Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nostalgic Activities Today's Kids Will Never Enjoy

Blowing in Nintendo games, the horrible sound of a dial-up modem. Yeah, things sucked. But that's why they were awesome. And kids today will never know it. From Funny Or Die, by Dan Abramson.

MAKING A MIX TAPE

Kids will never know the satisfaction of putting a cassette in your stereo and waiting for your favorite song to come on, fingers anxiously waiting on the record button. A message to today's children: mixes weren't always made by iTunes based on MATH. We had to work for these.

FIXING CASSETTES WITH YOUR PEN

So you've got your mix tape and you invite your friends over. You announce "Check out this new Naughty By Nature song I recorded from Hot 97," only to press play and hear the worst possible noise. No, I'm not talking about the verse that Vinny raps (that's some Naughty By Nature humor for you). The sound your stereo makes when it eats your tape. The only way to fix it? A pen and tons of patience.

USING THE TV GUIDE

There was once a day where we did not have an "info" button on our remote controls. Instead, we watched the beginning and tried to guess what movie it was. And when we finally realized it was not Major League 2, we would consult our TV Guides. And if we couldn't find it, we would FREAK THE FUCK OUT and blame our siblings for losing it. Yeah, shit was hard back then. And it made us stronger.

USING A PAY PHONE

Speaking of pay phones...yikes. I don't miss these at all. Kids are lucky they no longer have to rely on owning quarters to make urgent phone calls. Though, they do miss out on freaking out squares by dialing a special number and hanging up twice. Yes, that's how you made pay phones ring on their own. Now you know.

BLOWING ON NINTENDO CARTRIDGES

Has there ever been official proof that this even worked? We can all agree that we all looked like idiots treating Excite Bike like a harmonica, right? No big deal. What I wouldn't give to still be huffing that Contra cartridge. Then again, I certainly do not miss that friend who would use his lips while blowing on the game. When he came over, he'd be all "I'll fix this" anytime the game froze, only to mouth-rape Mega Man with every slobbery blow.

WRITING IN CURSIVE

To be honest with you, I'd be surprised if kids even knew how to hold pencils. Everything's on their texting machines and porn boxes these days. But years ago, when we wanted to look professional, we wrote in cursive. And when we forgot how to write a lower case "f," we just scribbled a print "f" and connected it to the next letter, praying nobody noticed. It was a way of life.

(See the rest at Funny Or Die)

I can add about 100 to this:

  • Getting up to change the TV channel
  • Crank-calling people without worrying about getting busted
  • Flipping an LP or cassette to hear Side Two
  • Using a plastic insert to play a 45 on your record player
  • Making appointments to fight after school without fear of getting expelled
  • Having to worry about getting paddled if you got sent to the principal
  • Dodgeball
  • Opening food or medicine without cutting through three layers of security plastic
  • Using white-out
  • Making carbon copies and getting the carbon all over your hands
  • Bottled water = tap water poured into your empty Coke bottle (and it was free)
  • Getting a dime back for every soda bottle you returned to the store
  • 31 flavors of ice cream in one place? That's insane!
  • Playing with unsafe toys that were a lot more fun (lawn darts, pellet guns, etc.)
  • Cars that were made of metal, not plastic
  • Cars that exploded if someone rear-ended you
  • A videogame arcade in every mall
  • A cheese and sausage shop(pe?) in almost every mall. Free samples!
  • Movies that stayed in theaters longer than a week
  • Real butter on your popcorn

What else?

Before you answer, do me a favor and GET OFF MY LAWN!

10 comments:

  1. How about leaving a cassette cued up to the end of the last song so that you can record your new favorite song off of the radio. Good times...

    ReplyDelete
  2. - making homemade ice cream
    - having a party line on the telephone
    - having an extension cord on the wall phone long enough that you could walk all over the house
    - sitting (or sleeping) in the back of a station wagon and riding backwards with no seat belt
    - using a manual typewriter
    - physical card catalogs in libraries

    Great list, Cary!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Having to unplug all the phones in the house except the one in my room so no one knew when my boyfriend called late at night.

    Scooting over on the bench seat in my boyfriends car so we could snuggle while he drove.

    Leaving the house Saturday morning, playing with friends all day around the neighbourhood and coming home for supper WITHOUT my parents worrying about where I was.

    The smell of the blue gestetner ink on the test the teacher handed out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anxiously waiting for Saturday morning to watch CARTOONS!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Simple.... V.C.R.

    (And we all had that one friend who used Beta)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Waiting by the phone for an important phone call. (Your boyfriend, or, more accurately, your math teacher so you could pretend to be your mother.)

    Discipline (these days they call it "Child Abuse". Whatever..)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Getting up to change the TV channel
    Heck I literally can't do anything but turn the TV on or off without the remote any more. Not lazy, there's no other buttons on my TV other than the off/on switch.

    Crank-calling people without worrying about getting busted

    I tried explaining crank phone calls to my nephew once, and he was stymied. "Why didn't they just look at the caller ID?" When I told him there was a time BEFORE caller ID, he got more confused. "How did you know who was calling you then?" I said, "You picked up the phone."


    Making appointments to fight after school without fear of getting expelled

    To point out how old I feel, I can remember a time when you could do this in front of teachers and unless it was the ex-hippie art teacher they never said anything about it. Except for the shop teacher, he'd always ask where it was happening so he could make sure no one fought dirty.

    Having to worry about getting paddled if you got sent to the principal

    It never happened at our school, but mainly because our principal was built like Andre the Giant. Anytime kids did stupid shit bad enough to justify a trip to his office just the threat of being sent there made them apologize and offer to do anything to get out of it.

    Dodgeball

    I still remember teaching three of my nephews how to play this game. They relayed that they played a similar game at school. Only they used those Koosh balls, and they were specifically told NOT to aim for the face or crotches of their classmates.

    Opening food or medicine without cutting through three layers of security plastic

    Yeah...thanks a lot Tylenol poisoning asshole.

    Using white-out

    Anyone else accidentally get high off the fumes, or was that just me?

    Making carbon copies and getting the carbon all over your hands

    The day wasn't complete if you didn't manage to leave a clear hand print on a buddy's clothes after handling that stuff.

    Bottled water = tap water poured into your empty Coke bottle (and it was free)

    I still remember the first time my nana saw that in a supermarket. She laughed and pretty much said what you did, only she swore in German a few times at the idiots who spent money on it.

    Getting a dime back for every soda bottle you returned to the store

    The local beer distributor promised kids twice that for every bottle they'd bring in. He'd even keep a tally and swear he'd pay you at the end of the month. But come the first of the month he'd chase all the kids out saying they weren't allowed in because he sold booze there. And then he'd wait until the next batch of dumb kids would fall for it.

    Cars that were made of metal, not plastic

    I still remember when the old fogey down the block drove his 1958 Chevy Nomad through his neighbor's brick wall at the end of his driveway. Other than a few scrapes to the paint there wasn't any damage to the car.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember having to go outside to manually turn the TV antenna for reception. We had four channels, and that was it. Two of them came in when the antenna was turned one way, the other two when it was facing a different way. I'd sit inside while my brother went out and turned it and yell, "Okay!" when the picture came in clear. You also could not use a hair dryer or the microwave without it disrupting the TV reception, and occasionally CB radio chatter would bleed over into the TV signal.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Having to get up to change the channel: That's what I had my little sister for :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I remember stretching the telephone cord into the pantry so I could talk "privately." It was a banner day when I got a Princess phone (in my signature yellow, of course) for my birthday. I thought I was the shit.

    ReplyDelete

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