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Subject: Are you older than dirt?

Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "What was your favorite
fast food when you were growing up?"

"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I informed him. "All
the food was slow."

"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"

"It was a place called 'at home," I explained. "Grandma cooked every
day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the
dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was
allowed to sit there until I did like it."

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to
suffer 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 childhood
if I figured his system could have handled it: Some parents NEVER owned
their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of
the 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 because
we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50
pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).

We didn't have a television in our house until I was 8, but my
grandparents 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 in
the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you
had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already
using 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 slid
off, 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 newspapers
were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a
newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to
keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I had
to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the
change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never
be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the
movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French
kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in
French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want
to 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 top
was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it
was, 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 gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles for a nickel
5. Coffee shops with tableside jukeboxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party line phones
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (GArden 32697)
12. Peashooters
13. Tin toys
14. 45 RPM records
15. S&H Green Stamps
16. Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulb
20. "Five and Dime" store
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers
26. "Made in Japan" meant a cheap knock off product
27. Beany and Cecil
28. Howdy Doody
29. Mr. Wizard
30. Cardboard handheld fans

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age
If you remembered 16-30 = You're older than dirt!

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