Life Prior to "Safety
and the Litigations
My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and roll out pie crust on the
same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't
seem to get food poisoning.
My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it
raw sometimes too, but I can't remember getting E-coli.
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead
of a pristine pool (talk about boring), the term cell phone would
conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA
We all took gym, not PE . . . and risked permanent injury with a pair
of hightop Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having
athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I
recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us
how much safer we are now. Flunking gym was not an option . . . even for
stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.
Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson by running in
halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot.
much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have sued
the school system.
Speaking of school, we all said prayers and the pledge and staying in
detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention. We
have had horribly damaged psyches.
I can't understand it. Schools didn't offer 14 year olds an abortion
condoms (we wouldn't have known what either was anyway), but they did
give us a couple of baby aspirin and cough syrup if we started getting
sniffles. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school
nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was
allowed to be proud of myself. I just can't recall how bored we were
without computers, playStation, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital cable
I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through
denial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each
day about a mile down the road to some guy's vacant 20, built forts
branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got
to be the Lone Ranger. What was that property owner thinking, letting us
play on that lot. He should have been locked up for not putting up a
fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an
infrared intruder alarm.
Oh yeah . . . and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when
that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on
sites and when we got hurt, mom pulled out the 48 cent bottle of
mercurochrome and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a trip to
emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of
antibiotics and then mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for
leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we
got our butt spanked (physical abuse) here too ... and then we got
spanked again when we got home.
Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids choked
down the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka
(remember why Tonka trucks were made tough . . . it wasn't so that
they could take the rough Berber in the family room), and dad drove a
car with leaded gas.
Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am
that I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we went
on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the
they put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family
Summers were spent behind the push lawnmower and I didn't even know
that mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without
automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive.
How sick were my parents? Of course my parents weren't the only
I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his
tricks on the front stoop just before he fell off. Little did his mom
know that she could have owned our house. Instead she picked him up
and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that
were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known
that we needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We
were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even
notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we
Easy Simply; "In God We Trust"