By Rodimus Dunn
Dude, I’m old. Not adult diaper, AARP, discounts at the movies, want to eat dinner at 4 PM, qualify for Medicare old. But I’m certainly have had some friends for over 20 years, wear loafers more than sneakers, teenagers call me sir, think about my 401K, have gray hairs on my body other than my head old. Although actually realizing my best physical years are behind me is depressing, it’s encouraging to know that I can date women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s and not look like a creep. Anyway, here’s a further examination into knowing when to start crossing out stuff on the bucket list. It really boils down to stuff, events, and music. If you can’t relate to any of these things, then you’re probably not old.
• Dated items – I, like many old people still own a few cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and floppy disks. That also means that I own a stereo that plays cassettes, a VCR, and a computer that’s too old to use flash drives. Moreover, until very recently, I owned a television that didn’t have a remote control (yes, TVs initially did not come with remotes), and had a craving for a Whatchamacallit candy bar.
• Cars – At this stage in my life before I would purchase a vehicle I would research such things like gas mileage, enough room in the back for child car seats, length of the warranty, and resale value. That’s old man thinking. Not too long ago, all I would want to know is the horse power, if it came with a spoiler, and if I could program radio stations.
• Cereal – Gone are the days of Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, and Golden Grahams. Now it’s all about Special K, Cheerios (original kind, not even Honey Nut or Apple Cinnamon), and Total. To make matters even worse, I have to make sure that I have some fruit to cut up and add to the cereal. In the past such behavior was considered sacrilege. I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit to occasionally buying one of the sugar based cereals in an effort to relive my youth. I thankfully just tore up a box of Fruity Pebbles about a month ago with no regrets.
• News – I used to NEVER, EVER, EVER watch the news. My ten o’clock hour has always been reserved for Sportscenter on ESPN. How did I know what the temperature was going to be the next day? I’d open the door and check in the morning. How did I know if it was going to rain or not? I never had a clue. How did I know what the current events were? Honestly, I never really did. Speaking of the news, I remember newsworthy stuff like the Iran Contra affair with Oliver North, the Clarence Thomas sexual harassment scandal, the meaning behind “trickle down economics,”and when space shuttle launches were must-see events. What’s more, I even remember how popular OJ Simpson was prior to all the double homicide, kidnapping, and burglary stuff. I used to make fun of my parents for watching all this boring stuff, but now I realize that I know which channels CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC are on Comcast.
• Comics/cartoons – Essentially every comic book or cartoon that I used to obsess over has been made into a live action movie. It would still be somewhat surreal if the majority of them weren’t absolutely horrible. It’s impossible for the young to imagine this, but we old folks spent years hoping and praying for a live action movie starring our super heroes. Furthermore, we spent countless hours debating which actors would play these characters. I can’t forget to mention the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I actually realized that I was indeed old when I heard that the TMNT had just recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. So one of the premiere comic and TV series that I grew up with is now over 25 years old. Someone please pass the Geritol (only people who are old even know what Geritol is…sigh).
• Social media – I have a smart phone, and so do my parents. The difference is that I at least know how to use most of the features, even if I don’t use them. That makes me feel somewhat young, but the fact that I’ve never had a MySpace or twitter account makes me feel geriatric. I do the Facebook thing reluctantly, essentially because anybody who wants to make money in cyberspace has to use the worlds #2 website as a vehicle. Lastly, I love to text (I easily send a few thousand every month), but I’d much rather have a 5 minute phone conversation than text back and forth for 30 minutes. Guys, if you ever date a much younger woman make sure you have unlimited text messages on your cell phone plan, or expect a huge overage every month. Trust me on this one.
• Gangsters – Snoop Dogg has done spots for high grossing companies; Ice Cube has been in Disney movies; Ice-T is broadcast nationally in primetime. When I was younger, these guys were known for being “gangsters,” and their message of violence and hatred was dubbed dangerous to our country. I still haven’t come to grips with a dude who raps about smoking copious amounts of marijuana and fornicating with numerous different women (despite having a family) carries an entire BCS National Championship halftime. Furthermore, a guy who used to be in a group named Niggaz With Attitudes makes PG rated movies. Lastly, a guy who was initially infamous for making a song entitled “Cop Killer” stars in the hit show Law & Order SVU portraying – you guessed it – a cop.
from Efil4Zaggin to Are We There Yet
• Michael Jackson – I’m old enough to remember him as the greatest entertainer to ever grace this planet; young people will only know him as the weirdo (“Jacko”) who made his children wear funky masks in public, had lots of odd surgeries and skin changes, allegedly molested children, owned an amusement park and a pet monkey, and died a very unceremonious death involving a potentially crooked physician. Everyone in my age group can remember where they were anytime an MJ video would premiere. These were events, not just ordinary videos that used to play on MTV. To put his brilliance into perspective, his second best selling album went platinum 8 times, he won 2 Grammy’s, had 6 top ten Billboard songs, and 5 Billboard #1s. And yes, I did mean his 2nd bestselling album. By the way, I actually remember when MTV and VH1 played music videos literally all day long…seeing as how they are supposedly music channels.
• Out with the new, in with the old – I rarely listen to the radio to follow new music because I think it just isn’t as good. Isn’t this the same thing people I used to call old would say? I couldn’t name a single Drake, Taylor Swift, Justin Beiber, or Jonas Brothers song, but if a Michael Jackson, Sade (by the way, Sade looks exactly the same now as she did 20 years ago…how does she not age?), U2, Phil Collins, Beatles, or Nirvana song comes on, I probably know all the words. Not to sound like a geezer, but music actually isn’t as good anymore because to get famous, the artist’s music needs to fit a certain formula: catchy up-tempo beat, song less than 4 minutes long, clever hook. No one plays actual instruments, goes outside of the box musically, or actually improves as an artist. I’m okay with this because I have plenty of music on my computer, on CD’s, and on cassettes, but I’ll take it very hard when they start calling 80′s music oldies.