Friday, January 09, 2015

Dazed In Future Past





I recently took an internet quiz that purported to tell me how old I would be when I died. The result? 128.

First, given my personal habits, both past and present, the odds of my living that long are about the same as my becoming Queen of England. Second, and more important, God forbid. As my wife said, taking into account our financial prospects for the next 70 years, “I guess welly cheese must be extremely good for you.”

Getting to the real point here: You may now be searching your memory banks for “welly cheese” (unless you already know what “welly cheese” is, in which case you're laughing at those people who have furrowed brows and questioning looks on their entitled mugs because you grew up having to actually eat the stuff, in which case you might be cursing me for reminding you of your unhappy childhood.) In any case, “welly cheese” was cheap American cheese handed out by the government to poor folk. The certainty that many people under a certain age (and above a certain income bracket) wouldn't have the slightest idea what my wife was talking about got me to wondering what other things we'll probably throw into conversations when we're in our 120's and which the staff at the nursing home won't understand while waiting for us to croak. Here's a short list I came up with...

Wite-Out (and its cousin, Ko-Rec-Type). Speaking of which, typewriters, carbon paper and mimeographs. When we try to explain the joys of sniffing purple ink, they'll sedate us.

Walkie-Talkies. Pay Phones, as well as phone booths, party lines and any reference to 'dialing'. We'll talk about having called a recording of a lady for the correct time and they'll wrap us in wet sheets.

Astroturf, which in a roundabout way brings to mind, “Rut-Roh!” and “Jane! Stop this crazy thing!” When we elucidate further, with “Bang! Zoom!”, “Up your nose with a rubber hose!” and “Aaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!”, we'll become candidates for lobotomies (except nobody will know what those are and we'll quote Latka Gravas from Taxi: “Thank you very much!”)

Record stores, phonographs, jukeboxes, VHS and Beta, which will remind us of 8-tracks, cassette recorders and reel-to-reels. “Catch you on the flip side!”, we'll say with big smiles while they tighten the straps on our straitjackets.

Pay Toilets (I still find it hard to believe there was actually a time when some people charged other people a dime to poop, so I won't blame the staff when they up our meds again.) And when our nurses ask, “What in heck is a five-and-ten?”, we'll tell them - and they'll give us the maximum dosage, to which we'll gratefully say, “Sock it to me!”

I'm sure you can come up with many more stupid things I'll say in the future, but I guess that's enough stupid things for me to say today. In the meantime, since I have no desire to become a superannuated freak, I'm going to double my bad habits and take that test again. Wish me rotsa ruck.

Soon, with more better stuff.

20 comments:

Char said...

I've got no cash, but that was so funny and 'way cool'. I'd like to share with some of my friends who will get a kick out of it. OK?

Suldog said...

OK? Why, it makes my day! Share with the world!

Suldog said...

And be sure to tell the world to tell the 12 different editors who rejected this piece that they missed the boat.

Jackie said...

They certainly did miss the boat with this one. Big time missed it!!
A great piece, Jim.
:)

Suldog said...

Thanks, Jackie! XXXOOO

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

...and I remember the little packet of food coloring that came with the 1 lb, block of margarine mom mixed up and put into a form that made it into cubes that looked a lot like quarter pounds of butter with no flavor whatsoever.

Barbara Shallue said...

Far-out, groovy post, man! My grandmother used to get so many blocks of that cheese that she would pass it out to the rest of us. It made great grilled cheese sandwiches! We didn't call it 'welly' cheese, but I really don't remember what we called it.

Suldog said...

(not my uncle, but he could be yours) Skip - I've heard the tales of that oleo, but was lucky enough to never have to physically encounter it.

Barbara - I think in some places it was just "government cheese".

Ami said...

Yeah, back in the olden days when we lived on change scrounged from the sofa cushions and walked to the grocery store to buy a can of soup, it was government cheese.

We don't eat it anymore, but it entered our lexicon just the same. The more outrageous handouts (studying homosexuality in seagulls, building bridges that go to nowhere, subsidies for multi-billionaires) are all called government cheese. And man, those happy assholes sure eat a lot of it!!

joeh said...

Except as fodder for a good post, ya gotta stop taking those quizzes!

Leilani Lee said...

Perhaps 5 years ago husband needed an insert for an old (obviously) 45 rpm single he wanted to play on fancy turntable hooked up to computer so he could transfer it. Went to best buys (?) or similar store selling audio equipment, and the very young clerk had no idea what a "45" was. Talk about feeling "old..."

messymimi said...

Are you sure that test wasn't from someone with a hidden agenda? Yes, i imagine we will wow them with stuff they only heard about from their grandparents.

Suldog said...

Ami - Arrgghh. Those sorts of government "studies" irk me no end.

Joe - You are absolutely correct.

Leilani - I watch old reruns on TV - you know, stuff like Leave It To Beaver or whatever - and I see some of the things they show and wonder, "If a kid now is watching this, will he know what that is?"

Mimi - I think the funny thing about those tests is just about everybody is told they'll live to be 110 or 120, even people with half a lung who eat nothing but bacon and mayonnaise.

Hilary said...

I had trouble reading this.. the reception wasn't clear. But if I stood on one foot and touched the mouse just so, all was fine. Fun post, Jim.

Shammickite said...

I haven't done that test, but I did an internet quiz that said it would guess how old I am according to my answers to certain questions, and the answer it came up with was 25! Woohoo, I'd love to be 25 again! Must be my mental age.

Daryl said...

we watched Boyhood this Saturday it was execellent .. it begins in 2001 tho they don't say so in so many words .. but the dad played to perfection by Ethan Hawke says to his kids as they leave the house: 'lets roll' …

JudisJems said...

Ah, Jim, thanks for the great trip down memory lane - or as Elvis would have said it - "Thank you, thank you very much".

Craig said...

I must take different quizzes; they always tell me I should've died three years ago. . . Anyway, onward, before the New Ice Age arrives. . .

Don't touch that dial!

Same bat-time, same bat-channel. . .

Would you believe. . . Missed it by that much. . . Sorry about that, Chief. . . (and, as long as we're channelling Don Adams, how 'bout, "Tennessee Tuxedo will NOT fail!")

Faster than a speeding bullet; more powerful than a locomotive; able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. . . It's a bird, it's a plane. . . no, it's SUPERMAN!

Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog; just li'l ol' me. . . Underdog.

Heeeere I come to save the daaaaayyyy!

Help, Mr. Wizard! Help, Mr. Wizard!

Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, drome. . . time for this one to come home. . .

I'm comin', Beanie Boy!

Up and at 'em, Atom Ant!

Why yes, I DID watch too many cartoons in my misguided childhood; why do you ask? Anyway. . .

Rotsa ruck, Rorge. . .

And for heaven's sake, don't ever let 'em catch you sitting in front of the TV, screaming, "WAKE UP, GRANDFATHER CLOCK!!"

Mich said...

Even I remember all of those things (except welly cheese, which I wouldn't have remembered anyway because I have always hated cheese and refused to eat it). But then I spent half of my childhood in rural Ireland, which is like growing up fifty years in the past.

Thank you for the Christmas card!! I only just got it this week, what with all the mail forwarding. I think it passed through 3 mailboxes before it arrived at my mother's house...

Aaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!

Jenny Woolf said...

They still have pay toilets in many European railway stations - except that these days you pay at a turnstile.
I don't know what some of those things ever were, that you list - I obviously wasn't in the US at the correct time!