back in the day

Apr 20, 2008


old tricycle
Originally uploaded by zen
Why do i dislike the phrase "back in the day" so much? Perhaps because it isn't exactly a distinct time. When the Beatles were still together? Before transformers were creatures? Before the industrial revolution? When cats were considered gods (and they haven't forgotten this)? The "good ole days" is also an indistinct time period, but it has a sense of nostalgia, of fondness for times gone by...

Besides, too often what is "back in the day" to young people isn't all that far off in my mind. Jon at work used "back in the day" to indicate a time when MMORPGs were text based. Jeez! It wasn't even that long ago when there wasn't computers and we were playing D&D with little metal painted figurines.

Well, i'll tell you what. Back in the day was a long long time ago! I remember when houses cost $16 and if you wanted a pool in the back yard you were probably going to use up the better part of a $20 bill. Lawn mowers cost a quarter and they paid you to take gasoline to fill it. Back in the day the only bottled water was distilled water for your Sunbeam steam iron. The year before that we had to keep irons in a little metal plate in the fireplace. People and trees were taller, too. People lived to be several hundred years old and sometimes had bark instead of skin. Sometimes couples lived so long that they actually merged into one being. We wove furniture from mats growing in the swamps. It was a crazy time, too. People didn't abuse other people's children, only their own. And sick people tried dying first and if that didn't work they got better. Houses didn't have windows, only slits where you could poke your rifle out to shoot at your neighbor. Social security numbers only had 4 digits and telephone numbers were words. And phones were as big as sofas. Sofas sometimes occupied whole rooms and you could lose children down between cushions. Usually they'd survive on crumbs and spilled milk and crawl out as teenagers. I remember a friend's sofa that had a ladder that you had to use to get up on the thing. These were days before remotes and you had to climb back down to the floor to walk over to the TV to change the channel. Which wasn't very often because we only had 3 channels and none of them were the Weather channel. Sometimes you had to wait all day to find out what the weather was going to be like and by then it was too late. Shows were in black and white and before that, only black. We had pennies and half-pennies and quarter-pennies and there was even a coin called a 'nit' that wasn't worth anything at all! I remember the first time i saw a hundred dollar bill. It was a gift for my grandmother from the family and we blew out all but one candle and let her open the envelope and watched her eyes pop as she opened it up. That hundred dollar bill was bigger than a Mcdonald's placemat! And heavy too. Dad had to carry it to the bank for her.

All that and jokes were funnier, too. I actually look forward to looking old and saying stuff like this to young people. It certainly was magical "back in the day!"

7 comments:

we all need those front porches on our offices so we can rock in our chairs and talk to our neighbors. Like back in the day

hey - good to see you back!

Jessica said...
April 20, 2008 at 6:59 PM  

O/T

Zen,

Is there supposed to be an Asheville Media thing this weekend? I haven't heard a thing...

Gordon Smith said...
April 25, 2008 at 6:42 PM  

Hahaha! My favorite line is, "It was a crazy time, too." As if all the stuff before it wasn't.

Another nice post zen,

-Brant

Me Again said...
April 26, 2008 at 9:22 PM  
oakleyses said...
July 5, 2016 at 8:34 PM  
oakleyses said...
July 5, 2016 at 8:36 PM  
oakleyses said...
July 5, 2016 at 8:37 PM  
oakleyses said...
July 5, 2016 at 8:39 PM  

Post a Comment