Lookit, we didn't have cell phones when I was a kid. Didn't even have an answering machine. The phone rang, if you were home, you picked it up, if you weren't home, you didn't. If the call was important, you figured, they'd call back. Sometimes, if you thought you knew who was calling, and you didn't want to talk to them, you wouldn't answer the phone when it rang. Maybe it was them, maybe it wasn't. One of life's little mysteries.
People weren't talking on their phones all the time back then. Nobody was texting, nobody was hunched over a "PDA" or an "IPod." At coffee shops and diners and such, people read newspapers or magazines, or stared at the menu, or just looked off into space. Or pretended to look off into space and really looked at girls walking by. Back then, if someone by themselves was talking out loud, you just figured they were nuts.
And that's another thing, people were "nuts" back then. That was before we realized that "nuts" actually encompasses an almost endless array of "disorders" and "illnesses." Today we know that all those "stupid" kids in school and the ones who acted like idiots suffered from "ADD" and "Bipoloar Disorder." They needed medication and lots of it, not the random ass whippings the unenlightened teachers liberally doled out.
We didn't have your "Global Warming" when I was a lad, we had a hole in the ozone layer. Experts told us that as the ozone layer continued to dwindle, the Sun's ultra violet rays would beat down on us unabated and fry us like bacon. And if that wasn't scary enough, we had "Africanized Killer Bees" coming our way through Mexico. Imagine that, bloodthirsty insects who were also illegal aliens!
And, we were all going to have to learn the METRIC SYSTEM! No shit, really! During the 1970s, our teachers told us that "next year" we would convert to metric, like the "rest of the world." Inches, feet, pounds, ounces, all gone, replaced with "grams" and "decagrams" and "kilowatts," or whatever. Luckily, the dreaded day never arrived. In the end, the only people who learned the metric system were cocaine dealers, because very few people could afford a gallon of cocaine.
To this day, many Americans believe the "8-ball" is a standard metric measurement.
We didn't have the internet in my day. If you were a curious young lad and you wanted to see naked women, and who didn't? We looked at pictures of topless pygmies in the National Geographic, and we were damn glad to have them. Today toddlers can view full on sexual congress on their computer screens. When I was coming of age, we only had three channels of TV. Instead of watching triple X girl-on-girl action, we watched the girls on Hee Haw and Charley's Angels and even Maude, hoping for the odd Adrienne Barbeau tight sweater scene.
No computers meant no Mapquest and no "GPS" devices in our cars. We used paper devices called "maps." Maps were folded about a million times and kept in our glove compartment. We rarely used them, quite frankly, because unfolding them was kind of a bitch and trying to get them folded back properly was next to impossible. So we drove around lost a lot and argued with our spouses, "I was not supposed to turn back there!... and I am not too drunk to drive!"
And that's another thing about back then, everybody smoked and drank, all the time. If you ever watch old TV shows the people are all smoking. Even Lassie! In those days, smoking, drinking and eating meat were not bad for you. We did not have a "cholesterol count," and nobody seemed to give a damn whether or not the animal we were eating had enjoyed a "free range" lifestyle or not.
And the only people who had tattoos were bikers, strippers, military, prostitutes, convicts or some combination thereof. In short, there were people with tattoos, and people who avoided people with tattoos. The idea of a "soccer Mom" with stars tattooed on the back of her neck was as alien as the idea of an 80 year old woman getting breast implants.
Yes, boobs were real back then, and we liked it that way. Women did not have botox injected into their faces, nor did they have those giant, ridiculous collagen Daffy Duck lips. And men did not dye their hair, pluck their eyebrows or wax anything. If they did, we figured they were probably, you know, gay and all. Not that there's anything wrong with that.