Monday, September 25, 2006

Hard times

I've discovered that as my 30s continue to fly by, it's not so much my getting older that bothers me (Cathy's constant mocking and reminding me of how much younger she is than me has a numbing effect after awhile), but that some of my friends are now in their 30s. Well into their 30s.

I mean, the fact that Mireille is now 32 or something is likely far more horrifying to me than to her (by the way, happy birthday). Same thing with Dups and OM. They were fresh face, barely out of high school newbies when I first met them at the Muse, whereas I was a veteran of the paper. Now we're all in out 30s together.


So with that in mind, I post this thing that my cousin Penny sent me on the weekend. I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that my younger cousin is also well into her 30s. I'm sure this has been around, but it just whacked a particular funny bone when I read it the weekend. Because anyone who knows me knows there is a strong possibility that I'm going to be a grumpy old man by the time I hit 40...

I'd attribute it, but it's one of those Internet things that makes the rounds...


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious
diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ...uphill both ways...yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet.

If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look
> >it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter... with a
pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the
mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

And talk of about hardship? You couldn't just download porn! You had to steal it from your brother or bribe some homeless dude to buy you a copy of "Hustler" at the 7-11!
Those were your options!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your
school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections
agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "asteroids" and the graphics sucked ass! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever!

And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and
faster and faster until you died! ... Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad
with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no on screen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!

You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up, we had to
use the stove or go build a frigging fire...imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that Stupid JiffyPop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

-The 30 Something crowd!


Jason said...

A few more:

And when we wanted to rant, we'd have to corner someone and hold their arm so they couldn't leave!
And then we'd talk for hours!

And when America got into a pointless war, it was against Carribean countries who couldn't fight back.

Sorry couldn't resist Craig. And talk to a twenty year old, it makes you feel even older. Ask when their birthday is. Then drink something.

J Consortium said...

All I have to say is....LOL.


Mireille Sampson said...

If it makes you feel better, I only turned 31 on Sunday, not 32. It doesn't really matter to me, but it seems like it might mean a little less trauma for you. I was the baby the of the crowd, even younger than Hans.

Oh, and yeah, I think you've spent most of your life practicing to become a grumpy old guy - but just think, you'll have a wonderfully mocking wife to take you through it all!

Terri Lynn said...

I think something very similar to this could be written from someone who grew up out around the bay directed toward someone who grew up in town.
There are a nice few differences for kids who grow up on either side of the overpass.

Anonymous said...

Hey Craig --

Glad you enjoyed the rant. However I have to point out that your most favorite cousin is not "well into her 30's". I would like to think that 33 is just starting. LOL!


Way Way Up said...

Great post.....made my day. As a 30-something soon to be brought back a lot of funny memories. But I still wouldn't trade it in for the technology of today.

colette said...

Oh for God's sakes Craig, quit whinging. Yeah you, you young whippersnapper thirtysomething.

Try 41.

(BTW, a modem was the size of two shoeboxes and it took nearly all the resources of NLCS in 1976 for me to play Star Trek against the mainframe. So there.)

Andrew from the Sunnydale Retirement Home said...

Logging into the BIGVAX at MUN while in high=shool.
Faking documents with a felt tip to mimic dot-matrix printeres.
ASCII porn.
TRS CoCo, it the TI computer with the 2kB hardware expansion pack.

One side, young whippershnappers!

towniebastard said...

Let's see...

1. Jason, when I wanted to rant, I joined a newspaper.

2. Mireille, I think I would be a much more of a bitter old man if it weren't for Cathy.

3. Penny, I think 33 comes pretty close to classifying as being in your mid-30s. Sad, but true.

4. Colette and Andrew, leave it to you to brag about using even more obscure technology...

colette said...

Oh my yes, it was so easy to doctor a MUN ID with a purple Laurentian lead. Change 65 to 63 et voila! Legal for the Breezeway and the Strand.

And I still have my Commodore 64 and tape drive.

towniebastard said...

Colette, why does the fact that you still have a C-64 with a tape drive not surprise me? I think it's time to let go now, dear...