Subject: Are you older than dirt?Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "What was your favoritefast food when you were growing up?""We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I informed him. "Allthe food was slow.""C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?""It was a place called 'at home," I explained. "Grandma cooked everyday and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at thedining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I wasallowed to sit there until I did like it."By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going tosuffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhoodif I figured his system could have handled it: Some parents NEVER ownedtheir own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out ofthe country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore.Maybe he died.My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly becausewe never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).We didn't have a television in our house until I was 8, but mygrandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was inthe living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, youhad to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't alreadyusing the line.I was 12 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called "pizza pie."When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slidoff, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too.It's still the best pizza I ever had.Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was. All newspaperswere delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered anewspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got tokeep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I hadto collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep thechange. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to neverbe home on collection day.Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in themovies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called Frenchkissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did inFrench movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to seethem.If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may wantto share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing. Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?****Found an old Royal Crown Cola bottle at Mom's house. In the bottle topwas a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what itwas, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to "sprinkle" clothes with because we didn't have steam irons.Man, I am old.****How many of the following do you remember?Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.Ignition switches on the dashboard.Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.Real ice boxes.Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.****Older Than Dirt Quiz: Count all the ones that you actually remember!Ratings at the bottom.1. Blackjack chewing gum2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water3. Candy cigarettes4. Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles for a nickel5. Coffee shops with tableside jukeboxes6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers7. Party line phones8. Newsreels before the movie9. P.F. Flyers10. Butch wax11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (GArden 32697)12. Peashooters13. Tin toys14. 45 RPM records15. S&H Green Stamps16. Hi-fi's17. Metal ice trays with lever18. Mimeograph paper19. Blue flashbulb20. "Five and Dime" store21. Roller skate keys22. Cork popguns23. Drive-ins24. Studebakers25. Wash tub wringers26. "Made in Japan" meant a cheap knock off product27. Beany and Cecil28. Howdy Doody29. Mr. Wizard30. Cardboard handheld fansIf you remembered 0-5 = You're still youngIf you remembered 6-10 = You are getting olderIf you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your ageIf you remembered 16-30 = You're older than dirt!
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