In my day, you could buy a polythene bag of cigarette butts for 5p. And everyone had a proper haircut.
In my day, plumbers gave free vasectomies whilst reciting patriotic poems. And all the buses were red.
In my day, there was always more than enough sex to go round, with plenty left for seconds. And England was the only country.
In my day, you had to wear rubber pants. No one complained. It kept the doctor away. And it never rained, except on bank holidays.
In my day, sofas were encased in iron. Not like these horrid modern fabric covers. And everyone knew how to twerk.
In my day, we all loved a good war. The kids played genocide in the streets. You could wander around naked and no one complained.
In my day, everyone had a commemorative Sex Pistols mug. Tea never tasted better. You could throw your dog out the window if you wanted.
In my day, the public bogs were palaces. You could get your ears waxed whenever you liked. And nobody farted or said, “Fuck.”
In my day, everyone read Borges. None of that Harry Potter. The grass cut itself. Houses grew on trees.
In my day, you were allowed to nuke people who looked at you funny. We all respected the shopkeepers. And the flu hadn’t been invented.
In my day, you could get Spotify on the wireless for two bob a week. And energy saving lightbulbs were so bright, your face burned.
In my day, babies were delivered to your door. They only cried in the afternoons. They were good as gold. Cats smelt of vanilla.
In my day, a man’s erection was strong enough to lift a car. Criminals were grateful when we flogged them. Curtains were fireproof.
In my day, glass slippers were fitted as standard. Everyone was entitled to a prince. They sold off the broken ones to Taiwan.
In my day, a man could hold his breath for five weeks, if he wanted. TVs were made of platinum and elbow grease.
In my day, you could take your kids to an execution and no one minded. People had manners and didn’t show their teeth, ever.
In my day, most people were Olympic-standard swimmers. You couldn’t move for bald men in Speedos. And gravy was as thick as mud.
In my day, you could get drunk on a teaspoon of shandy. Carrots were 100% carrot. None of them additives. And burglars tidied up after themselves.
In my day, everyone was taught to sight read music at school. We had composers coming out of our ears. Silence didn’t exist.
In my day, it snowed to order on Christmas Day. The presents were so big, it took four people to lift them. We all played Monopoly in the woods.
In my day, 1+1 could equal any number you wanted. There was a magical kingdom in every wardrobe. And dreams were more realistic.
In my day, the central heating was so good, you could cook a chicken with it. We were all used to the heat. If our eyes melted, we just laughed.
In my day, you were allowed to kidnap anyone you wanted, as long as your ransom note didn’t have any bad grammar in it.
In my day, we all wore Andrei Tarkovsky t-shirts on Sundays. No one thought anything of it. And nosey neighbours minded their own business.
In my day, mirrors showed you the future. We often danced in the streets all night. You were allowed the broken clocks for free.
In my day, chocolate was made from blood and was much better for you. Gobstoppers lasted forever. We all slept standing up, like real men.
So, I was thinking the other day, we all get grumpy as we grow older because whatever the status quo was when we were kids is what we instinctively feel is “correct”, and as social norms inevitably change we feel that it’s bad whatever direction they change in. Some things get stricter, and we feel that the new norms are unbearably prudish and repressive, and other things get laxer, and we’re sure everything’s going to the dogs. At the same time.
… And then you went and said it so much more beautifully than I ever could.
Thank you for your kind words!