Someone asked the other day, ‘What was your favourite ‘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 ‘home,” I explained. ‘Mum cooked every day and when Dad 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 lad 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 we had to wait until everyone had sat down and we’d said grace before we started to eat. Nor did I say 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’d figured his system could have handled it:
Most parents never wore jeans, set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card.
My parents never drove me to school. I walked a mile there and a mile back from the age of five until I was seven and got a bike for my birthday. It had a bell on the handlebar, a carrier and saddle bags but only one speed -slow.
We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 14. It was black and white, and the station went off the air at 10 pm, after playing the national anthem and goodnight kiwi. It came back on the air at about 5pm and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people….
I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone 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.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home but milk, bread and meat were.
All newspapers were delivered by children. My brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week and he had to get up a 6 every morning to do it.
We had to stand for the Naitonal Anthem before a film started. Film stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the films… There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or almost anything offensive.
Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?
How many of these do you remember?
Headlight dip-switches on the floor of the car.
Trouser leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heated on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without indicators.
Older Than Dirt Quiz:
Count all the ones that you remember, not the ones you were told about.
Ratings at the bottom.
1. Sweet cigarettes
2. Milk bars with juke boxes
3. Home milk delivery in glass bottles
4. Party lines on the telephone
5. Newsreels before the movie
6. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the afternoon – and just one channel to watch.
8. 33 rpm records
9. 45 RPM records
11. Metal ice trays with levers
12. Blue flashbulb
13. Cork popguns
14. Washing machines with wringers
If you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don’t tell your age
If you remembered 11-14 = You’re positively ancient!
I must be ‘positively ancient’ – I scored 12 and can remember not only 33 & 45 records, we had some 78s too.