I’m wrapping up these “Oh God, I’m old and dying” blogs, but one that hit me this weekend was that half my life ago, I was in college. When you turn 30 and think this, it doesn’t matter because being 15 sucks all the eggs. You can’t drive, you’re awkward as a loud fart in public, and you generally have no idea about anything. College, though? WTF TIME, GET OFF MY NUTS.
Twenty years ago, I was a sophomore who had “retired” from football living with a “retired” soccer player. By “retired”, I mean we found out we liked Busch Light and Marlboros more than concussions and running drills. That guy, Camp, would eventually be the one that got me into stand-up comedy in 2007. I lived in a house with 33 other guys and we had theme parties about every 2.5 days. The one below was “Pimps and Prostitutes” hosted by the XAN sorority.
I had to reevaluate my entire diet thanks to beer having calories and a house cook that soaked everything in 4 pounds of buttery cooking grease called Whorl. I was obnoxious, arrogant and opinionated about things that probably no one on earth cared about – more even than now! Clinton was president and being investigated for the Lewinsky affair. Horrible blow job jokes were all the rage on late night TV. The internet was taking off and we were sharing music on Napster. Music sucked then, so thanks for nothing, and the biggest movies were There’s Something About Mary and Armageddon. That was the age of my life, that if I see someone from then, I could probably talk to them for an hour (average otherwise, about 14 seconds).
My room was the size of a walk in closet and I was directly across from a community bathroom with no locks or stalls and two 55 gallon trash cans that smelled like vomit and old yeast. My room smelled like Febreeze on a good day and smoke the other six days. I had a Pantera flag and Jenny McCarthy poster (non-vaccinated, of course) and a haphazard arrangement of old furniture in various states of decline. I had a Playstation that only worked when you turned it upside down I bought for $50 and a Nintendo that worked on a good day. Our room was usually blaring Corey Hart or John Denver (Camp’s choice), Down or Anthrax (my choice) or Iron Maiden (mutual).
I shot pool a lot and was on the back deck almost every day overlooking the volleyball court and woods unless it was raining or snowing. Everyone I knew had a nickname, usually mean, and sometimes so mean they didn’t know what it was. Mine was Booger or Bear, in case you were wondering. Not that kind of bear, by the way. I had to walk uphill both ways everywhere I went (thanks Muskingum). I remember way more than I thought I would from classes. I finally threw away my beer bong several years ago and I wish I hadn’t. At any point back then, I had two parties to go to, if not more and the rare times I didn’t, I would start one.
I sometimes hear people say they wish they could go back, but if I did I would probably die, so I’m cool with just remembering what I can from then. It’s a time that sometimes feels like 20 years and when I run into someone from then feels like 20 days ago. It’s a time that makes me realize I am a cockroach of a human, because if I could survive that house (I had glass in my feet from broken bottles for years after college), I cannot be killed by external environmental factors. It was a time when I was maybe the most unlikeable I’ll ever be and had more friends than at any other time. Maybe this upcoming weekend, I’ll grab a 30 pack and warm up my heel toe and donkey kicks for old times sake. Then again, I’ll probably throw my back out. OK, maybe just a shot of Whorl and I’ll smell an old trash can outside a bar on campus.
One thing I’ve noticed over my years that people love is clickbait articles about stuff from when they were kids, usually along the lines of “we drank from a hose and if you didn’t you’re a pussy.” Or something like “we didn’t have smartphones, but we ate mud pies, it was amazing.” I don’t know about all that; I just think people like remembering a time when they didn’t have anything to worry about. I mean, summer break? HOLY HELL can you imagine having nothing, and I mean nothing, to do from end of May to late August again? I don’t give a damn if you ate mud the whole time, that’s incredible.
I guess just to cover the basics, things have definitely changed. I used to run outside after lunch and not return until the sun went down. We played wiffleball, rode big wheels (with cutting edge all plastic smooth wheels that couldn’t stop until you were under a moving car) and explored the woods. Now if my daughter goes outside, I’m right there hovering over her in a fenced in yard or taking position on the back deck with a sniper rifle.
The biggest change in kids now is easily technology. There were about five channels back then and no DVR, so if you missed a show, it was gone forever. No iPad apps to keep kids busy at a restaurant (shudders at the thought). “Only threats of beatings kept me in check!” Video games are so much better if someone sold me Super Mario Brothers (the original) for $60 now, I’d drive back to Gamestop and punch the clerk in the face.
What was better back then? Not in the “if you didn’t do this, you’re a wimp” way? Side note: if you’re raising kids and you feel that way, nice job parenting. Here’s the quick rundown.
No social media bullying. No way my kids are getting online for a while, but I got bullied a lot. I also shoved a bully over a desk and learned to fight back, witty insults went farther than punches…at least until the bully had you cornered, then punches are WAY BETTER. Too many kids kill themselves now, it is a major problem I think stems from constant ridicule with no break and all the stress we put on kids. I’m also the type that will full on punch a nine year old that bullies my kids, so watch your ass, Tiffany.
Not as many tests and homework in school. That’s pretty much all they do now. Good job telling teachers what to do all day, dumbass politicians. Anything else you can mess up? Forget I said that.
You could actually play outside. Ironic, because now I treat the sun like a vampire half the time. If I’m outdoors now, it’s because I’m mowing or jogging to keep from buying new pants.
That’s about it; other than that I’m sure childhoods are pretty the same. If your kid plays video games five hours a day, that’s not the modern society’s problem, it’s yours. Let’s face it, you saw what they did with our clothes and hair in the 1980’s, it wasn’t that sweet. I had a spike and a perm one time…at the same time. Let’s cool it with the Xanadu childhood stuff; it was just great not having four minutes of free time a week.
This is your blog topic when your little girl gets the flu and the only consolation is watching Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs 143 times. So here goes, from worst to first.
7th – Sneezy. He horks snot rockets all over the place, spreading his diseases or spitting directly on your mug. No debate.
6th – Sleepy. He has flies buzzing around him all the time. Probably smells like yesterday since he passes out before he can shower. Laziest dwarf by far, still better than guy who sprays you with mucus.
5th – Dopey. Other than comic relief, no value. His waggling ears creep me out. My kid’s favorite one, so don’t tell her I typed this.
4th – Bashful. Won’t make an ass of himself. Solid dude, but horrible at making decisions because he doesn’t want to offend anyone. One of my pet peeves.
3rd – Doc. Most muscular dwarf, probably roiding. Also the leader, so probably has a dark lust for power. Not a bad thing.
2nd – Happy. Nicest one, talented musician, fattest dwarf – good wingman to have with you when you go clubbing or whatever you do at the Magic Kingdom.
1st – Grumpy. No flaws. Perfect personality. Got back to beat the witch’s ass the quickest when she gave Snow White the apple. Doesn’t wash his hands only because he’s told to – no one tells Grumpy his business. Plays the long game to win Snow White’s affection. Heart of gold at the end of movie. Plays a mean organ. Probably best poker player and can outdrink other dwarves. Takes all six to overpower him.
Author’s note – please for the love of God, let us watch a different movie tomorrow. Anything. I will watch Doctor Zhivago followed by the English Patient. Anything at all.
I feel like now that I am releasing any bonds to youth, I am obligated to tell everyone younger than me that TV was perfect back in the day, movies were amazing and most importantly, music is trash. The last one I can get on board with…with an asterisk. I’ve always thought most music sucks, so yay for me being ahead of the curve!
Anyone who grew up in my era probably rode in a bench seat with no seat belt listening to 70’s folk rock/yacht rock on the radio with your mom or in total silence dodging cigarette butts with your grandparents. Good stuff and I still like a lot of it, mostly because it’s not disco, which mercifully died before my awareness of music. Then the 80’s came along. Other than maybe the 60’s, no other decade was better for popular music. Google 1984 and prepare to crap your pants. I’ve always like hard rock, metal, and classic rock, so the 80’s were probably the last time you could hear some form of rock n roll on the radio without diving into the bottom of the radio. Sure, there’s usually one rock station in every town, but they’re playing rap rock from 2003 as classic now, so that’s depressing.
Then the 90’s happened. Some good stuff until about 1997, then ushered in the worst time in modern music. My roommate played James Brown at a party in college and a girl yelled, “How are supposed to dance to this?” and put in techno. That pretty much sums it up. Like edgier stuff? Biggie and Tupac died and we got Ja Rule and Mystikal. The grunge bands broke up and we got Creed and Limp Bizkit. It was the Great Depression of music.
Since then, pop music is still vapid, maybe more so, rock is pretty much dead and mumble rap is everywhere. There’s too many guys with ukuleles and beards in alternative – what happened to real men making music, wearing spandex and makeup and using too much Aquanet? Rap that stole all their beats from 70’s funk, like God intended? Country that wasn’t sung by dudes that looked like they should have been in hair metal bands? Looking at your Florida-Georgia Line.
Oh and the fact I don’t have time to listen to music much with kids may skew this. I’ve heard the Snow White and Trolls soundtrack 173 times since July. Everything sucks.
Next month I have one of those fun “milestone” birthdays as I will turn 40. SOMEONE BETTER BE ORDERING A TIME MACHINE FROM AMAZON OR SCIENCESTUFF.EDU! So, I have decided to do some blogs related to that over the next several weeks until the Logan’s Run people put me down or my wife sends me to a home where I can eat pudding and watch Judge Judy in my wheelchair during social hour.
Today, I’ll cover the good and bad about this dark, miserable time and what it means for my withering husk of a body, so you younger kids (now I’m calling everyone younger than me a kid) know what’s coming and can shudder with fear!
Yesterday I found a hair randomly growing from the side of my neck that was two inches long. THIS IS MY LIFE. My eyebrows at this rate will look like this by 50.
Amazingly, my back is still looking like that of a 35 year old. #blessed. In other words, my back shaver and wife keep me from being shot with a tranquilizer dart through the window when I remove my shirt.
What other fun changes await you whippersnappers? Sorry, older people, I should have made the font bigger so you can read. That’s right, I can’t read my phone or menus with contacts. At 30, it was a struggle, now it’s impossible. Hairline? I’m OK up front, but the back has been thinning for a decade. All I had to do was sacrifice live chickens to Baphomet to salvage that much – some agreement about my soul also, but I couldn’t read the fine print, my glasses were dirty. I also hurt my shoulder last month. Sleeping on it. It still hurts.
GET READY TO GET FAT, MILLENNIALS! I eat better than I have since that summer in college when I didn’t have money to buy food. I workout more that, well that summer also. One bad day? It’s over Johnny. Used to be I eat like hot garbage for three days, go run around the block three times and back to what I was before the bender. Now, I have one bad run to Taco Bell, I’m going pants shopping or entering a half marathon. Oh and hangovers are a whole other life change. A hangover used to mean, “Gee, I’m a bit fuzzy after drinking for seven hours and sleeping four.” Now it means “Call a squad and get me IV’s now, I’m dying. I only slept six hours after having two shots and an IPA. Someone put me out of my misery.”
It’s not all bad, though, in fairness. For example, peer pressure doesn’t work on me anymore. I don’t argue with people on the internet. I have a real job now. I don’t mind waking up early (at this rate, I’ll be at the Shoney’s buffet at 5 am by mid-40’s). I can buy stuff I want (but really can’t because the family gets priority, forget that one). Plus, now I’m officially old enough to shake my fist at people and yell. For example: Get off my lawn, you damn kids with your skateboards!
COMING NEXT WEEK: Music since I was born is getting worse and you’re going to hear about it: a blog from every single person 40 and up that has ever existed.
Last week was Thanksgiving, which according to some on my Facebook is now some genocide day. What I thought previously is that it was a day to eat and eat and eat and argue about who is taking what leftovers and post what you’re thankful for on social media, but it’s a Turkey murder celebration day or you support ethnic cleansing now, so sayeth the Internet, so you’re all going to fake hell. Actually, no one thinks of Pilgrims except elementary school art teachers making hats, but whatever.
The real affront holiday is Black Friday. At most 9-5 jobs, the only two day block of days off you get the entire year (including Christmas) is murder feast day and Black Friday. Why you would spend the day getting up at 3 am to camp out in 25 degrees only to bum rush a Wal-Mart and get arrested punching a soccer mom to save 50% on a Playstation is beyond me.
Since all these days are evil and stuff on the Internet is a fart in the wind, I am officially declaring that we as a society need to rethink and reconfigure our November. We need two days off every single week until we agree on what direction to go moving forward. “Why do we only get one day for Veteran’s Day?” Exactly – two days off. “Why do people fight over Black Friday sales?” You are on it! TWO DAYS OFF SO THERE’S MORE TIME TO SHOP! “Why do we kill turkeys?” Finally, someone is looking out for the turkeys who have contributed so much to our society – we need a day of beef also. Just trying to help. Don’t bother me after Wednesday this week, it’s still November and I need more time to reflect.