Vernicious Knids

Random musings and snapshots about life, love, travel and everything in between...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Natsukashii World!

So everyone seems to be on a Natsukashii (nostalgia) trip recently. Elsa's Buzz posted a brilliant video clip of The History of Dance, My Float ruminated on the wisdom of Mothers and I got the following email today:

If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

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 . . . through year 'round blizzards. Carrying their younger siblings on their backs . . . to their one-room schoolhouse, where they maintained a Straight-A average, despite their full- time, after-school job at the local textile mill . . . where they worked for 35 cents an hour just to help keep their family from starving to death!

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 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 thirty, 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 damn 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 damn 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 MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

And talk about hardships? You couldn't just download xxx! You had to steal it from your brother or bribe some homeless dude to buy you a copy of "Hustler" at the 7-11! Those were your options!

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! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, a collections agent - you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy 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 ass! Your 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!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed! Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was 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! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel and 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. 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 1980!!!!!

And I'm gonna add...we had to learn to type on manual typewriters and if you made a mistake, the backspace key wouldn't help you, because there wasn't one - you had to use a fresh piece of paper, or some white-out if you had a generous teacher! Ahh memories!

Add your reminiscences to the comments!


  • At 12:14 am, Blogger Bearette24 said…

    I actually loved my mother's IBM typewriter. I used it through high school. I didn't trust computers, I thought they'd lose my papers ;)

  • At 12:18 am, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    I remember being so excited when we first used electric typewriters, they were so quiet and they had the backspace key! The first computers were pretty dodgy with the "floppy" floppy disks, you were probably safer with the IBM ;)

  • At 2:22 am, Blogger Carolyn said…

    We still don't have call waiting. I think it's rude to stop somebody mid-sentence to get another call.

    Plus I hate phone calls and like it when people can't get through. Mwahahahahah

    We didn't have flat irons to straighten our hair in the 80's. If your hair was curly, you were stuck with it. So there!

  • At 3:32 am, Blogger Elsa said…

    Thanks for the shout-out VK!

    Regarding TV, I remember only getting the network stations and UHF. And not only did we have to get up and go to the TV to change the channel, if you were watching UHF, you had to turn the dial and make the picture as clear as possible. If you didn't turn the knob exactly where it belongs, you would get some snow. We used to get channel 38, 56 and 44 in Massachusetts. Channel 56 was my favorite - I used to watch "Creature Double Feature" on Saturday afternoons - like Teenage Werewolf, Godzilla and Gamaron, etc.

    OH, and one more thing - the TV repairman used to come by our house (and everyone else's) every couple of months to replace TV tubes. Don't ask me what exactly they are, but they used to "blow out" every once in a while and needed replacing.

    I remember manual typewriters, but remember when my parents bought me my first electric typewriter - it was a Smith-Corona. Ahhhhh... And if you had a correction, you would backspace and then pop out the black ribbon cartridge and replace it with the correction cartridge, type the correction and then replace again. Those were the days! :)

    Regarding phones, we didn't have push-button, just it took alot more strength ;)

    And, we also had 2-party lines. So, sometimes I would pick up the phone and someone from down the street might be on the phone having a conversation already.

    Am I dating myself here????

  • At 3:40 am, Blogger Elsa said…

    Oh yeah...I also remember that some of the TV stations would sign off late at night (actually, early morning).

    And I remember getting Atari and all I could play was Pong. Do you remember Pong? It was like table tennis/ping pong - very exciting graphics!

  • At 5:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a great post. I remember Pong, I loved it so much.

  • At 9:58 am, Blogger My float said…

    And computers. Who the heck had a computer, except for the nerds. The geeks. And look where THAT got them!

    Oh, bad point really, considering they're running the world today!

    Well, in my day, we didn't have a fancy schmancy playroom to throw all our toys in. We didn't have any toys. We were so poor we played in the streets. THE STREETS! With sticks and stones. And mud. And we were grateful for it all. Damn kids these days, just don't know how good they've got it!

    (Am I showing my age yet?!)

  • At 12:01 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    LOL Carolyn, actually we don't have call waiting either. And though we didn't have flat irons we did have crimpers that totally fried your hair :D

    No problem Elsa, I really enjoyed that video! Not only did we only have free to air tv but it was in BLACK & WHITE! There were no fancy schmancy colours for us. And rotary phones...calling overseas was a real workout! Good call remembering Pong too...ah the lines ;)

  • At 12:04 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Anon: you and me both :D

    MF: Ah the Commodore 64...and true geeks...what memories! Not only did we play in the streets but we built our own toys with those sticks...billy carts anyone?! And you are not showing your age, you're showing your WISDOM :D

  • At 12:44 pm, Blogger Carolyn said…

    I had a crimper. Shudder.

  • At 12:52 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    My best friend's older sister had one...and we thought it was the bomb :D

  • At 11:03 pm, Blogger Lou said…

    I remember when:
    - MTV was about Music -- go figure
    - you had to use walkmans or boom boxes to listen to music on the go, not these new sleek iPods or MP3 players
    - you had to "find" radio stations during trips, not subscribe to XM or Sirrus radio
    - toys guns were fun and simple, not the realistic things that get kids killed by the police
    - SUV's were station wagons converted into 4x4 vehicles by the rednecks down the road
    - motorcycles were for Hell's Angels or other regional gang
    - cartoons were fun, not the violent creations on TV today

    Just some quick thoughts. I'm sure I'll think of more throughout the day. Great post idea BTW!

  • At 11:55 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Great memories there Lou, thanks for sharing - the SUV comment really made me laugh :)

  • At 2:17 am, Blogger traveller one said…

    LOL- what a delicious post! You've got me thinking back now too. Remember the old days when drinking water came from the tap and you didn't have to choose from a zillion varieties?

    Any idea who wrote that piece? I'd like to put it on my blog too.

  • At 9:13 am, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    T1, I guess our tastes were less refined back then! Or maybe we didn't pollute things as much?!

    I'm not sure who wrote it, it was one of those bulk emails that often get passed feel free to add to your blog, I think a lot of people would enjoy this :D

  • At 9:15 am, Blogger Stepherz said…

    How about MTV? It actually played music videos back then, but they didn't have "cool" videos. Flock of Seagulls comes to mind, "And I ra-aaan, I ran so far awa-aaay." This video is a great example of how BORING videos were. The guy stood on a stage that rotated in circles over and over. His hair was the most entertaining visual aspect of the video. I guess it was more about music and talent (WOW!) back then and less about bling, flash, trash, and booty shaking.

  • At 10:01 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Very astute Steph, thanks for visiting!


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