Thursday, February 3, 2011

Growing up without a cell phone

I need to post something and then go to bed.  It is late night here.  Way past my bedtime.  This was sent by my friend Ed and is likely funny if you are 20 years younger than I.  I am old enough to do the 25 miles to school uphill both ways, barefoot in winter routine.  the funny thing is so is Ed, given where he grew up.  Except he rode horseback 100 miles to school every day.  or something like that.

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. yada, yada, yada. 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. They have got it so easy. I mean, compared to my childhood, they live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you have got it.

1) 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!!
2) 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!
3) 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!
4) There were no MP3's or Napster's or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!
5) 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?
6) 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!
7) There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OMG! 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.
8) And we didn't have 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!
9) 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!
10) 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?!?!
11) 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!
12) And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!
13) 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 were doing chores!
14) 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 "shotgun!" in the first place!
You kids today have got it too easy.


  1. My goodness. You grew up the same way I did.

    But, of course, back then you could be sent out with the instructions to "been back for lunch (or supper)" and you could play with your friends, or go for a swing at the park, without fear of being bothered by anybody.

  2. That's a delightful read, Blog Fodder. Brings back so many memories, including a brief stint having a party line and my excitement when we finally got a car that had seatbelts, but only in front.

    It also brings to mind how quickly things such as call waiting, voicemail and e-mail come to be taken for granted and relied on as essentials of civilized life.

  3. I don't think a person would have to be very old at all to write all this. I don't think it has been more than 20 years since I got my first Internet service (dial-up, of course), and I felt like I was on the cutting edge.

  4. Your post reminded me to turn on my cell-phone. Why is it that if I forget to turn the damn thing on, someone calls.

    I was pissed when I had to install seatbelts in my car because they were required on base. If you didn't have seatbelts, you couldn't get a sticker to let you on base.

  5. When I grew up in west-central rural Saskatchewan in the 1950's, we had a small rural telephone company, party lines and a hand crank on the phone. Our ring was two long rings.

    We had no electricity until 1953. No running water or indoor plumbing until 1963 or maybe 65.

    Told you I was old enough and raised in such a place as to be able to do the 25 miles through snow etc routine.


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