WHATEVER HAPPENED TO…
|This Monday's cranky re-run is a bit of nostalgia from October 2011|
Sometimes technology makes things obsolete overnight. Vinyl replaced the old breakable records overnight; CD’s replaced records, and iPods are replacing CD’s. Other changes are more phased out, and that is when you sometimes ask, “Whatever happened to…”Gas station attendants used to wash your windows, check your oil, check your tires and check your batteries while they filled your tank. Heck, they even gave you NFL tumblers and green stamps. Today, except for New Jersey and Oregon they don’t even fill your tank. Everything is self service. Whatever happened to full service gas stations? Why? Would you pay an extra couple of pennies per gallon for old time service?
Whatever happened to checking the battery? They used to need distilled water periodically to each cell. Now they are sealed up. What happened?
Whatever happened to green stamps? They used to give stamps away at gas stations and grocery stores. You saved the stamps, put them in books, and turned the books in at redemption centers for stuff. Two books for a yoyo, twenty thousand books for a dish washer. My folks wouldn’t shop at a store unless they had the “We have green stamps” sign out. Why was that a good idea in the forties, fifties and sixties and suddenly was a horrible idea? What do I do with my five hundred books of stamps? I want a new baseball mitt!
Whatever happened to the “Bug Whacker?” This lovely appliance attracted insects to its light, and then zapped them to dust. They supposedly killed mosquitoes but everyone knew they didn’t. They mostly attracted moths which otherwise would not even bother you. Still the bug whacker was a patio tradition in the eighties and nineties. They are now nowhere. I miss them, outdoor barbeques just do not seem the same without the periodic zap of small insects, and the occasional house-dimming electronic burst when a large insect or small flying mammal was caught in the bug whacking glow.
Varsity athletes in high school and college used to earn a felt “Letter” which was proudly worn almost daily on their “Letter Sweater.” My dad had a letter sweater, I had a letter sweater, my kids earned letters, but they did not display them. Whatever happened to the letter sweater? Did all athletes at all the schools get together and decide they just weren’t cool?
Cars used to have small triangular windows on both front seat side windows. They were called “cheaters” and they were perfect for letting out cigarette smoke, ashes, or diluting an accidental rectal methane release. Whatever happened to the “cheater?”
Remember manners? This was a form of behavior where complete strangers would act pleasantly towards each other. If someone had his/her hands full, complete strangers would hold open doors to help them. Driving a car, complete strangers would wave another car to cross over or get in their lane. The other driver would then give a friendly “thank you” wave back. When people received change back from a purchase they would say “thank you” to the cashier, and get this, the cashier would respond back, “you’re welcome.” I kid you not. These acts and more used to occur on a regular basis. Whatever happened to manners?
Some “whatever happened to” things I miss. Some I just wonder about. Some “whatever happened to’s”are the result of major life style improvements; some are things which just faded away to the detriment of our daily lives.
I hope the latter is the sentiment when people ask, “Whatever happened to The Cranky Old Man?”