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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have......
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. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets. We played with toy guns, cowboys and Indians, army, cops and robbers, and used our fingers to simulate guns when the toy ones or my BB gun was not available.
Some students weren't as smart as others or didn't work hard so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. That generation produced some of the greatest risk-takers and problem solvers. We had the freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
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. I 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 stayed in detention after school and caught all sorts of negative attention for the next two weeks. 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 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) ... and then we got our 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 a 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!
post #2 of 7
Ryel, are you my long lost brother?

You said, “what an archaic health system we had then.” Yeah and that wasn't the half of it. My mom used to have to drive at least one of us to the ER once a week for our weekly cast or stitches, or debridement or, well, bloodletting. I don't think we slept well with all the blood we were intended to have so we spent copious hours devising dangerous stunts to make sure we never had too much at any one time.

Hard to believe the negligence of the doctors back then! They never once asked my mom, or dad whether they were beating us. Hell they were on a first name basis with the entire staff. We were one of the only families I knew that got freebies, probably because we had already sent all the doctors kids through college, and put a good dent towards their retirement plans. Today my parents would have spent many a day in jail waiting for the Child Welfare Agency or whatever it is called to "evaluate" their fitness to be parents.

I am not sure I could be a kid now, with the ban on playing down by the crick, and no riding on the garbage man’s truck as he paraded down the street slinging garbage. Or, stealing away late night, "borrowing" the neighbor’s car and doing cookies in old man "Leary's" yard. Seems like kids today live in a sterile, electronic world.

That's why I make my little rat-a-tats worship God on Saturday's from the cockpit of a pair of skis. Outside in the fresh air, plenty of trees for the boy to pee behind, plenty of stumps and rocks to jump, lots of chances for a good old-fashioned fracture (just ask jamesdeluxe about that). And cold, cold to make you really need a warming hut. Will it work? You just never know, do you? [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Maddog1959:
Ryel, are you my long lost brother?

probably not but I will try to fill in for short periods while they are in recovery. I couldn't keep up on a full time basis.
post #4 of 7
Hell Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good call. Also remember grabbing on to the neighbors electric fence to see what would happen, and then convincing my best friend to pee on it.
post #5 of 7
And what about that "cure all" castor oil. You get a headache. Dad says"nothing a good ole dose of castor oil won't fix". Get a hangnail. "Nothing a good ole dose of castor oil won't fix". I think I even got it when I had diahrea! I had to take up sportscar racing to finally prove to my dad that there were other uses for castor oil. That were safer.
I guess that it was a good thing that my wife and I decided not to have children. It would have been" you look a little tired, son. Go out to the garage and bring me that can of 10W-30 and a spoon." Mr.C
post #6 of 7
Great post!! Kids these days just don't know what they missed out on. Too much time and not enough imagination. For me a fond memory was the freedom that I got when I learned how to ride a bike at 5. We lived on an air force base and I would disappear first thing in the morning and not come home until dinner or dusk which ever came first. Did my mom ever call the MP's or worry about me...I think not. Now junior is out of sight for 30 mins and there is a full scale manhunt. And to think that it was even better when our parents were kids!!
post #7 of 7
Originally posted by dahskibum:
Hell Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good call. Also remember grabbing on to the neighbors electric fence to see what would happen, and then convincing my best friend to pee on it.
I'll never forget youngest brother Chris crawling under the neighbors electrified barbed wire fence "to pet the dog." He got hung up on one of the barbs and the damn fence would give him a jolt everytime he rared up to crawl out. He must have been under there hollering and yelling for a good half hour. Yes, Scott and I just watched from about 10'. We were more than glad it was him and not us!! And it was the cheapest show in town.

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