Saturday, March 13, 2010

Over WHAT Hill?!? I don't remember a hill...

Today is my birthday.

I'm thirty-nine today.

That's right, kids:

I'm older than Star Wars.

It's true. "What?!?" you say. "Before Star Wars? What did you do?!?"

Not much.

Life before Star Wars was very dull, and we played with sticks a lot.

But that's beside the point.

I'm old enough that, when I get up and walk across the room, it sounds like someone is making popcorn.

I'm old enough that my baby brother turned 30 just a few days ago.

I'm old enough to remember when "I have four bars" meant "I have more candy than you".

I'm old enough to remember when, if you wanted to talk on the phone while walking down the street, you needed a reeeaally long cord.

I'm old enough to remember when the pinnacle of video game technology was the Atari 2600: "Feel the excitement as you move your colored blip amongst differently colored blips! It beeps, kids!"

I'm old enough to remember pre-cable tv, which was a coat hanger (they used to be made of metal) stuck into the broken antenna part of the 13-inch black-and-white tv (this was before the world was in color) that you had to constantly move around so that you could get a decent picture. Even after you got it balanced just right, afraid to breathe so that you wouldn't mess it up again, and added just enough aluminum foil (useful for so much more than just leftovers) to increase the reception, you still couldn't tell Godzilla from Shirley Temple.

I'm old enough to know who Shirley Temple is.

I'm old enough to remember when G.I.Joe was a foot tall, and his vehicle accessories were roughly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.

I'm old enough to remember when you could still buy a new Volkswagen Beetle.

I'm old enough to remember when Bugs Bunny was on every Saturday Morning.

I'm old enough that Lou Ferrigno will ALWAYS be The Hulk.

I'm old enough to remember watching the original Battlestar Galactica when it was first broadcast (in 13-inch, black-and-white glory).

I'm old enough to remember when music stores sold records (those big, black cd's).

I'm old enough to remember playing Ghost in the Graveyard (for those of you not in the know, think flashlight tag without the flashlights).

I'm old enough to remember when it was actually safe to play outside.

I know I'm starting to sound like my dad here, but I remember when one dollar could buy me a candy bar, a Coke (pre-Classic), and two--two!!-- comic books.

But as many things as I can look back and remember, I know that there are that many more things to look forward to.

Kieth Richards (you know, the Rolling Stones? *sigh* All right: Johnny Depp's dad in Pirates of the Carribean) said, "Getting old is fascinating. The older I get, the older I want to get."

God willing, I want another thirty-nine years. Or more.

I may be starting to tip over the hill.

But my life is a roller coaster, and downhill's the best part.

Thanks for reading my ranting,


  1. I'm old enough to remember most of those things, too. My dollar usually bought me either a) a matinee viewing at the appropriately labeled "dollar theater", or b) a handful of Bazooka gum and a handful of Laffy Taffy.
    Amazingly, I still have all my real teeth.

  2. Fun memories! Happy Birthday!

  3. Cool memories! Here is my Star Wars memory: when I saw it in theaters for the first time, I couldn't read yet and my dad read the scrolling text in the opening sequence to me.

  4. "you still couldn't tell Godzilla from Shirley Temple."
    Definitely made the Sunday afternoon Channel 41 (pre-Fox) movie marathons more interesting I can tell you. For those who don't remember, they showed a Shirley Temple movie starting around 11:00am and then a Godzilla movie around 1:00pm, usually followed by a Western. Sometimes they switched out the Temple movies for a Laurel and Hardy or some-such and the Westerns for a war movie, but they almost always showed Godzilla movies in the middle. I didn't really care about the before or after flicks, just wanted my weekly fix o Godzilla.

  5. Rob, don't forget that in addition to Godzilla, we also got "War of the Gargantuas" and other Japanese rubber-suit flicks.
    Man, I miss that.