Saturday, 29 January 2011

Don't Know They're Born...


                            He must have been a beautiful baby....

When I was a child in the 1960s/70s adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up tales of walking twenty-five miles to school every morning....uphill... barefoot... in three feet of snow BOTH ways...yadda, yadda, yadda. 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 my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it...

But now that I'm hurtling towards fifty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. Youngsters today might disagree - but they've got it easy. Compared to my childhood, they 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...

When I was a lad 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 things called books...

There was no Facebook. If you wanted to stalk someone you secretly fancied you would have to wait until it got dark and hide in their garden...erm, so someone once told me...

There was no email. We had to actually write a letter on a sheet of notepaper - with a pen. Then you had to walk all the way down the street and put it in the postbox, and it would take a week to get there (two weeks if you lived in Dalkeith) Stamps cost just pennies...

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our backsides, as the did the local bobby on the beat. And teachers at school would take a large leather strap to belt us with. Nowhere was safe...

There were no MP3's or Napsters or ITunes. If you wanted to steal music, you had to take a bus to the record shop and nick a record. That's a r-e-c-o-r-d - a big round black vinyl thing....

Alternatively you could wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the likes of Tony Blackburn or Noel fecking Edmonds would usually talk over the beginning and feck it all up. There were no CD players. We had cassette players. We'd play our favourite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come out chewed up rendering it useless.

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting on the phone. If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal - that's all.

We didn't have fancy Caller ID either. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know. You had to pick it up and take your chances...

There weren't any mobile phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone tweny four hours a day. And then there's texting - no, don't get me started...

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics. We had the Atari 2600. With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Our screen guy was a little square. We actually had to use our imagination. And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen..

We had to use a magazine to found out what was on the television - in fact two magazines, Radio Times for BBC1 and BBC2 and TV Times for ITV. Yep, just the three channels...So we were screwed when it came to channel surfing. We had to get off our backsides and walk over to the TV to change the channel. No remote control devices. I'll repeat that, children - NO REMOTE CONTROL. An alien concept I know...

There was no Cartoon Network either. You could only get cartoons on a Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little brats...

We didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use an oven. An o-v-e-n.

Our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. No electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores.

So, in summary. Children today have got it too easy. They are spoiled rotten. As I pointed out to grandson Jack the other day when I was playing with his Nintendo....

3 comments:

Adullamite said...

You old folk are all the same....

Sausage Fingers said...

Funny, I go through this every day. Now imagine being raised in Dundee in the 70's and 80's then raising two boys in America where excess grows on palm trees and trying to teach the lessons of "When I was your age we walked to school uphill in the snow"
I feel your pain brother...
cheers, Sausage

Mike Smith said...

Thanks Sausage!