THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLE DAYS or (What was my mother thinking)

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same
cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get
food poisoning.
My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it
raw sometimes too, our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a
brown paper bag not in icepack coolers, but I can’t remember getting e coli?
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a
pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.
The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a
pager was the school PA system.
We all took gym, not PE… and risked permanent injury with a pair of high
top Ked’s (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with
air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can’t recall any injuries but they must
have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.
Flunking gym was not an option… even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be
much harder than gym.
Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson [and provided comic
relief] by running in the halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot.
How much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have sued the school system.
Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem and
staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention. We must have had horribly
damaged psyches.
I can’t understand it. Schools didn’t offer 14 year olds an abortion or condoms (we wouldn’t have
known what either was anyway) but they did give us a couple of baby aspirin and cough syrup if
we started getting the sniffles.
What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours
wore a hat and everything.
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed
to be proud of myself.
I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station,
Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.
I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through the denial of the dangers could have
befallen us as we trekked off each day about a mile down the road to some guy’s vacant lot, built
forts out of branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to be the Lone Ranger.
What was that property owner thinking, letting us play on that lot? He should have been locked up
for not putting up a fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared intruder alarm.
Oh yeah… and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got
that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites and when we got hurt, Mom
pulled out the 48 cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn’t sting like iodine did)
and then we got our butt spanked. Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a
$49 bottle of antibiotics and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious
pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
We didn’t act up at the neighbor’s house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked (physical abuse) here too .. and then we got butt spanked again when we got home.
Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids choked down
the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka trucks (Remember why Tonka trucks were made tough
… it wasn’t so that they could take the rough Berber in the family room), and Dad drove a car with leaded gas.
Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am sure that I nearly exhausted my imagination
a couple of times when we went on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the danger they
put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family tent.
Summers were spent behind the push lawn mower and I didn’t even know that
mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without an automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive.
How sick were my parents? Of course my parents weren’t the only psychos. I
recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop just before he
fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead she picked him up and swatted him for
being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they
were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that? We needed to get into group therapy and anger
management classes?
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t evennotice that the entire country wasn’t
taking Prozac! How did we survive?
Wonder why the dramatic change in our society in such a few short years?
Wonder who profits from these new “regulations”?

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