Stories beginning with, “In my day – ” or “When I was just a little twerp – ” are always good for a chuckle; but often, I give them the poorer half of my divided attention.
When I turned on the TV Sunday afternoon, I choked at the sight of Brett Favre throwing against the Green Bay Packers. In my day, my younger brother threw on his new No. 4 Packers’ jersey Christmas morning and didn’t take it off for weeks.
As I stood in front of that 46-inch, HD-beaming flat-screen, I realized I had a few in-my-day stories for today’s little twerps.
In my day, Brett Favre was every Cheesehead’s idol. Today, Lambeau Field’s faithful boo the quarterback they once adored, snow or shine.
In my day, Arnold Schwarzenegger roamed a post-apocalyptic world as mankind’s only hope, a renegade robot-ransacker. Today, Arnold roams the American desert looking for California’s economy. When you see the Governator standing calmly at a podium, just know he harnesses the power to splinter it with his bare hands.
In my day, talking to anyone outside a moving vehicle required a bag phone: a corded phone, securely attached to a nylon bag, powered by the cigarette lighter. Today, a bag phone is almost as handy as a torch.
In my day, memory cards didn’t exist. We didn’t save our progress. “Game over” actually meant your game was over. And if your game froze, there was no scratch on the disc – there was no disc. You merely needed to blow inside the cartridge through your shirt and slap it back into the console.
In my day, connecting to the Internet summoned an electronic orchestra. I can only compare the 10-15 second symphony to the sound of a lawnmower running over a tennis racket, complimented by 20 forks grinding on a slick dinner plate.
In my day, random statements of fact could not instantly be verified by 3G iPhones. We argued. Indefinitely. If our bag phone had service, we’d call our friend. Connecting to the Internet took too long and gave you a headache. Today, thanks to 3G and IMDB, you don’t have to remember that actress’s name or that movie she was in.
You will have your own “in my day” stories before you know it; so, let the old-timers share theirs. You’ll learn a thing or two and just might make an unlikely friend in the process.