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[collected 2002-01-10]

The Washington Post recently had a contest wherein participants were asked
to tell the younger generation how much harder they had had it "in the old
days." Winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions are listed below.

Second Runner-Up:
In my day, we couldn't afford shoes, so we went barefoot. In winter, we had
to wrap our feet with barbed wire for traction.

First Runner-Up:
In my day, we didn't have MTV or inline skates, or any of that stuff. No,
it was 45s and regular old metal-wheeled roller skates, and the 45s always
skipped, so to get them to play right you'd weigh the needle down with
something like quarters, which we never had because our allowances were way
too small, so we'd use our skate keys instead and end up forgetting they
were taped to the record player arm so that we couldn't adjust our skates,
which didn't really matter because those crummy metal wheels would kill you
if you hit a pebble anyway, and in those days roads had real pebbles on
them, not like today.

And the winner:
In my day, we didn't have rocks. We had to go down to the creek and wash
our clothes by beating them with our heads.

Honorable Mentions:
In my day, we didn't have fancy health-food restaurants. Every day we ate
lots of easily recognizable animal parts, along with potatoes.

In my day, we didn't have handheld calculators. We had to do addition on
our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated.

In my day, we didn't get that disembodied, slightly ticked-off voice saying
'Doors closing.' We got on the train, the doors closed, and if your hand
was sticking out, it scraped along the tunnel all the way to the next
station and it was a bloody stump at the end. But the base fare was only a
dollar.

In my day, we didn't have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen
and oxygen atoms.

Kids today think the world revolves around them. In my day, the sun
revolved around the world, and the world was perched on the back of a giant
tortoise.

Back in my day, '60 Minutes' wasn't just a bunch of gray-haired, liberal
85-year-old guys. It was a bunch of gray-haired, liberal 60-year-old guys.

In my day, we didn't have virtual reality. If a one-eyed razorback
barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you just had to hope you
could outrun him.

Back in my day, they hadn't invented electricity. We had to watch
television by candlelight.

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