When I was your age …

You spoiled little shit with a warped sense of entitlement. As you skate down the middle of the road in your unlaced hundred-dollar sneakers while staring at messages on your iPhone, I’m driving behind you seriously considering nudging you back to reality with my bumper. Do you have any sense of what your parents–who you supposedly hate for never letting you do anything–went through when they were your age?

iPhone? We didn’t have any damn iPhone. We had party lines and greedy siblings who sat on the phone for hours listening to a friend breathe because there was no text messaging back then. In order to place a call, here’s what I typically had to go through:

“… and Donna told me Keith has crabs … wait … did somebody just pick up the phone? Hello-o? I’m on the phone.”
“I know you’re there. Get off the phone. Maaaah-ahm, Phil won’t hang up.”
“Phil, hang up the phone until your sister is done.”
“But, Mom …”

Ten minutes later …
“… kissing and were using tongues. Ew! I know! Hold on, I think my creepy, retarded brother picked up again. Hang up the phone, dickbreath!”
“Mom, what’s a dickbreath?”
“Sis called me a dickbreath.”
“Young lady, don’t make me come in there and take away your phone privileges.”
“But, Mom, he keeps picking up and being nosy.”
“Phil, stop interrupting your sister and you stop calling him names.”

This would go on for hours and all I wanted to do is check if my buddy got Reggie Jackson’s rookie card. Imagine that, you little prick.

Plus, you get to throw birds and shoot zombies on your phone. You know what we did back in my day? We played Pong and Pacman. Bink bong, bink bonk. Wah ka wah ka wah ka. Does that sound like fun?

And, what’s that hanging out of your back pocket behind your knee? Is that a Powerbar? Poor baby. You know what candy I had access to?

  • Necco Wafers – Tasted like drywall.
  • Sweet Tarts – Made my mouth bleed.
  • Candy Cigarettes and Gum Cigars – What a great fucking idea!
  • Flavored sugar in a paper straw, which clogged before I was halfway through.
  • Chewable wax filled with sugary water.
  • Tums – Easy to steal, tasted like candy, gave me the squirts.
  • Baseball Card Bubblegum – The flavor lasted four to five seconds.
  • Bottle Caps – Eroded the roof of my mouth like hot pizza.
  • Candy Charms – We would wear them on our wrists all day. Very unsanitary.
  • Jujubes – Cavity filling extractors.
  • Razzles and Blow Pops – Kind of candy, kind of gum, kind of gross.

Look at the toys you have nowadays. I had clip-on skates (which fell off constantly), a worn down basketball, and a wiffleball covered in tape that we’d hit with broomsticks. Fun stuff, huh? We amused ourselves with Clackers, which would splinter and send shards of glass flying. Then we’d borrow Pop’s magnifying glass and burn things, including each other. Yet, the most fun we had involved a roll of cap gun caps, a hammer, and a sidewalk. We’d slam the caps with the hammer, they’d explode sending bits of gunpowder, paper, and pavement into our eyes, and our ears would ring so loudly we couldn’t hear our parents calling us (by yelling, not by phone) home for dinner.

Oh, my childhood was a blast.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.