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According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived, because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.
When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops and fluorescent 'spokey dokey's' on our wheels. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags - riding in the passenger seat was a treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted the same. We ate chips, bread-and-butter pudding and drank fizzy juice with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no-one actually died from this.
We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded.
We did not have Play Stations or X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround-sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no DVDs, no Internet chat rooms.
We had friends ~ we went outside and found them. We played elastics and rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt!
We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones but there were no law-suits.
We had full on fist fights but no prosecution followed from other parents.
We played chap-the-door-run-away and were actually afraid of the owners catching us.
We walked to friends' homes.
We also, believe it or not, WALKED to school; we didn't rely on mummy or daddy to drive us to school, which was just round the corner.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls.
We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of...they actually sided with the law.
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
And you're one of them. Congratulations!
Pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow as real kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good.
The majority of students in universities today were born in 1986 (BUT A LOT WEREN'T!!! :-) ........They are called youth.
They have never heard of We are the World, We are the children, and the Uptown Girl they know is by Westlife not Billy Joel. They have never heard of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Nena Cherry or Belinda Carlisle (possibly not a bad thing of course....)
For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam.
AIDS has existed since they were born. CD's have existed since they were born.
Michael Jackson has always been white.
To them John Travolta has always been round in shape and they can't imagine how this fat guy could be a god of dance.
They believe that Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible are films from last year.
They can never imagine life before computers.
They'll never have pretended to be the A Team Red Hand Gang or the Famous Five.
They'll never have applied to be on Jim'll Fix It or Why Don't You.
They can't believe a black and white television ever existed. And they will never understand how we could leave the house without a mobile phone.
Four well-dressed men sitting together at a vacation resort. "Farewell
to Thee" being played in the background on Hawaiian guitar.
Michael Palin: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.
Graham Chapman: Nothing like a good glass of Chateau de Chassilier wine,
Terry Gilliam: You're right there Obediah.
Eric Idle: Who'd a thought thirty years ago we'd all be sittin'
here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?
MP: Aye. In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup
GC: A cup ' COLD tea.
EI: Without milk or sugar.
TG: OR tea!
MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.
EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a
rolled up newspaper.
GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.
TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.
MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money
doesn't buy you happiness."
EI: 'E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN'. We used to
live in this tiiiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.
GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one
room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the
floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for
fear of FALLING!
TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a
MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a
palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish
tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting
fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.
EI: Well when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered
by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.
GC: We were evicted from *our* hole in the ground; we had to go and
live in a lake!
TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty
of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.
MP: Cardboard box?
MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in
a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the
morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down
mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home,
out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!
GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in
the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to
work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad
would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we
TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox
at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues.
We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four
hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we
got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.
EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night,
half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump
of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill
owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home,
our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves
MP: But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't
ALL: Nope, nope..
In our house (?) it was 'first up - best dressed'. Having a sister next older than you meant that the 'hand-me-downs' werent too clever for me. Me dad used to mend all our shoes - when he couldn't find his short nails - we were in agony. those were the GOOD old days !!!!
In line with this thread it occurs to me that the younger members on this board will never have experienced the delights of getting a quarter of dolly mixtures, spearmint pips or jap desert, or indeed a tube of spangles or buying black jacks and fruit salad four for a penny (old money).
Not good for the teeth of course, but occasional pleasures best shared with a couple of friends -- that way you could swap stuff :-)
If you are on the rollercoaster, open your eyes and enjoy the ride.
ahhhhhhhhhhh, am sat here teary eyed at all these memories of my youth, we played army (daddy was in the paras) It was more like cowboys n injuns without the arrows, My pal had a balaclava (Nigel, my 1st love) . He of course was in the IRA (Imaginary Republican Army). We ate 99ers from a man that played christmas melodies regardless that it was june, & dispensed chemical, white frosty gloop from his van & believed we had found heaven.
We were excited when mum n dad went out (about once a year) to the pub cos they always brought us a twisty glass bottle of coke home & a packet of salt n shake. There wasn't an embargo on gentian violet & it was great showing your friends you had a throat infection by showing then your purple gob. Best game was dropping a tennis ball down one leg of mums new tights (not while she was wearin em) & standing against a wall singing a rhyme while we played a game. I idolised Sharon Kent (big teeth, lived at the corner house) she could play 3 ball up against a wall without dropping any. Now if I heard of a lass playing 3 ball Id expect to be watching Jeremy Kyle! I had an iron on patch of Jimmy Osmond & David Cassidy on my pillow case & I kissed them every night..................................... Now my pin ups are Alan Titchmarsh & Monty Don, my hero with the balaclava married a girl from oop norf & I smile at the television, argue with newscasters from a standing, ranting position in my lounge & get cross when my daughter asks me where I bought those '' big black DVDs)!
My mother tells me I am old now as I shouldnt shop in River Island! I know I am old because I used to wonder where lasses at bus stops on a friday night had bought their shoes, now I just think they need a cardy in this weather.
Wouldn't swap a thing.
Suffering a fondness for odd things.
“ Though the mills of God grind slowly;
Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting,
With exactness grinds he all. ”
Reaching 50 was an experience I would not like to repeat again. Apart from having to stop playing football (an injury and goal scoring free career for me), I became invisible and can now walk through a crowd of young people and not be seen. I avoid mirrors like the plague since I do not recognise the stranger looking back at me and my daughter checks the fridge regularly for out of date foods. I am accused of going deaf when I play my Status Quo cds at the recommended decibel level and my Gary Glitter Greatest hits is banned. I must be one of the few people in the world with a mobile phone which no one calls and even if they did I would not know how to end the call.
I have now decided to live my life backwards and am working on getting younger every day, starting with Grecian 2000 (maybe its Grecian 2007, now?), of course I will have to regrow my hair and am grateful to the luminaries of the Australian Cricket team for this advancement. I am also taking 'e' topically, that’s Vitamin E in the form of Wheat germ cream which I rub in regularly to my wrinkle free skin. Removing my belt gives my pedestrian trousers the outward appearance of hip hop pants and I have taken to wearing my T shirts inside out. Very edgy. Whilst I accept I cannot master the skateboard, I am grateful to the broken leg for my wheelchair which has given me a competitive edge on other heelys round our block.