Saturday, 17 January 2009

Were You Born Before 1986?

According to the Nanny State and her Righteous followers, those of us who were children in the 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived because our baby cots were coated with brightly coloured lead based paint which we often chewed and licked.

We had no child proof lids on medicine bottles or latches on doors and cabinets and it was fine to play with pots and pans. We were allowed to bleach our jeans, ourselves.

When we rode our bikes, we didn't wear helmets just flip flops and cardboard 'flickers' on our wheels. We would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags and to sit in the front passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted good. We shared one drink with five friends, from one bottle or can, and none of us actually died as a result.

We ate chips, bread and butter pudding and drank 'pop' with sugar in it but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing with our mates.

We would spend hours and hours building go carts out of scrap wood and pram wheels and then went full tilt down a hill, only to realise that we had forgotten the brakes. So, after running into the stinging nettles a few times we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and were allowed to play all day as long as we were back before it got dark. Nobody was able to get in touch with us and no one minded.

We didn't have a Playstation or an XBox, in fact, no type of video games at all. Only 3 channels on the TV, no video tapes, no surround sound, no mobile phones and no personal computers. We had friends. We just went out and found them.

We played football and rounders and sometimes that ball really hurt! We fell out of trees, grazed our knees, broke bones but no one got sued. We had fist fights but our parents were never prosecuted by other kids' parents. We played 'knock and run' and were genuinely afraid of the house owners catching us.

We walked to friends houses. We also walked to school, we didn't wait for mummy to take us even though it was just around the corner.

We made up games with sticks, tennis balls and piles of coats. We rode our bikes in packs of 8 or 9 and only wore our coats by the hoods.

Our parents never bailed us out if we broke the law, they sided with it.  Our generation has produced some of the best risk takers, problem solvers and inventors, ever. Over the past 40 years or so there has been an abundance of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility. We learned how to deal with it all.

If you were born after 1986 you will never have heard 'We Are The World, We Are The Children'. The only 'Uptown Girl' you know is by Westlife and not Billy Joel. You will never have heard of Marc Bolan, Bananarama, Nena Cherry or Belinda Carlisle.

For you there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam. Aids has existed since you were born and so have CDs. Michael Jackson has always been white. John Travolta has always been a fat guy to you and not the 'God of Dance'.

You also believe that Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible are films. You will never have pretended to be the A-Team or the Famous Five. You will never have applied to be on Jim'll Fix It or Why Don't You?

You can't believe that we ever had black and white televisions and you will never understand how we could 'go out' without a mobile phone. You can never imagine life without computers.

If you were born before 1986 you will have understood everything that I have said and will probably have smiled. Your friends will all be married and you need to sleep more these days, usually until the afternoon, after a night out.

When you see kids with mobile phones you shake your head and 'tut'. You are always astounded to see young children so at ease with computers.

You may have remembered Dirty Den the first time he was on Eastenders. You still meet up with your friends from time to time, discuss the good old days and repeat stories about the things that you experienced together.

I was born in the 1960's.
I also hate what Nulabore has done and is STILL doing to me.
It's no wonder that I have become a Grumpy Old Twat!

That is all.


Anonymous said...

I once hopped in a Batmobile from the toy section and drove it around Sears. Bastards caught me around aisle 9.

Lorenzo said...

We played cricket in the street and smashed at least three of the neighbours windows. We also painted a hop scotch onto the road which remained there for years. We walked three miles along our branch line playing in the surrounding country side and returned eight hours later through the railway tunnel stood in the cut outs while the steam train passed. Life was so good then.

Linda said...

Happy Day then. I remember a grumpy old woman on our street coming out of her home when we were playing, shaking her fist, and telling us to "Bugger off"

No one dared challenge her!

These days she'd get "effing this and effing that" off the kids and probably have petrol poured through her letter box and set alight.

banned said...

The bomb sites were disappearing when I were a lad, being replaced by temporary but just as much fun building sites with their concrete mazes.
A regular haunt was the London to Scotland main railway line with about 6 or 7 sets of rails to be run around and over.
One dark evening in the middle of those lines outside a dismal British Rail brick shed a chap asked us if we'd like to see a fossil.
"Awrite then " we replied, at which he whipped his cock out.
How we laughed and scoffed, pointing and jeering as he scarpered off; poor bloke, if anyone was 'traumatised' it was him, bleedin' homo.

btw, T-Rex are still crap and Slade Rule OK ?

WendyB said...

I enjoyed this post! Born in 1967.

Anonymous said...

I tried to climb on a Raleigh Chopper and the cycle shop owner gave me a clip around the ear for my trouble.

We played cricket with a bald tennis ball and if you broke a window you were 'six and out'.

I was always being told to 'clear off'. I was dead scared and sometimes nearly pooped myself with fright. It never crossed my mind to be abusive.

Not like these days eh?

We used to love playing on the old railway lines too.
Sometimes we would trip and cut our knee on the 'big gravel'. Then we'd have to ride our bike home one handed whilst holding a hanky on the graze. Quite a skill, if I remember.

Never did see any cock fossils though.

Screech said...

There used to be a house on a small hill overlooking the row of houses where i grew up and the nosey old bat who lived there always had to know who was doing what and coming and going, looking out the window with her binoculars and getting on the phone to whoever she thought would be interested, the internet has nothing on her form of instant messaging. Us kids started getting wise to this, and a few of us would set up a distraction at the far end of the lane like a fake fight or something dodgy looking which (via the glassworks internet of course) would bring half the street out to either watch (blokes)and place bets or break it up (women)and also the old dear would be nearly first on the scene with her walking stick. What she didn't know was that there were two of us waiting in her bushes ready to go round the back of her house and steal a carrier bag full of grapes from her small vineyard round the back and a few pockets full of freshly laid eggs from her chickens. Not even our parents knew about it till years after the old girl popped it, bless her soul.

Anonymous said...

Hee hee.
What an excellent anecdote, Screech.

On reflection I should have included the word 'resourceful' in my post because, after all, it's one of the other great qualities that our generation possess.

BTW, we used to call them NCT's.
(net curtain twitchers}

rochester_house said...

We had great fun as kids tying a piece of cotton to a piece of string, then the cotton to a door knocker. Pull the string to make the knocker work then a hard tug to break the cotton when the lights came on.

Oh we were naughty. If kids did it to me now I would go balistc :-(

I once made a cart of of pieces of wood and pram wheels. Heated the poker in our fire until it was cherry red to burn a hole to put a bolt through for a steering pivot. First time out, shot down our street, straight over the main road and hit the curb. Front wheels ripped out, cart stopped, I shot forward and the bolt tore a hole right through my shirt, jeans and almost my future wedding tackle. Had a two foot scar for months. Born in 1954 :-)

Anonymous said...

"If the kids did it to me now I would go ballistic".

I would probably summon The Scrapster to pursue the cheeky little fuckers down the street and reward him with a nice pork and leek sausage upon his return.

Miranda said...

I forced my niece and nephew into drinking from the water hose outside this summer, my niece told me she would die. I laughed and made her do it anyway. I have been roaming around trying to find good blogs to read, and I think I might have found a good one.

St Crispin said...

We used to walk about a mile and a half into the woods (where our parents knew that some vagrants lived, but they just told us to give them a wide birth) to play on our "Tank". The tank was actually an overgrown and VERY rusted bren gun carrier, left 30 years earlier.
great days!

Anonymous said...

Another great story, St.Crispin.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing it.

JJ said...

I loved growing up in the 1960s.
Vibrant days, when you thought the world was on the edge of change...