Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Days Like The Old Days

All this snow that's been relentlessly pelting us here in the neutral zone between New York and New England has made this 39(ish)-year-old feel nostalgic.

snow-drift-window So gather `round, kiddies, and let me tell you about the winters back when I was your age.

Oh, it was a golden time. Golden! The adults would just sit around all day, warming their hands around some brown dishwater they called coffee back then, complaining about how the weathermen had overhyped a storm that never materialized.

Yes, whippersnappers, I said "men." None of these zaftig chippies thrusting their occluded fronts all up in your face like today, no siree, Bob!

(What? You're name is Madison? Your folks name you after the mermaid in Splash or something?)

Back in the olden days - you know, the early 1980s - to be a TV weather prognosticator in you had to be male. You also had to be either portly or have a goofy nickname -- often both.

`Course we only had seven channels back then. Moreover, news was only allowed to be reported at meal times or right before bed. That's how we stayed so thin in those days: highly concentrated doses of media-induced agita.

After the weather liars frightened the bejeezus out us all, we'd scurry down to the Finast and purchase every last loaf of bread, carton of eggs and gallon of milk we could find. Why? Why to make the French toast, wisenheimer! Mounds of it!

What for? Why we'd toss it onto the streets so our rear-wheel-drive cars could get some traction. Yeah, you yungins don't know how lucky you are these days, what with your fancy 4x4s and your SUVs and your microwavable Aunt Jemima.

Broadcasters weren't always scaring us, though. Other times, they’d magically transmit through the air only the most wholesome entertainment like post-Somers "Three's Company" and pre-McGinley "Love Boat."

Huh? What do I mean “magically transmit”? Well, we had these oversized potato mashers screwed onto the roof that would transmogrify these invisible electrostatic streams of Technicolor down into a big honkin' cathode ray tube housed in a wooden crate the exact size, shape and weight of one of those Acme safes that were always dropping on Wile E. Coyote's skull. Ah, they don't oversaturate afternoon programming with genuine cartoon violence like that anymore, Junior. That's why you're so soft.

Then the cable TV came to town. That was the end of it. In came the HBO. The Cinemax. The sticking of the tin foil through the vents in the back of the box to sneak a peek of a partially descrambled Playboy Channel movie. Shocking. Literally. I've heard.

All the children started staying in at night. They were glued to the front of the tube instead of out loitering in the Friendly's parking lot, hopped up on hormones and strawberry Fribbles, or holding keg parties on one of the back holes of the golf course.

Bah, that's what passes for progress nowadays.

What's that? Oh, right. Winter when I was a kid.

After all that "storm of the century" talk on the airwaves, you know what? We'd get six flakes of snow. Six!

It'd stay so warm none of the ponds would freeze, not that they could anyway, what with all the chemicals from the old Big Mac clamshell containers we used to toss in there. But instead of thanking our lucky stars, we'd just grumble about those nincompoop forecasters who got us riled up for nothing.

Good times, good times.

Well, looks like another 18 inches has fallen outside. Now you kids -- get off my lawn! I mean it. Unless one of you wants to dig out the old Christmas tree I left there last week for the men to pick it up for recycling.

If you do, I'll give ya a shiny Susan B. Anthony dollar.

22 comments:

  1. That actually almost made me feel a little better about all the effing snow.

    McGinley. THAT son of a bitch.

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  2. Stop pulling our legs with your tall tales, Grandpa....

    P.S. I'm with HM. I'll never forgive McGinley for killing Happy Days.

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  3. Brilliant! Them punks don't know how good they have it.

    Made my morning, Gramps :)

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  4. Hey, McGinley was HOT. And it's hard to be sure the kids are off your lawn when you can't tell where the lawn IS.

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  5. Is it bad that I'm excited to be the first woman to comment on your post?

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  6. must admit i do not miss snow days or the snow

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  7. Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.....YOU my dear are the young whippersnapper. 7 TV channels? I recall 3 and it was in black and white, my friend. We didn't need to work out because we had to get off our fannies to go change the channel. Remotes have ruined today's youth.

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  8. Ahhh, Bijoux said it first. Only 3 Channels, 4 if you count the "snowy" VHF station starring Wee Willy Webber. Then again you would have had Laurie Partridge.

    (I was total Davy Jones.)

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  9. Partially descrambled? Lucky you. I grew up thinking boobies were green and blue.

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  10. Wait. Tin foil? TIN FOIL????

    Why, in the name of all that is holy, did nobody share this information with me with I was 12 and really, really, really could have used it?

    Dammit.

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  11. I was more of a 70s kid in the Midwest, and there were snow days like this for sure. There were also days where Dad dug a small space outside the back door for the dog to do her business, and we'd sled on giant snowdrifts in the street. The milk and bread the men-folk gathered during those storms came in handy for that french toast. : )

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  12. This is some of your best right here.

    Three's Company could be pretty racy, though. That perverted Mr. Roper and Larry...

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  13. I've been a little smug about the 75 degree weather we've been having down here in GA, and now it's raining and dismal.

    I lived in Alaska for 3 years when I was a kid, so I always laugh when people down here start to panic like lemmings at the hint of an inch of snow.

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  14. That was awesome! So funny. I don't know why but the term "big honkin cathode ray tube" just killed me. Nice work and best of luck with all the winter storms.

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  15. I see your Finast and raise you a Grand Union

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  16. Funny. Just this weekend I was talking to my aunt, who reminded me that winter used to always be like this.

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  17. Too funny! I remember those giant potatoe mashers.

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  18. I love this post. It made me think about winter when I was little. :) But everytime I start to say one of my "when I was a kid" stories, Almost Hubs ups the anti with one of his. He's only 44, but growing up in Portugal, he had 3 channels, and they only ran for about 5 hours a day. And yes, he actually had to walk up hill, both ways to school. Something about being one way even for walkers. Anyway, he always seems to find a a way to ruin my "young whippersnapper" stories.

    Sometimes he just sucks. :)

    Gearing up for our next 12-15.

    YEAH...

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  19. I like the comment about the forecasters trying to scare you. Ain't that the dang truth.

    It was a lot more fun when the weatherman/woman/person just seemed tickled about getting that new Doppler radar dohichky, which in my small hometown beat the heck out of The Farmers Almanac.

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  20. In all honesty, I haven't even taken ours down.

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  21. Awesome post, brings me back for sure. Swinging by from NE bloggers because I felt guilty for not doing so lately. Glad I did though.

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