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Old 01-02-2003, 06:38 PM   #31
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Originally posted by Mrs. Edge

If you can believe it, I have NEVER played a video game of ANY kind in my entire life!!! I have just never felt the need.

John still loves his video games...he's a big kid! I wanted to buy him an X-Box for Christmas, but I just couldn't spend all that money right now. He does have a PS2 though...we played that for hours when I was there!

We also love going to arcades. At the ones where you earn tickets, he always gets me presents with the tickets.

"Knight in shining Zubaz."

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Old 01-02-2003, 06:42 PM   #32
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I love video games, but I really suck at them.

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Old 01-03-2003, 04:01 PM   #33
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i was born prior to 1960- i am old! - but damn, I look good.

The good old days weren't

If you really think that things were swell back in the '50s, think again. Let's start with sitcoms, shall we?


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WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. I'm as nostalgic as the next guy, but every time I get to mooning over the past and remembering how swell it was in the '50s, I have a way of snapping out of it.

I think of how much better we have it today. I love today.

Before you read another of those gooey paeans to yesteryear, let me tell you how it really was.

Television sitcoms. Ricky and Lucy slept in separate counties and did not have sex. The censors were very strict. When Ralph Kramden planted a real smooch on Alice, saying, "Baby, you're the greatest!" a CBS censor came out and cut off their lips. They finished the show with waxed lips.

Today: Raymond is hilarious. Raymond and Debra have sex. This is a good thing for youngsters to see. When I was a kid, the message was that married people went to the altar already bored, and for excitement they consulted a neighbor or a co-worker.

Cars. The old cars blew chunks. They required a starting drill, just so on the gas, a lot of grinding noise and, "You flooded it." So you waited. Cars were trouble in wet weather and cold weather.

Cars rusted. Their solenoids failed. Water pumps lasted 10,000 miles. Disc brakes were unknown, and after going through deep water you had no brakes, nada, zilch. For two blocks you crept along with your feet on the brakes to dry out the shoes.

Cars had an AM radio. A V-8 got 10 to 12 miles a gallon, a six-cylinder about 16 or 17. Gasoline was 25 cents to 30 cents a gallon. An hour of bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie in 1958 would buy you 2 gallons of gas. An hour of bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie today will buy you 3-4 gallons.

There was one thing you could buy in the old days that you can't get now: a stripped car. That meant a three-speed column shift and no radio. An AM radio was extra. No headrest, no seat belts, no cigarette lighter, no electric windshield wiper or defroster. It was a car. Volkswagen sold a wonderful car. It went one better - or less: no gas gauge.

I remember how glorious it was to walk into a drugstore or a movie theater on a summer day. The chilled air was a blessing beyond luxury. Why? The cars weren't air-conditioned, and your house wasn't air-conditioned. You went around sweaty all day.

Who remembers prickly heat and the pint of pink calamine lotion your mother swabbed your neck with? Remember trying to doze off at night and endlessly flipping the pillow to the cool side? I remember schools without A.C. and sweat trickling down my neck. After recess we'd put our heads down on our desks, and your cheek would slide down the desk and your head would fall into your lap.

Remember polio? I remember polio: "Get out of that ditch. Do you want to catch polio?"

I remember painful series of rabies shots. In my day when a feral cat bit you and ran off, it was assumed that it was rabid, and then, boy, you were in for it. The newspaper articles were very specific:

"Unless the animal is captured, little Suzy Smith, age 8, will be held down by five professional wrestlers and two strong firemen while doctors, using a horse needle, will inject anti-rabies serum into her stomach every day for 14 days while she screams and screams."

Today they give you a shorter series in the rump or shoulder. Nowadays people juggle rabid squirrels with near impunity.

Air travel: Rich people only. You paid in today's dollars about $1,000 to be bounced around the clouds in a nonpressurized cabin. "Coffee, tea, or would you prefer to just keep puking into that bag?"

God in schools: In Alachua County we had a state religion: fundamentalist Christianity. If not, why was a fundamentalist minister allowed to come to an assembly and tell fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders that, if they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior, they would burn in a lake of fire forever and ever? No, that was not a fluke. Our principal of Stephen C. Foster was Ed Manning, who later became school superintendent.

Radio: AM. FM - just coming in, classical music only for years.

Television: Small, black and white, subject to interference from electrical appliances and even cars driving by. A 17-inch table model cost the equivalent of $1,000 today. Three channels. You kept a pipe wrench on the antenna and sent your brother out to crank it toward Jacksonville while you shouted "Now!" at the precise moment of alignment.

Gloriously, American ingenuity eventually provided a motorized antenna adjuster with presets. You still had your TV going out when tubes burned out, and then it was on your bike down to the 7-Eleven to use the tube tester and buy a replacement.

Interstate highways: Barely started. Auto travel was adventurous and gave you a glimpse of life from town to town. Trips took 30 percent longer, and if you were cruising at 60 you were pushing it. Two-lane roads claimed a lot of lives in horrible head-on collisions.

Yes, I loved the '50s, but in context. We didn't have 2000 for comparison. It was what we knew. I dreamed of a 1965 Mustang. A few years ago, when Ford came out with the 30th-anniversary 1994 Mustang, I drove both: the original and the latest edition. The old Mustang, beautifully restored and maintained, felt like a squishy piece of junk. The new model was taut, muscular and precise.

Sure, take me back to the 1950s if you have a time machine on you. But let me take my toys, convenience and today's medicine back with me.

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