The way things never were.

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  #1  
Old 08-23-15, 12:31 AM
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The way things never were.

I found this tonight while going through my hard drive looking for things to delete. It's a bit long but I think a good read. My commentary is in blue.


This piece was E-mailed to me in April of 2000. As someone born in 1950, thereby being 50 years old at the time, I decided to affix some dates to it. I’ll first submit the original and then repeat it with my comments.


“I was talking to my dad about current events the other night. I asked him what he thought about the shootings in schools, our immoral president, the computer age and just things in general.”

He replied, “Gee, let me think a minute…I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees, and the Pill. There weren’t things like radar, credit cards, laser beams, or ballpoint pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners and he hadn’t walked on the moon.

Your mom and I got married first – then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother and every kid over 14 had a rifle that his dad taught him how to use and respect.

Until I was 25 I called every man older than me ‘sir’ and after I turned 25 I still called policemen and every man with a title, ‘sir’.

In our time, closets were for clothes, not for ‘coming out of’. Sunday’s were set aside for going to church as a family, helping those in need and just visiting with your neighbors. We were before gay-rights, computer dating, dual careers, day-care centers and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions. Serving your country was a privilege, living here was a bigger privilege.

We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. And time sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not condominiums.

We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt or guys wearing earrings. We listened to the ‘big bands’, Jack Benny and the President’s speeches on the radio. I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with ‘Made in Japan’ on it, it was junk. The term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exams. Pizzas, McDonald’s and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5 and 10 cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a street car and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn’t want to ‘splurge’ you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to send a letter and two post cards.

You could buy a new Chevy coupe for $600 but who could afford one? Too bad because gasoline was 11 cents a gallon. In my days ‘grass’ was mowed, ‘coke’ was a cold drink, ‘pot’ was something your mother cooked in and ‘rock’ music was your grandmother’s lullaby.

Aids [sic] were helpers in the Principal’s office, a ‘chip’ meant a piece of wood, ‘hardware’ was found in a hardware store and software wasn’t even a word.

We were not before the sexes were discovered, but we were surely before the sex change, Billy has two mommies, and pornography in a family home and at newsstands. And we were the last generation so dumb as to think you needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder people today call us old and confused and there is such a generation gap…and I’m only 53! Did you dig that, son?



Now remember, the reminiscing was by the father, everything from the second paragraph on. Remember that he ends this sermon by stating he is “only 53” (years old one assumes). That means that if he is/was 53 in the year 2000 he was born in 1947. That makes this clown only three years older than I. And I DO mean clown as most of what he dictated would apply to HIS (or my) father. If one dissects the claims one will find that this letter is full of errors.

So let’s go over these claims.



He replied, “Gee, let me think a minute…I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees, and the Pill. There weren’t things like radar, credit cards, laser beams, or ballpoint pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners and he hadn’t walked on the moon.

Television was invented in 1926, the first broadcasting was done in 1935 in Germany and 1941 in the US. Penicillin was first discovered in 1896, rediscovered in 1928 and in use by 1941. Polio shots were approved for general use in 1955, when the writer was eight years old. Frozen foods were invented by Clarence Birdseye and first sold in 1930. The Xerox process was first invented in 1938, patented in 1942 and in practical use by 1960. Contact lenses were invented in 1887, made practical by 1936 and improved to common usage by 1949. The history of the Frisbee is clouded but generally thought to go back to a bakery near Yale University in the nineteenth century. The modern plastic Frisbee dates to around 1948. Birth control pills were available by 1960.
Radar was developed prior to 1939. Credit cards are a bit more difficult due to a problem of definition. Proprietary cards, good at only one merchant, actually appeared early in the 20th century. The multi-purpose credit card, good at several merchants, dates to about 1950. Lasers were invented in 1960. The first patent for a ballpoint pen was issued in 1888 although the practical ballpoint didn’t appear until about 1938 to 1945. Pantyhose were developed in the early to mid 1950s although it didn’t become popular until the 1960s. Patents for mechanical dishwashers date to the late nineteenth century with the forerunner of today’s dishwasher dating to around 1940. Electric clothes dryers date back to around 1930. The thermostatically controlled electric blanket was developed in 1936. Air conditioning dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century.


Your mom and I got married first – then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother and every kid over 14 had a rifle that his dad taught him how to use and respect.

Of course this is absolutely false. People have been living together without marriage since the dawn of time. The idea that “every kid over 14” had a rifle is pure unadulterated BS.

Until I was 25 I called every man older than me ‘sir’ and after I turned 25 I still called policemen and every man with a title, ‘sir’.

Well, maybe he did but I assure you that was NOT the norm in my generation.

In our time, closets were for clothes, not for ‘coming out of’. Sunday’s were set aside for going to church as a family, helping those in need and just visiting with your neighbors. We were before gay-rights, computer dating, dual careers, day-care centers and group therapy. The Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense governed our lives. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions. Serving your country was a privilege, living here was a bigger privilege.

Yep, homosexuality was considered a perverse disease and so no Gay person in his/her right mind would ever admit to being Gay. There were many families that didn’t go to church and I could count on the fingers of one hand the times that my family went to church. Further, we didn’t have to wait until Sunday to lend a helping hand or to visit with others. Nor were our lives governed by the Ten Commandments or any other religious dogma. We’ve come a long way since those dark days and we are all the better for it.


We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. And time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not condominiums.

Fast food (hamburger and pizza joints along with Chinese take-out) was common in the mid fifties and later.

We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt or guys wearing earrings. We listened to the ‘big bands’, Jack Benny and the President’s speeches on the radio. I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

FM radio was invented in1933. Magnetic tape recorders were demonstrated as early as 1935 and in use by the late 1940s. The Compact Disc was in commercial usage by 1985. The first practical artificial heart was implanted in 1982. The forerunner of the modern word processor is the IBM MTST typewriter introduced in 1964. The first computer-based word processing program was Wordstar released in 1979. Yogurt has probably existed for thousands of years but the first commercially made and sold yogurt in the US dates to 1929.

If you saw anything with ‘Made in Japan’ on it, it was junk. The term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exams. Pizzas, McDonald’s and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5 and 10 cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice cream cones, phone calls, ride on a streetcar and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn’t want to ‘splurge’ you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to send a letter and two post cards.

Instant coffee was invented in 1889 and has been commercially available since at least 1938. Pizza made its appearance in the US in the late nineteenth century although the modern era of pizza probably dates to around the middle 1950s.

You could buy a new Chevy coupe for $600 but who could afford one? Too bad because gasoline was 11 cents a gallon. In my days ‘grass’ was mowed, ‘coke’ was a cold drink, ‘pot’ was something your mother cooked in and ‘rock’ music was your grandmother’s lullaby.

I haven’t been able to discover just when a person could buy a Chevy coupe for $600 but I have found lots of references to this blurb. Of course marijuana has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years and the terms grass and pot have probably been attached to marijuana for at least a century. Cocaine was legal up until 1914 and the term “coke” was common back then. In fact, the original recipe for Coca Cola actually did contain a small amount of cocaine. Rock music started with rock and roll and dates back to the late 1940s.

Aids [sic] were helpers in the Principal’s office, a ‘chip’ meant a piece of wood, ‘hardware’ was found in a hardware store and software wasn’t even a word.

We were not before the sexes were discovered, but we were surely before the sex change, Billy has two mommies, and pornography in a family home and at newsstands. And we were the last generation so dumb as to think you needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder people today call us old and confused and there is such a generation gap…and I’m only 53! Did you dig that, son?


Remember, these reminisces are supposed to be from a man born in 1947! Heck, more like 1927 or maybe even 1897.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-23-15, 05:25 AM
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He forgot to tell you that the dollar was stronger then & that the social economic pressures of today didn't force families to need 2 salaries just to make ends meet. Nor did he tell you that Keynesian philosophy, of deficit spending, that Roosevelt adopted only worked while profit was greater than the accumulation of debt & by 1980, America was sinking economically. In his time, the cost of a house was about 3 times a year's gross salary. Now it's about 8 times. Workers can't afford to buy the very products that they produce. The numbers don't lie but politicians do.
 
  #3  
Old 08-23-15, 07:15 AM
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That was the past, I like this one about the future:


Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia , formerly known as California White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.

Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.

Baby conceived naturally! Scientists stumped.

Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.

Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.

France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica . No other country comes forward to help the beleaguered nation!

Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.

George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

85-year $75.8 billion study: Diet and exercise is the key to weight loss.

Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.

Global cooling blamed for citrus crop failure for third consecutive year in Mexifornia and Florexico.

Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.

Abortion clinics now available in every High School in United States

Senate still blocking drilling in ANWR even though gas is selling for
4532 Pesos per liter and gas stations are only open on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative. (GULP!)

Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.

Average height of NBA players is now nine feet, seven inches.

New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2030.

IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.

Florexico voters still having trouble with voting machines.
 
  #4  
Old 08-23-15, 12:13 PM
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Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.
that will never happen

Do you remember the weekly reader from grade school? Said we would all be wearing disposable clothes made from paper and the cars would double as planes .... all before the 20th century was over
 
  #5  
Old 08-23-15, 01:37 PM
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Our 8th grade Geography book (first written God knows when) stated while it might someday be possible to put small satellites in orbit it would never be possible for man to go into space. Man couldn't survive the trip. No I'm not that old but the books we used were that out of date. Men had already been in space when I had that class.

Going back further the sixth grade science text book said a trip to Mars was impossible because even at the speed of a DC-3 airplane it would take too long to get there.
 
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