*when things were so much better.
Joel: “Mom, how was it back in the days when you were a kid?”
When I was a kid, we were tough. We didn’t whine like kids today. Nobody had “peanut allergies” back then. Sometimes people’s throats just closed up for no reason, and we accepted it. We didn’t get “participation trophies” back when I was a kid. Actually, we didn’t have trophies, period. If you accomplished something, your reward was that no one pushed you in a lake or teased you until you had to move. It separated the winner from the losers.
And no one wore seat belts back then. If you got in an accident, you just got sewn up and didn’t complain. And look, many turned out fine! Many of my friends didn’t, but you would never hear them whining about it if they were still here.
Everyone smoked back then, too. Parents smoked. Doctors smoked. The babysitter smoked. And, let me tell you if you were in a crowded room, you were grateful for the smoke because it made it harder to see all the car-accident scars.
We didn’t bother with sunscreen when I was a kid. You were lucky if you lived long enough to get cancer. We used to throw a block party any time someone got a tumor. Tumors were a symptom of longevity. Suddenly, what, everyone’s too good for cancer now?
When I was a kid, if an adult handed you a shot of whiskey, you drank it. There was none of this namby-pamby “What’s in this drink? Why does it taste funny?” You were lucky to be given anything at all! We didn’t have these nanny laws about kids needing to stay sober all the time. What do they need to be sober for? It’s not like they’re driving anywhere.
No one ever wore helmets in the good old days, unless they were going into combat, and, even then, all the helmet did was slow the bullets down. “The skull is nature’s helmet,” my gym teacher used to tell us.
We didn’t worry about “spaying” and “neutering” our “pets” back in the day. We just had some stray animals that came around for food. And, where I come from, your neighbour’s cat’s sex life was none of your business! No need to change anything.
I am old enough to remember when married couples actually stayed together. When a spouse died, which they did often, the marriage kept going. Widows wore their husband’s ashes around their necks in a jar, and everyone respected that. If a man lost his wife, he got the next oldest sister who wasn’t already spoken for. Lucky broad. Am I old?
That’s another thing—people used to have respect in the old days. We said “Herr,” “Frau,” “Officer,” “Your Honor,” “Warden,” etc. None of these strange kid names like Apple and North and Olive or Moonshine. Or Sparrow James Midnight, whatever the hell kind of name that is.
And there wasn’t any “sleet” or “thundersnow.” There was sun, wind, rain, snow, and that was it. None of these fruity combinations of weather. Sleet is for people who can’t make up their minds about what’s going on. Fruit combination for gender I wonder?
Kids have it so easy these days, with their recovering-mask-bullshit-clean lungs, and thankfully intact skulls after all this time. I would like to take them out back, force-feed them peanuts, and send them into combat. Actually, I tried to do that recently, and am no longer allowed within a hundred meters of the local playground. But, one of these days, those kids are gonna find out what the real world is all about, and, boy, oh, boy, I can’t wait to laugh it up on my back porch while enjoying the fifty degrees November heat that my generation created. You are welcome, Sparrow Moonshine.