Thursday, April 2, 2009

The End Of Civilization As We (Most Of Us) Knew It

Yesterday my wife came up to me and told me that my oldest son, who lives in Spokane, got into a car accident in their “new to them” used car. The accident was due to the unprecedented weather, as in more snow. Then she paused to gauge my reaction to the news. Being the kind, compassionate, and loving Father that I am my first mental reaction was; “Stupid Kid, thinks he’s Superman”. Delivering your own kid creates that kind of invincibility. My mental action was the only reaction that I had time to express before my wife said “April Fools”. She got me and I give her kudos for the joke. I’d forgotten that it was April Fools Day.

Seems like the rest of civilization did the same thing. When I called up two of my grand kids on the phone to pull off a lame attempt at an April Fools joke even they didn’t know the significance of the day. I pulled my joke, got a calm reaction and then exclaimed “April Fools”! “Oh yeah, April Fools Day” was the response from both.

Am I missing something or did civilization as most of us use to know it die in this new world of political correctness and giant leaps in technological progress? I think so.

The civilization as I used to know it, the world in which I was a child, had shoelaces that tied so when you pulled the old “your shoelace is untied” joke the person actually looked down as if they had forgotten to tie their shoelace. The reaction today is “I don’t have laces, I have velcro” or “can you tie them, I don’t know how?” With some kids they never tie their shoes so the joke doesn’t work.

What happened to throwing snowballs at a car and getting chased by the driver for three miles uphill? Gone, it’s now a misdemeanor. Want to tp someones house with toilet paper just because your bored? Your local supermarket has a way to automatically track who bought large quantities of toilet paper so they can make you clean it up. Where’s the fun in having to clean up?

I was in Lowes the other day to buy some building supplies, one of the items was spray paint. The self checkout wouldn’t allow me to process my order without an override from the clerk until my age was verified, graffiti and gang tagging have taken the fun out of buying spray paint.

What happened to “Friday Flipup Day”, when you went around the recess yard flipping up people’s dresses? Although I agree with that one, you can pick up quite the draft from the “flip”. When did teachers quit wearing ties, boys and girls start having PE together, and not taking showers at school after gym? Why don’t kids mow lawns for money, be excited to be a Boy or Girl Scout, build model cars and airplanes, swing cats by the tail, have a dog with them as they’re swimming at the lake, river, or creek? Why do we only swim in lakes where it is allowed and not in the areas banned by the county?

My kids have never come home from a day of play and refused dinner because they spent the whole day sitting in an old apple orchard eating themselves sick on green apples. They didn’t build go-karts out of wood and old lawn mower tires and then race them down a steep hill only to realize that they forgot to incorporate brakes into their design. We called each other names and got over it, my brother called a girl names and got decked for it, but that story has already been told.

When I was in high school there were four types of students: jocks, intellectuals, loners, and stoners. For the most part the jocks, loners, and stoners all got along. Intellectuals still don’t get along. We feared the Principal, hated the Vice Principal, cut school without having Senior Skip Day, cut classes whenever we didn’t feel like it, did detention, sometimes our homework, loved some hot teachers, and tolerated the others. By golly when I got an “F” I deserved it and I felt the same way about the “A’s”. I never blamed the teachers or the system for what I deserved.

You’ve never lived if you haven’t found yourself on the roof of the house moving the antenna around while your dad yelled at you from the living room “just a little more that way!” Prank phone calls? Thanks to Caller ID you can't make a random call and ask if their refrigerator is running or call up a store and ask if they have Prince Albert in a can. I want to get excited again after we thrust a man or woman into space on a rocket and we lay on the ground at night looking up at the stars wondering what’s out there while we wish upon a falling star.

And I’m not totally complaining, I like my iPod, my DVR, CD’s, DVD player, big screen, computer, microwave, and cell phone. I really don’t mind recycling, sports on 50 channels, McDonalds, going green, and e-mail instead of the US Postal Service. I’m just wondering if maybe we can be a little less civilized.

By the way, your shoes untied.


GammaHaynes said...

I totally agree. What happen to doing things like going to the movies and grandma's on spring break instead, now its not fun unless you go to Hawaii or cabo. Not that I wouldn't want to do that, but I do miss the good old days sometimes. Be creative and just have fun spending time together, without a huge budget.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I loved EVERY word of this post!!! And SO TRUE!

Although I must admit...I've never had my Dad yelling at me to "move it just a little more that way" while I was on the roof with the bunny ears. :)

Jen said...

LOVE this post! And I'm happy to report that we did stuff like that ALL THE TIME when I was a kid. And it was way more fun than the kind of fun kids are having today. I deprive my kids of TV/video games just so they'll have to go out and do this kind of stuff. And I'm happy to report it's working.

(Our cat has even been swung by her tail. No - wait - that was Tim's kid...)

The Wixom Zoo said...

Hey! Cereal - Albertsons is the place to go, but only when they're having a sale. Coupons are in your sunday paper and online. Send me an email and I can give you more info, if you want it.

Natalie said...

Awesome post! I couldn't agree more! However, I also could have done with a little LESS April foolsing around my house. My 4 kids love a good prank. They had me 5 times within minutes of climbing out of bed. When will I learn to check to see if they've tied a rubber band around the hand held sprayer on the sink?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Amen! And Amen! Political correctness STINKS!


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