What dips my stick is reading the phrase, “The bad old days,” in blogs and around the various Innertubes. And I read it a lot. Just because we didn’t have BookFace and texting and phones that show movies in 3-D does not mean the “old days” were bad. How could we feel deprived or miss these things before the rotor heads invented them? Even the National Rifle Association didn’t feel deprived before the Chinese invented gunpowder.
The first iPod
Here is a far-from-inclusive list of good things when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s (many of these are from my ex-pat friend Joyce in Panama):
1. You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped without asking.
2. Air for your tires was free.
3. No one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the ignition, and the house was never locked.
4. Stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.
5. Soda pop machines dispensed frosty cold bottles.
6. Milk was delivered in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers.
7. Mail was delivered to the house instead of a bank of boxes down the street and around the corner.
8. For the two weeks before Christmas, mail was delivered twice a day.
9. There was a newsreel and a cartoon before the two movies.
KIDS, SCHOOL, AND GROWING UP
1. The school threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed, and they did it!
2. Playing baseball with no parents to help.
3. Being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited you at home.
4. Saturday morning cartoons weren’t thirty-minute commercials for action figures.
5. Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot or a peashooter.
6. Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
7. Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for the giggles.
8. “Race Issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
9. It wasn’t at all odd to have two or three “Best Friends.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the old days were perfect because they weren’t. But to me life was simpler, more relaxed, and family oriented. Today, with all the technological time-savers, people are busier than ever before. In my time, one of the greatest time-savers was the invention of the automatic washer and dryer; they really did save my mom time.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION TIME! What do you remember that was good about the bad old days? Take your time, and you may even make a list. (Why do I have this feeling in my gut that we'll be hearing from Robert the Skeptic?)