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 both ways, in the snow.

I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay that crap 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 darn 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 darn 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 !

There were no P2P’s or bit torrents ! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the darn record store and shoplift it yourself !  Not an easy task when the albums were about 14 inches square.  Ever try wearing an overcoat in the summer ? We didn’t have mp3 players that held hundreds of songs, we had 8 track players that weighed 15 pounds and the tape was the size of « Gone with the Wind » and might have 6 songs on it, if you were lucky enough to even own a player. Or worse you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and then the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and screw it all up ! We didn’t have fancy phone crap like Call Waiting ! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal that was it ! Not to mention party lines where you had to share the phone with 6 neighbors and one old lady who listened in all day then reported everything she had heard. And we didn’t have elaborate Caller ID Boxes on the phones either ! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was ! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn’t know !!! You had to just pick it up and take your chances !

We didn’t have pricey Sony PlayStation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics ! We had the Atari 2600 ! With games like « Space Invaders » and « asteroids » and the graphics sucked ! Your guy was a little square ! You actually had to use your imagination ! There were no multiple levels or displays ; it was just one black 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 !  When you went to the theater there no such thing as stadium seating ! All the seats were on the same level ! If a tall guy or some fat old broad with a big hat sat in front of you and you couldn’t see, you were just screwed ! Sure, we had cable television, but back then there were only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control ! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on !  And when it came to channel surfing you had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel by hand.  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 brats !

And we didn’t have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire… Imagine that ! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot or worse put oil into a pot, pour in the popcorn, put on a lid and then scrape the burned stuff off the bottom. You have NEVER had to scour the blackened bottom of a pan with burned popcorn, not to mention the smell that lasts for days. We didn’t have air fresheners that plugged into the wall either and back then candles smelled like melting wax not like cupcakes baking or pumpkin pie. All we had to hide bad odors was Lysol which made everything smell like the inside of the emergency room. That’s exactly what I’m talking about ! You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled.
You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1970 ! 
Oh yeah, I have one word for you… Pong.

the 40+Generation


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