"Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small children, as they have already
been stretched and pulled to such a length that the child cannot do much
harm one way or the other." – Robert Benchley
My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same
cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food
® My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it
raw sometimes too, our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a
brown paper bag not in ice pack coolers, but I can’t remember getting ecoli.
® Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead
of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.
® The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell,
and a pager was the school PA system.
® We all took gym, not PE… and risked permanent injury with a pair of
high t! op Ked’s (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic
shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can’t recall
any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much
safer we are now.
® Flunking gym was not an option… even for stupid kids! I guess PE
must be much harder than gym.
® Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson [and provided
comic relief] by running in the halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and
hitting the wet spot. How much better off would we be today if we only
knew we could have sued the school system.
® Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem
and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative
attention. We must have had horribly damaged psyches.
® I can’t understand it. Schools didn’t offer 14 year olds an abortion
or condoms (we wouldn’t have known what either was anyway)
® What ! an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses?
Ours wore a hat and everything.
® I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was
allowed to be proud of myself.
® I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, Play
Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.
® I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through the
denial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each day
about a mile down the road to some guy’s vacant lot, built forts out of
branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to
be the Lone Ranger. What was that property owner thinking, letting us play
on that lot? He should have been locked up for not putting up a fence
around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared
® Oh yeah… and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I
got that bee stin! g? I could have been killed!
® We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant
construction sites and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48 cent bottle of
Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn’t sting like iodine
did) and then we got our butt spanked. Now it’s a trip to the emergency room
followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics and then Mom
calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile
of gravel where it was such a threat.
® We didn’t act up at the neighbor’s house either because if we did, we
got our butt spanked (physical abuse) there too and then we got butt
spanked again when we got home.
® Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids choked
down the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka trucks
(Remember why Tonka trucks were made tough .. it wasn’t so that they could take
the rough Berber in the family ! room), and Dad drove a car with leaded gas.
® Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am
sure that I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we went
on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the danger they
put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family tent.
® Summers were spent behind the push lawn mower and I didn’t even know
that mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without an
automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive. How sick were my parents? Of course my
parents weren’t the only psychos. I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming
over and doing his tricks on the front stoop just before he fell off. Little
did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead she picked
him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.
® To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that
they were from a dysfunctional family. How co! uld we possibly have known
that? We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes!
® We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t
even notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac! How did we ever
® LOVE TO ALL OF US WHO SHARED THIS ERA!