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1:51 p.m. - 2011-06-13
That 70s Show...And Tell.

In a recent entry my pal Jim spoke of things from Ago. His entry was prompted by a piece of falsely nostalgic spam for pre-paid funerals. (Like Jim does, I think this a seriously creepy idea unless you're absolutely at Death's door.) The spam was similar to those other 'Do You Remember…' dopey emails people of a certain age forward around. Mick's got one buddy who specializes in those dumb things, sends one at least once a week with yet another list of goodies from some mythical golden age of wonderfulness that has gone the way of the dodo. The really dopey part is that Mick's friend is only 51 and is sappily nostalgic for a past he's actually too young to remember. Dude, you were a fetus when Howdy Doody went off the air, get over yourself.

As a card carrying member of Generation Jones- we dregs of the Baby Boom and antecedents of Gen X, the target audience of 'That '70s Show', we who rocked the polyester and the platforms, and found no irony in wanting to be a Charlie's Angel, I say we should write a few of our own 'Do You Remembers…' and pump them into the dumb shit email river to be forwarded forever and ever.

Do You Remember…???

…when milk came in glass bottles and the cream rose to the top?

Neither do I. Milk came from the store in cartons. Homogenized goodness perfect for Nestlé's Quik. We did still have a milk box outside the backdoor for many years after home delivery stopped though. My friends and I used to leave coded messages for each other in the milk box when playing 'Spies'.

…when 'I Love Lucy', 'My Three Sons', and 'Gilligan's Island' were on in primetime?

Nope. We watched those shows after school. Re-run paradise. Until 'Nick at Night' if you wanted an Andy Griffith or 'Bewitched' fix you got it in the afternoon. Not that I was a big 'Bewitched' fan after the age of 11 or so. I'd caught on by then that Darren Stevens was the most insecure control freak sexist asshole on TV. Or was at least until his hip astronaut pal, Major Nelson, came along. Pigs, the both of them. "I am emasculated by your power! If you love me you'll prove it by giving it up! A true good wife/genie would scrub my floors and toilet by hand. A labor of love and tribute to me, the breadwinner!" Guh. The only up side to 'Bewitched' was Darren being the butt most of the time. The silly costumes, comical afflictions and being stuck in uncomfortable places was funny, especially so when he'd tried to 'teach Sam a lesson' or he'd been arrogant and nasty to his wife's family. (Always a bad idea to piss off someone who can turn you into a monkey.) So hubris was tempered with justice. Unlike Major Nelson whose boss always got it in the teeth and ol' Tony still came home to a perky blonde in a harem girl's outfit who called him 'Master'. WTG, stud boy!

…when Brenda Lee and Perry Como dominated the airwaves and record sales?

What are you, demented? Pay attention! I was 6 when the Beatles broke up! Who the hell is Brenda Lee? Most of the groups and solo artists we listened to are still on tour, for Pete's sake. True, the majority are on the Geezer Gravy Train aka: the notorious "Shit. We blew it all on dope and cars back in the 70s and I fucking hate teaching middle school!" nostalgia tour. But a few are still recording.

…when smiling moms in cotton dresses were waiting to give you a home-baked snack after school?

Hey man, I grew up in the nesting grounds of the suburban divorcee- the apartment complex. Nobody had a dad and everybody's mom worked. Except for Rain's mom, not sure what exactly they lived on besides brown rice and lentils, but Rain's mom was the only one not to get tarted up every day and go to a job. Far from the secretary and medical office worker clothes most moms wore, Rain's mom wore very little of anything. Liked to drift around her beaded and plant-choked apartment in nothing but some cutoffs. Donna Reed she was not.

And speaking of snacks, we lived in the BEST time for snacks in history. Ever. Screw the wax soda bottles and the candy dots on adding machine tape, and for that matter today's crud like fruit roll-ups and those disturbingly phallic squeezy yogurt things. Our junk food and candy ruled. One example from the junk food hall of fame should suffice: McDonald's was still frying the french fries in beef tallow. This was allowed. Take THAT, San Francisco! And candy? Hoo boy, we had candy. Razzles, Blow Pops, Fun Dip, Pixy Stix. Back then you could tweak out on sugar and nobody cared. You were supposed to play outside all day anyway, the more you ran around the better the moms liked it. Tired kids go to bed earlier. Leaves Mom more time for cheap scotch and snuffling along with Tammy Wynette and Lynn Anderson.

If I ever want to creep myself out I listen to this. Does the trick every time. Instant GAHHHHHH!!!!

Brrrr…. Scary.

So. What about you guys? You Joneses? Had enough of Davy Crockett and roller skate keys and DeSotos? Do your Good Old Days include: inflation, Watergate, Three Mile Island, the Iranian hostages, the Brinks robbery, and Son of Sam? Do you know what a Sweathog is? Then you're a Jones. Obama is a Jones. It's about time we updated the standard bearers for nostalgia. If we don't do you know what's going to happen? We'll get skipped again. The Gen X will move in with Ninja Turtles and Teddy Ruxpin and huge plastic earrings. They'll all sigh over solar calculators and dot matrix printers and thick, thick socks. Know what else? They only know Pimp Daddy Kool Aid. We had the first Kool Aid, the crazy one. The always smiling psychopath busting-through-the-wall Kool Aid. It was prudent to be happy and thirsty if Kool Aid crashed through your ceiling and demanded you drink. You don't accept a glassful from the giant crazy pitcher? Our Kool Aid would stalk your ass to find out where you live and do mean things to your dog when you weren't home.

Please understand this is not an attempt to polish the turd. Like with Ms Anderson above all I need to do is remember high-waisted slacks or the marrow-souring landslide election of Ronald Reagan and how even then I sensed the coming doom, and I'm cured of any notions that the past was all swell. But there were a few cool things about it. I want to hear yours.

Remember: It's nice to share. When someone shares with me I feel glad. ~LA

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