GETTING OLD

"Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "what was your favorite 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 'at home," I explained. "Grandma cooked every day and
when Grandpa 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 kid 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 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
figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf
course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years
they had something called a revolving charge card.

The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND
Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we
never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds,
and only had one speed, (slow). We didn't have a television in our house until
I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black
and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The
top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass.
The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire
trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens
taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called "pizza pie." When I bit into
it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down,
plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I
ever had.

We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was
my grandfather's Ford. He called it a "machine." I never had a telephone in
my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it 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 was. All newspapers were delivered by boys
and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week.
It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM
every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers.
My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to
keep the change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to
never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies.
Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and
they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies.
French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them. If you grew up
in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of
these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if
they bust a gut laughing. Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?

Author Unknown
Getting Old