Talk about bored. I spent last weekend binge-watching old episodes of Longmire, one of those shows filmed in New Mexico but supposed to represent Wyoming. I don't know if you've seen it, but it's a present-day murder mystery about this county sheriff who is a throwback to simpler ways of, to use Andy Taylor's phraseology, "sheriffin'." One of the recurring themes in the show is Sheriff Longmire's disdain for owning a cell phone.
On that aspect, I can relate. It's not that I don't use mine every day, it's just that I'm not sure it's something that has improved my life. Sure, it's nice to be able to call or text someone on a whim if I'm walking around or if I need to call my wife about what kind of cheese she told me that morning to buy, but since most of my day I'm sitting right next to a real telephone it becomes more of a novelty. Another in a long line of gadgets that we've all learned to accept and rely on as a marvel of technology, although I begrudgingly concede that our new air fryer is the bomb when it comes to reheating a slice of leftover pizza.
This kind of talk ultimately brings me to another soiree into the "OK, boomer" world. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard that the expression "OK, boomer" is a Generation Z or Millennial's blasé response to comparisons with "back in the day."
Of course, there's always been a generation gap, at least since the 1930s. That's when the word "teenager" was added to our lexicon, delineating a marketable age group in the formative years of mass media and Madison Avenue. By the time yours truly was entering that category the rallying cry for youth was "don't trust anyone over thirty."
If I may, us boomers love, and I mean, really love (italicized, underlined and bolded) pointing out the way things used to be. All the comparing the "now" to the "then" is contagious to a boomer, especially when around another boomer. It's more contagious than the novel coronavirus but yet needs no face covering.
Regardless, I still hold that the more sophisticated things have become the less fun we're having.
I was reading one of those shared posts on Facebook a while back to which a lot of folks can relate. I apologize for not remembering who wrote it, but it went something like this:
It was during a time when everyone treated each other like family, no matter what you looked like. We went outside to play, we got dirty.
It was when eating fast food was a treat. We ate potted meat sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches and Allsup's bean burritos. We drank Kool-Aid. There was no bottled water. We drank from the water hose.
Kids played Simon Says, Mother May I, Red Light-Green Light, hide-and-go-seek, jacks, marbles, tag-you're-it, touch football, hopscotch, double dutch, checkers, and raced bicycles against each other in the street.
We watched cartoons on Saturday mornings, walked to the corner store, and rode our bikes for hours without a cellphone. We weren't afraid of anything, including a policeman. If two boys had a fight, that's what it was … a fight. Kids didn't have guns when I grew up.
The street lights were your curfew. School was mandatory. We watched our mouths around our elders because we knew If you disrespected any grownup you're gonna get a whippin'.
I don't know if that sounds idyllic to young folks, but that kind of sums it up.
Don't get me wrong, I have no beef with the current times, it's just that I cringe a little when a young person says that Pink Floyd is just grandma and grandpa's music.
But I digress. I've figured out part of the cause of my above-mentioned boredom lies in the lack of weekend activities. Especially county fair time. And Old Timers time. And the 4th at Macey. Oh, well.
But we do have Labor Day on Monday, the day when all ye who labor get the day off. If you think about it should be called Laborless Day. Trouble is the Tuesday after Labor Day you’re going to be laboring twice as hard to make up for the work that gets piled up when you’re not at work laboring on Labor Day.
Before I forget it, this Monday is also Neither Rain Nor Snow Day. It was on September 7, 1914, the New York Post Office unveiled on its building the inscription "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
Fun Fact: The price of a postage stamp in 1914 was two cents. Adjusted for inflation that comes to 51 cents.
Oops. Gotta go. Longmire's taking a call on his deputy's cellphone. Must be important.