Welcome to my new serial soundless podcast “When I Was a Kid…” soon to be seen on GBN, the Grumpy Boomer Network. Our plush eastside studio is the one with all the STAY OFF OUR LAWN signs. All our receptionists, both male and female, are named Karen for your convenience. I’ll give you a synopsis of the first five installments.
1) When I Was a Kid, My Pants Didn’t have Holes in Them. Nearly every day I see poor college students walking around campus with big holes in their jeans. Not only did we not have holes, we had patches whether we needed them or not. We also had peace signs and embroidered nonsense. I wonder if these new holey jeans are my generation’s patched jeans just shipped in through time travel with the patches cut off to reveal the highly marketable holes.I wonder if sweat shops in third world countries are slashing jeans with knives all day wondering “what’s up with America?”
2) When I Was a Kid, “Please” Meant “Do It.” In those days there were signs in the library that read “please be quiet.” Few people took it as an option. Those who did, where escorted out by sturdy librarians. Now there are signs up all over town that say “Please wear a mask” because saying “mask required” just makes people lose their minds and start rioting in the streets. Does anybody like to be told to do anything anymore? I know that is a lot of “anyies” but that is where we are heading with the passive aggressive meek-and-mean approach.
3) When I Was a Kid, Our Cars were Inspected: I remember having to search all over the valley trying to find the one gas station that was in a hurry or was rebelling against the government. These were the secret places where you could get junky cars to automatically pass their safety inspection. Now there is no vehicle safety inspection, but your road warrior does have to pass an emissions test every two years. I do enjoy cleaner air. My enjoyment is muted, however, knowing that people could be driving around with bald tires, tortilla-thin brake pads and nonexistent windshield wiper blades. This is one place where I wish “the man” would step back into our lives.
4) When I Was a Kid, All Basketballs Were the Same Size. The Pandemic has taught me that shooting solitary hoops is relaxing. So, for the first time in many years I went to Al’s Sporting Goods to buy a new basketball. Who knew there were so many choices? I expected a variety of prices based on durability, materials and celebrity endorsements. I was not prepared for multiple sizes. When I was a kid all the balls were the same size and the hoops were all the same height. If you were too short to dunk, too bad, work on some other part of your game. The only basketballs smaller than regulation size were the tiny Nerf ball kind that you shot through a tiny hoop on your office wall.
5) When I Was a Kid, We Played Flat Spinning Things with Grooves in Them to Listen to Music. I’m not sure if the term groovy came from there, but it is a good a story as any. Apparently kids these days want to play these again. Well, groovy man, that’s the way that the world (and the music) goes round.
Dennis Hinkamp also wants to remind you to “clean up after your dang dog!”