John McCullagh February 7, 2006
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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!

Were not our baby cots 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 stickers 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, rather late, that we had forgotten to add brakes to our creation.  After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.  Don’t!

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 lawsuits.

 We had full-on fistfights but no prosecution followed from other parents.

We played knock-the-door-run-away and were actually afraid lest the owners should catch us.

We walked to friends’ homes.  We walked everywhere.

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 and wore our coats but only by the hood.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of

…they actually sided with the law.

Our generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.  The past fifty 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!

We had the luck to grow as real kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives for our own good.

For those of you who aren’t old enough, who were born more recently, I just thought you might like to read about us.

This is surprisingly frightening…and it might put a smile on your face:

The majority of students in universities today were born in 1986…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.

For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam.

AIDS has existed since they were born.

CDs 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 paragon of dance.

They believe that Charlie’s Angels and Mission Impossible are films from the last few years.

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.

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.

Now let’s check if we’re getting old…

1. You understand what was written above and you smile.

2. You need to sleep more, usually until the afternoon, after a night out.

4. You are always surprised to see small children playing comfortably with computers.

5. When you see children as young as eight with mobile phones, you shake your head.  

6. You remember watching Dirty Den in EastEnders the first time around.

Having read this hopefully it will trigger some happy memories and when you meet your friends, you can reminisce about the good old days, repeating all the funny things you have experienced together.

 

 … turkey trot …

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