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  • OT What has the world come to

    Had to put this one on.

    The Bad Old Days

    Note: If you didn't grow up in the U.S., or maybe Canada, this probably
    won't make much sense. In the U.S., there have been huge changes in the
    past 20-40 years in terms of what is considered acceptable ways to raise
    children.

    My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same
    cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to
    get food poisoning.

    My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw
    sometimes too, but I can't remember getting E-coli.

    Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of
    a pristine pool (talk about boring), the term cell phone would have
    conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA
    system.

    We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of
    high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training
    athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors.
    can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell
    us how much safer we are now.
    Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids! I guess PE must
    be much harder than gym.

    Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson by running in the
    halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot.

    How much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have sued
    the school system. Speaking of school, we all said prayers and the
    pledge and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of
    negative attention. We must have had horribly damaged psyches.

    I can't understand it. Schools didn't offer 14 year olds an abortion or
    condoms (we wouldn't have known what either was anyway) but they did
    give us a couple of baby aspirin and cough syrup if we started getting
    the sniffles. What an archaic health system we had then.
    Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

    I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was
    allowed to be proud of myself. I just can't recall how bored we were
    without computers, PlayStation, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital cable
    stations.

    I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through the
    denial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each day
    about a mile down the road to some guy's vacant 20, built forts out of
    branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to
    be the Lone Ranger. What was that property owner thinking, letting us
    play on that lot. He should have been locked up for not putting up a
    fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an
    infrared intruder alarm.

    Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got
    that bee sting? I could have been killed!

    We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant
    construction sites and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48 cent
    bottle of mercurochrome and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a
    trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of
    antibiotics and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for
    leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

    We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we
    got our butt spanked (physical abuse) here too .... and then we got butt
    spanked again when we got home.

    Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids choked
    down the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka trucks
    (remember why Tonka trucks were made tough... it wasn't so that they
    could take the rough Berber in the family room), and Dad drove a car
    with leaded gas.

    Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am sure
    that I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we went on
    two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the danger
    they put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family tent.

    Summers were spent behind the push lawnmower and I didn't even know that
    mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without an
    automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive.

    How sick were my parents? Of course my parents weren't the only psychos.
    I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks
    on the front stoop just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that
    she could have owned our house. Instead she picked him up and swatted
    him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

    To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they
    were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that
    we needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes?
    We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even
    notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!
    How did we survive?
    __________________________________________________ __


  • #2
    Phew, sounds like some rough times for sure. I guess count your blessings and be thankfull you survived unharmed, and with out permanent injury lol

    [This message has been edited by AmickRacing (edited 11-30-2003).]

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    • #3
      Betterhalf,
      We used an outhouse untill I was 12 years old and heated water on the cookstove to take a bath once a week. (you considered yourself lucky if you got to bath first )
      To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison

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      • #4
        Betterhalf
        All I can say is: Thanks for the Memories.

        Stephen K.

        Comment


        • #5
          Not all the good old days were good. My boss' older brother died of blood poisioning before the invention of antibiotics. My grandmother had to quit school when she was in the 8th grade to take care of her brother. She sent him through college, she got the pride of doing this for her brother, but struggled all her life to make a living. I have a friend who's daughter had a liver transplant as a baby. She's 18 now, wouldn't have happened just a few years before. My wife was in the hospital for an ailment that would have probably killed her 20 years ago. She's fine now. To quote a famous Indiana basket ball coach. "kids haven't changed parents have." Even with all the stupid things that people do now I still wouldn't want to go back to the good old days. The time we live in now has some pretty amazing things going on technologically, and some pretty amazing kids are going to be the leaders, even if a few of them have parents that are nuts.
          Matt

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          • #6
            G E Ewen Been there done that. Oldest out of five raised on small Alberta Farm. Running water was how fast you could run the buckets. Out house at 60 below was no fun either.

            But we do have some pretty amazing medical break throughs these days but the way we looked at things and expected this was better than kids do now. Its want want want for a lot of them. I am not saying all but some. Yes we have always wanted better for our children and our parents always wanted better for us. But we should all know how to work for it. How to break into a sweat??? Any way my views only.

            [This message has been edited by Betterhalf (edited 11-30-2003).]

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            • #7
              Betterhalf, "been there done that", then you know how to keep your buns from freezing when it's -40 in the outhouse?
              To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison

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              • #8
                I remember us having an outhouse and no indoor plumbing whatsoever. Heat was from a coal burning "bunker" stove and a regular wood fired cookstove, which had a built in hot water compartment, but we used to melt snow in a copper boiler come once a week bath night in the winter months. Light was from kerosene lamps and we had no telephone either. The power came in when I was a kid and I ended up working for the same crew foreman when I became a lineman. I still remember them strapping the spurs on me and holding me so I could stand on the bug pole. I was in grade 4 before I rode a schoolbus too, had to walk about 3/4 mile to school (one way) thru the pastures. Not too bad except when it rained or winter storms (drifts would get granery roof high) or when the creek was high in the spring and it was a challenge when the neighbour had his bull out in the pasture with his cows. Didn`t seem like anything out of the ordinary back then.
                Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                • #9
                  Buck up, chaps! After the apocalypse (2012) it'll all be like that again. There won't be an SUV for miles around, the outhouse will be popular once again, we'll be able to smoke in public places, grab girls' butts when they walk by, and die of natural causes at a much earlier age. It will be the good old days revisited. Then we can tell how it was in the old days when all we did was sit around in front of computers and give the finger to Lexus drivers. Ahhhhhhhhh

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                  • #10
                    LOL It was 35* in the house for the last three nights - no heat or hot water because the stinkin' idiot plumbers could not THREAD ONE END OF A BLACK IRON GAS PIPE after 3 days of trying! It was either because of poor Rigid die chasers (they used up 4 sets) or cheap Chineese pipe with hard spots in it!

                    As for the outhouse, we have one out back with no heat, but with running water for the yardman! It came in handy the last 8 months during our house renovation - portable toilet for the workmen would have cost $100/month! Progress!!

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                    • #11
                      I have lived around the world, son of an attache' to the occupational government of Germany. I served in the army when they were messing in the Vietnamese civil war. I went to grad school in the plains of Canada.

                      During my lifetime we have gone from a few miracle drugs to millions, which I am allegic to most of them now.

                      I remember when TV was only on a few hours a day to now having hundreds of usleless channels.


                      The outhouse during grad school was in -40 weather, the other stove in the house burned wood. The main stoved burned natural gas. The furnace ran on fuel oil, one winter the fuek oil got so thick that it wouldn't flow, so like an idiot I wraped the pipe with a electric heat made to keep pipes from freezing. We lived with the wood burning stove running thru out winter.

                      Today in suburbia, I make things with my hands, I keep the wood stove burning all the time when it is cold out. My life is simpler.

                      If we took the time to read the newspaper, talk to our neighbors and spent the time to smell the roses, we would all be better off.

                      Jerry

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                      • #12
                        I remember my grandfathers crank telephone, his coal fired stove (also the only heat in the 4 room house) the outhouse, his huge garden, the wild berries. My one uncle and aunt never had running water until 1970 - the had the old tin toilets upstairs so you did not have to go out in the -60 weather, but you still had to empty the bucket the next morning, and filling the galvanized steel tub was a lot of work for a kid! The winter nights there were damn cold - no heat upstairs except for a small coal stove - piles of blankets and huddled cousins - you could see your breath it was so cold.

                        We sure have a cushy life now by comparison, but back then I thought I had it pretty good.

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                        • #13
                          My brother got Polio in 1954, not long before the vaccine was developed. The family had to move out of Iowa because he would not survive another winter. He does pretty well now.
                          That was not the good old days.

                          Some things I remember are, metal wheels on skates and skateboards, with no helmets and pads.

                          Everybody in school carried a pocketknife. It was a must have tool, not a weapon or vandalism tool.

                          Bringing my hunting knife that my sister bought in Germany to show-and-tell at school.

                          Bologna sandwiches with butter and mayo kept in our lunchbox for hours.

                          Being disappointed when it got dark outside and having to quit playing with all the neighbor kids.

                          We only had one TV in the house. We got to watch one show a night after homework was done.

                          Having a Mother who served as Girl Scout troop leader, Cub Scout den mother, PTA President, all while holding down a full time night job at the bank.

                          I also remember the air quality and smog so bad they kept us inside for recess on some days. We don't have that problem now since they killed all the heavy industry in So. California with the air control board.

                          Les

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                          • #14
                            Les,

                            Was that one TV Black and Whites?

                            Jerry

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                            • #15
                              thrud -- a "crank" telephone? hah.. you mean one of those pulsed rotary dialer type phones? sheesh haven't seen one of those in... dunno how long.

                              G.A. -- just curious, how DOES one keep their buns warm at -40? (i'm guessing the answer is: "they don't"?)

                              as a gentle reminder, these are fast times.
                              not only have alot of things changed, but people these days *expect* them to. its been, first and foremost, a change of mindset.

                              personally, i think its been the technological boom. something we on this board, more than others, have had a direct hand in.

                              look at it this way: the human race went from INVENTING/discovering the airplane to
                              flying to the moon in the span of *one* human lifetime. (~70 yrs)

                              thats quite a trend to set.

                              don't get me wrong.. i too yearn for the old days of wreckless public smoking and butt grabbing... even though i was only 4 years old.

                              ahhh, the good old days in kintergarden, smoking filterless chesterfields and womanize'n under the monkey bars.

                              -tony

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