kids." We exercised by playing and working. One of my summer chores was mowing the lawn. No riding lawn mower or self-propelled mower, either!

LASunsett said...

//I'm gonna be 40 in 17 days.//

I was still working out in a gym and running 2 miles a day on a treadmill then. Those were the days.

FrogBurger said...

So true. That applies to people younger than 40 if they come from France where comfort isn't as good as in the US. My family got a microwave very late. It must have been around the early 90s. No VCR ever since there was a luxury tax on it in the 80s created by the damn socialist. No cable. I had to keep myself busy by reading as you said and by building all kinds of things outside and inside. And by biking a lot.

I don't regret anything. It defined who I am: active, energetic, resourceful, independent and creative.

Linda said...

Ah, my kids are in their 40's, so I have you all beat!

We did have TV...the 1st on the block. It was B&W, and I remember the foil on the antenna to get a better picture.

We love Saturday night...dancing in our SMALL living room, to Lawrence Welk. Dad taught us girls, and mom taught the boys.

We even had nylon stocking with the seam up the back. Dad always checked to see if it was straight!

If we wanted to get to school, we either made it to the city bus or walked the 2 miles. If we skipped, WATCH OUT! If we got punished at school, we got more at home. The teacher was always right. We never argued about it.

And, my dad said the same thing about our generation as we are saying about the next one.

Great post, Z!

Z said...

Don't forget, I did NOT write this!
But, I sure do remember it all and it's fun to read your reactions and input.
I don't know HOW long it took my mother after we were all grown and gone to stop from throwing her right arm in the passenger direction if she ever had to suddenly stop! Probably YEARS!

TOM..PARTY LINES, that sounds so quaint to me!

Heather..rock crushing, huh? the colors must have been very neat!

Beamish..Aug 21? Big day! I don't know who you're addressing with "When I was your age" but you've got a ways to go before you're MY age :-)
I think that playing with friends was only friends IN the same room is important and there's something creepy about the new kind of 'friends', but then I'd have to include blogging and that's brought terrific friends into our lives...a friend was telling me something about Cafe Penguin, a children's site or something?? His kids are addicted and it's their social life on the internet...I find that appalling!

Born Again.."opened the door and whistled"...How wonderful! Such sweeter times, weren't they? My folks put us all to bed earlier than other folks did their kids on the street, that wasn't too much fun!

Always, we think this is PROGRESS today, but I think those days were far better, far healthier, far more creativity-inducing in kids.

LA...I know what you mean!

FB, that is a very important comment; you ARE those things because you had to THINK and DO things on your own. I wish parents understood that today.

Linda...The teacher was ALWAYS right at our house, too, WHAT HAPPENED? It engendered respect in us, it made us be careful of what we did, it was good for us. Boy, those were the days, huh?

FrogBurger said...

Not a problem with us "country kids." We exercised by playing and working. One of my summer chores was mowing the lawn. No riding lawn mower or self-propelled mower, either!

That reminds me the good time. I would go help farmers in the field as soon as I could (12), pick up potatoes, onions, cabbage, etc... Up at 5-5 am to leave at 6-7 for an almost 12-hour day and make some money.

Ah the beauty of child labor.

Z said...

FB, they'd have your parents arrested today if that happened. Can't have any kid working hard on his OWN volition, right? (sarcasm!)
Sounds so healthy and positive, what you describe. And you learned the value of a hard day's work. I think that, years ago, that was a phrase we actually used in America! :-)

Karen Howes said...

LOL, Z, I'm 35, but I enjoyed this. I remember what life was like before the internet and mp3 players and torrents.

I remember listening to cassette tapes and, yes, waiting for my favorite songs to play on the radio and taping them, ha ha.

beamish said...

I was still working out in a gym and running 2 miles a day on a treadmill then. Those were the days.


I figure smoking cigarettes increases my blood pressure up to athletic levels.

FrogBurger said...

Z, I'm sure the farmers would have lawyers and gov after them these days.
As soon as I was 14, there was almost no summer break for me. I was working full-time in July in August minus a week or two to go somewhere.

It did teach me hard work.

And you know what? I think these days at the farm help me stay young and fresh in spirit even now.

~Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Leslie said...

Well shoot, I'm not in the forty or over forty crowd, but I sure remember many of those things... Especially surfing with my brother in the "back-back" of the station wagon. Those were fun times. Atari was cool but I would never trade my imaginative outside adventures for any lazy technology play inside. Graveyard hide and seek was so very fun and summer days lasted forever...

Fun read Z.

Debbie said...

Boy is that the truth, kids have it so good they don't realize it.

Right Truth

Z said...

Leslie, oh SURE, and I'll bet you have that 'fun read' without GLASSES, too, you whippersnapper :-)

Debbie...sometimes, I wonder if it really IS better, you know?

Today, I was walking down the main street in Santa Monica and a guy was about to walk into my way from an alley and he gestured with his hand to let me go first...I said 'thanks for the kindness' when he'd reached up with me and said it's nice to have kindnesses these days...he said "I had a good Mom..and I can tell you do by your reaction!"

Nice little experience...I want to mention he's a black guy because I get so tired of suggestions of 'black=bad' ...

I thought it was a particularly interesting thing that he mentioned his mother because remember when I blogged a week or two ago about the hispanic kid who offered to help me bring my groceries into my house? and I said to him "YOu must have really nice parents"?

It kinda figures, doesn't it? nice people usually do. It's just a fact.

Ducky's here said...

Oh, man a GTO. I had a '68 Goat.

Had to give it up, definitely a young man's car.

Ducky's here said...

... in more retro news. The developer of the cheese doodle died today.

sue said...

This really brings back the memories of the good old days.

Ducky's here said...

When I was a kid films were in black and white and we didn't have unimaginative art directors working in color and forcing a boring narrative realism.

Anonymous said...

"You little whippersnappers think you're hardcore. You never got to the 255th level of Pac-Man."

Beamish, after playing pac man for hours, God knows how long, the game had a nervous breakdown. Ha,Ha. I broke the game. Pac Man went crazy and was flying all over screen. I looked at the clock, and it was 2:00 AM. Mr. Pris and the kids(teenagers)were asleep so I couldn't even show them and brag a little.

I confess I was not a kid by any means, and I still think video games are fun.

To Z,s post which is fun, and a blast from the past. My memory goes so far back I'd rather not say how far! Let's just say I've probably forgotten more than you all remember! Yikes!!

My parents took my sister and I to the movies every Saturday or Sunday. No tv yet.

Most were in black and white that's true, but Ducky, I know that Gone With the Wind, and The Wizard of Oz had come out in color in 1939. A year famous for great classics.

My mind is spinning, there's so much I could say about my childhood
I can't seem to land in one place. Suffice it to say, there were things, even at the time, we couldn't have because my folks couldn't afford them.

But, it didn't matter, we had a great time, a close family, and pretty darned good imaginations. One does when he/she has to devise our own games, or make our own toys. Even made our own scooters out of apple crates, a piece of wood and an old skate.

Mainly my sister and I were happy and secure. It was the best of times. If we were deprived, we didn't know it.

Finally, my Dad did tell the tale of having to walk four miles to school and back in the snow. (He didn't say uphill both ways though. Ha!), and we were lucky it didn't snow here. We sighed, and listened patiently, never giving it another thought.

You know, I think we were the lucky ones.


Ducky's here said...

True Pris, and I'd say the art direction for Wizard of Oz was strong and used color to good advantage.

Anonymous said...

"and I'd say the art direction for Wizard of Oz was strong and used color to good advantage."

Yes, and it holds up today as well.


Z said...

The coloration of old black/whites is awful, usually. A perfect example is the original FATHER OF THE never stops amazing me how awful the fresh flowers, etc., look. Terrible.

I have to admit that when I'm in the mood to watch a movie and and flip to TCM, I'm almost always disappointed when it's not black/white. I LOVE the films made then. THE WOMEN, MILDRED PIERCE, NOW VOYAGER, SHADOW OF A DOUBT, I could go on naming hundreds of favorite old black/white films...wonderful stuff. I know the dialogue in most of them I've seen them so often, and still love them!

Ducky's here said...

Mildred Pierce? Rock steady, z, I knew you had soul.

Great use of shadow, expressionism forever.

Anonymous said...

You're right Z. So many good old films. My favorite is Casablanca.

I agree with you about the colorized films. The original is always best. That goes for attempts at remakes too. They can't come close to the originals.


beamish said...


In the original Pac-Man, due to memory constraints, the 256th level was the same as the first level, it went back to normal speed as the level counter stopped at 255. Each level, the ghosts would run faster and the Energizer pills would last less and less time so you didn't have much time to eat ghosts while energized.
255th level was the fastest the game would run. The Energizer pills would only turn the ghosts blue for like half a microsecond.

Good times. Probably my most favorite video game of all time was Tempest. I used to deface and flatten nickels with a hammer to fool the games into thinking I was dropping quarters in them ;)

Anonymous said...

Beamish, I don't remember what level I was at, I only know that when that happened, there were only ghosts, and they were going over the screen vertically, and every which way. They no longer stayed in the maze format.

I can't remember if it went back to it's original speed, it just went nuts and stayed that way. It was over.

I had played so long my back hurt from sitting on the floor in front of the screen, but I was determined to play until I'd used up my lives, and I never did.

Good grief I can't believe I'm sitting here talking about pac man. Kind've funny.

I don't think I ever played Tempest.


David Wyatt said...

LOVE it! So true! I'm 49 & this is right on the money, Z! It reminds me of a comedian's great line! He was talking about this same thing from the other direction, how his Dad was from the WW2 generation, in many ways truly the "greatest generation" & how that by the age of 22 or so, his Dad had fought in a war, built a house & began raising a family. On the other hand, he said that if he went to the bank & the cleaners in the same DAY, he had to take a nap! How true!! What will the NEXT generation look like??

David Wyatt said...

BTW, I also like the Dodge Super Bee!