Things I Experienced As A Child, My Children Will Not Pt 1

7 Nov

Things I experienced as a child, my children will not:

Land line phone – The joys of having to share one phone between an entire family. Even better having only the roaming distance of the amount of cord attached to the phone. It was amazing to uncurl the telephone cord and watch it recurl itself. Some kids could keep themselves entertained for hours with the telephone cord. Eventually some cool accessories hit the market to enhance the telephone such as: the extra long telephone cord, the hands-free rubber thing that you put against your shoulder, the answering machine, the speaker box, and the $10 extra line charge.

The biggest improvement came with the invention of the cordless phone. Now you were free to roam your house and misplace the handset wherever you wanted…only to be found again when someone called you.

Cooking without a microwave-No matter what you had to cook, including frozen dinners, it had to be done with the oven. Imagine your frozen dinner taking an hour to cook instead of two minutes. I find it funny that today’s microwave meals also come with conventional oven instructions as well, in case there are any technological hold-outs out there that would still like the joys of eating a Hot Pocket, but would rather wait an hour to burn the roof of their mouth with that melted cheese substitute product.

Nowadays, people can’t even wait the last 30 seconds of their Easy Mac to stop cooking before opening the door and letting all the microwaves spill into the air and sterilize our groins a little bit more. I came in on the tail end of the microwave-less kitchen. Today you would be considered a caveman if you didn’t own one.

Computer without a hard drive, storing information on floppy disks  – The computers were big, and computer programmers thought the color green would be a great choice for font color while doing mundane tasks on the behemoths. The games were text based dungeon crawlers, were you had to take traditional pencil and paper and draw the dungeon as you played…right next to the computer…in order to figure out exactly where you were located in the game. Also the commands never worked quite right in those games. You would type in: Eat Apple or Go North, and the computer would respond: You Can Not Do That Here. No matter what you typed, You Could Not Do That Here or Try Again was the standard answer.Eventually I would get frustrated and type: Have A Threesome With A Blond And A Brunette, which of course would lead to: You Can Not Do That Here…kind of like real life. You couldn’t find the cheats on Google either because….no Internet. The method of storing such a wonderful game? The floppy disk, which came in two sizes, small and large. The computer didn’t have graphics or store pictures, and the sound that was produced sounded like, well like, computer produced music. They called the format midi. You could store midis on a floppy disk as well, and have a nice big collection of robotic sounding music. These were never the whole song though, usually only 30 seconds long. Which frankly was just enough time before you wanted to stop the song anyway. Did I mention it was just the music, no singing?

When computers became a little more advanced it would take like 40 floppy disks to hold one game or program. You would spend an hour switching out disks. A lot of times disk 20 of 52 would be corrupted. That meant basically you wasted your time because now all 52 disks were worthless and you just spent a half hour swapping disks for no reason except to gather them all up and throw them in the trash or use them as coasters for the coffee table. Hopefully your buddy who made an illegal copy of a game for you bothered to label them 1 through 40 before putting them all scattered into a shoebox,  leaving you having to guess which disk was number one.

8 Tracks – My childhood came in on the tail end of this wonderful portable music format. The 8 Track was big and bulky, a little smaller than a paperback, and almost as thick. The music on it was divided into 4 sections usually, which in my mind they should have then  been called 4 tracks. When the 8 Track switched sections it would make a loud clicking noise. The best part, sometimes the song would stop playing, and the 8 Track would switch to the next section, and the song would pick up again where it left off. Imagine pretending your a rock god, playing air guitar, belting out the wrong lyrics, and just as your getting into your groove….the song stops…click, click, noise….and starts again. You had to hold your air drum hands paused in midair until the song started again.

Some cars had 8 Track players in them. Now you had to figure a way to store your paperback sized jams in your car…usually led to under the seat so no one knew you had them…where everyone else stored them as well. So basically, if a burglar looked into your car, saw an 8 Track player in the dashboard, he insistently knew you had 8 Tracks under the seat. I personally think only 50 actual 8 Tracks were sold and everyone just stole them from each other, which started the first music swapping system, which lead to Napster.


MTV playing music videos – There was a time when MTV played nothing but music videos, hosted by VJs, which are like radio DJs…just on TV. Nowadays, MTV consists of one camera setup in a trailer park somewhere.


Cheap Gas Prices – At one point gas companies competed to see who could give you the lowest gas price…I’m not making this up. Today the competition is over who has the better fountain drink/coffee deal. That way as your spending the kid’s college fund to fill your tank, you will still be able to get yourself a Mountain Dew slushie to help hold back the tears.

3 Responses to “Things I Experienced As A Child, My Children Will Not Pt 1”

  1. Jack DeVoss November 7, 2011 at 10:48 AM #

    Don’t forget video games! Our video games were just the same screen level repeated over and over, only it kept going faster and faster until your little pixel dot ship went BOOM.

    • chrisdevoss November 7, 2011 at 11:00 AM #

      Ha ha! I did forget that. I think this topic can spawn different memories for everyone.

  2. Oger66 November 27, 2011 at 12:55 AM #

    Why are there so many out of place comments on this page? Odd. Either way I just had to stop in and compliment you on your unique writing style. Keeps me coming back. Bookmarked for future visits 😀

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