“Yeah…this is an old bit… but so’s yo’ mama!” ~danof89
From the pages of one of the most MEANINGFUL and WORTHWHILE Publications of ALL TIME, comes the definition of a phrase that transcends all pointless and redundant phrases to have come around since. . .” You SEE what I’m Saying?”
The Phrase: “Back in the Day” as defined by The Urban Dictionary.com –
Back in the Day:
Completely meaningless phrase which has gained inexplicable global popularity. It’s an incomplete thought: Back in what day? It’s a redundant way of saying “Once, I…” or “I used to…” and adds words without adding any extra meaning. Similar to the equally pointless “at the end of the day…” popularized by English soccer stars.
Back in the day, I used to be younger.I was a child once, back in the day.
I would like to explore the phenomenon known as “Old SchoolReminiscing”. Though those words are never actually grouped with one another to describe any sort of “event”. In fact, it is a thinly-veiled attempt to identify a more widely-recognized occurrence that takes place at this timein a lot of men’s lives, when faced with the prospect of “getting older”. This is NOT to be confused with a “Mid-Life Crisis” . It would better be interpreted as the point in a man’s life, when he realizes he is indeed “Going to Die”. Not only does the man realize his very “mortality”, but he “takes stock” of his achievements (or lack thereof) in life, and formulates a plan for the remainder of his time spent on earth. The thing that distinguishes this from a “Mid-Life Crisis” is that the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78 years of age. I turned 39 years of age last Thursday. I AM right at that mid-age point, however, plans are underway for me to move my family to ANDORRA in the next few months (where the life expectancy is 83 years). I will thus ensure NOT having to go through this process, for at least another 2 years. (I think I did the math right) Either way it doesn’t matter, because by then, I am surethat they will have invented something in the “Scientific Community”that will extend that life-expectancy well into the 100’s and that they will also come up with something that will reverse the damage done to my body by my “Party Years” (1989-2001) and also come up with something that will PURGE my lungs from any trace of my years as a smoker (1985-5 minutes ago). That being said, I was really only left with the musings of someone that is growing slightly older and who is probably dealing with Early-stage Alzheimer’s. (which will also be taken care of by my buddies in the Medical Community WELL BEFORE I need to “start getting worried“)
So with that “Load Off” I was just left wondering about how I will spend “The Autumn of my Years” ? Now I realize that this may seem a tad “fatalistic”. I actually found the process to be quite liberating. In fact, as a father of four, I discovered that it gave me a different perspective on the world that “I” grew up in and the one that mykids find themselves trying to “survive” . I’ll be honest. . . the kids of today? Don’t stand a chance. (mine do,because they have ME and my WIFEfor parents – I’m talking about yours) Unless they get into Medicine . . . They need to keep us alive. . . and working. Pretty soon the age for collecting Social Security will surpass that Average Life Expectancy thing. Unless you join us in Andorra . Do yourself a favor though. . . Learn a little Spanish or Portugese. . .
Keep in mind, I am still a PUBLIC SCHOOL BUS DRIVER . . . in addition to the manyother “hats” I find myself donning (typically a fedora or baseball cap – I tried a derby , but couldn’t pull that look off) This rather “ordinary”, yet unusual (for a guy, fully capable of Manual Labor), occupation offers me a view of the “Next Generation” of America . Those children that will soon become the”Leaders of Tomorrow”. A prospect I find not only “scary”, but downright “trouser-soiling”. They are FAR from ready to “turn the corner” on a brighter future. I am afraid that (by the looks of it) they don’t even know where “the corner” is. Let alone know how to turn it. Unless it involves “Street Racing” . Then there are quite a few that could “take the corner”, but would more than likely lose control and get in a horrible accident. . . I’m telling you folks. . . things seem a little BLEAK. The one thing that I have discovered in the two years since I’ve decided to climb behind the wheel of a “40 Foot Twinkie” is that ,“TIMES? . . . They Are A-Changin’ “. After my birthday, this last week, I found myself listening to the kids on my bus a little more. I usually listen to them anyway, but I put forth a concerted effort to really “Hear” them. . . Shortly thereafter, I’d kind of wished instead of my mind, I’d have started losing my hearing. These “kids”TALK as if they are ADULTS. Albeit really IMMATURE adults, who seem to be suffering from sex addiction,drug addiction and, in A LOT of cases, Turrets Syndrome . . . What they TALK about, what they THINK about and HOW THEY THINK would make you cringe .
So. . . at the end of the week, I decided to look back at the way things were when I was approximately “Their” age. Keep in mind that I am not waxing nostalgic, (I don’t even wash my car) I’m merely differentiating between the “Stupid of Yesterday” and the “Idiots of Tomorrow” .
Turning 39 was a birthday,that to me, held about the same significance as turning 15 (the year before I could get my driver’s license) and 20 (the year before I could buy a drink) . Though, Idrovebefore I got my license and drank before I could do so legally. . . Come to think of it, I drank whiledriving before doing so became”Against the Law”. Actually,driving while intoxicated, as far as I know, has ALWAYS been somewhat of a “No No”. But,I would have to say that in my “late adolescence” that Law Enforcement was a little more lax on “the Law” and “the Enforcement”,when it came to making arrests.I am by NO MEANS making light of an “activity” that took the lives of more than 17,000 people in 2008 and is the leading cause ofcriminal death in the United States. There are an abundance of statistics and STORIES backing up WHY drinking and driving is not only STUPID, but life-changing,ending and altering for anyone left in its aftermath. I myself have been affected by the deaths of 4 people during my 39 years on this planet, because SOMEONE decided it was a viable option to get behind the wheel of a car when they wereinebriated. . .
THAT being said, I am referring to a time,in this country’s history, when things were drasticallydifferent. I would even go further back in time, and point to one of my favorite movies of all time: “It’s a Wonderful Life” to tell you what I mean. Remember when”George Bailey” got “tanked”, when he thought he lost the Savings and Loan? Then he went driving and ran into that tree? The guy who owned the tree seemed content just giving poor George a knuckle sandwich and sending him on his merry and drunk-ass way. When he happened upon Ernie and Bert (Happy 40th B-day Sesame Street) they were more concerned with poor George’s safety and how he was going to get home. Nowadays, I’m thinking I’ve seen that same scenario played out on countless episodes of “COPS” with dramatically different (though equally entertaining) results. I UNDERSTAND that it was a MOVIE. But, I know (at least in the Midwest during in the 80’s) that the way it went in that scene, was more typical of the way it played out in Real Life
. . . Time’s They are a Changin’.
I remember in the late 80’s , it wasn’t uncommon for “kids” well under the drinking age (unless you drove to Wisconsin) to get a case of beer,pile into a ’79 Chevette and go “Road Trippin’ “. In college(the late ’80’s/early 90’s) the number of “kids” increased, the Chevette was traded in for a “Conversion Van” , and the case of beer was replaced by a “pony keg”. (This would typically occur at smallish Christian Liberal Arts Colleges, which will remain nameless – or so I’ve been told)Away we, um . . .”they” would go. A pack of highly-intoxicated and “wound-up” teenagers. Traveling the highways and byways,the interstates, city streets and rural roads. Just a drunken Keg of Dynamite , waiting to “Blow UP”. On the RAREoccasions that the “authorities” would actually stop “them”, the conversation would (hypothetically) go like this:
Cop: “You kids been drinkin’?”
Driver (laughing and quieting his DRUNK friends): “No”
Cop: “Can we look in your trunk/back of your van?”
Cop: “Get out and stand against the vehicle, I’m calling your coach/parents”
30 minutes later. . . You were returned to your dorm/parents’ custody trying to line up a “legal” alcohol-buyer (the cop’s cousin) for the following weekend. The police would often “confiscate” the alcohol. “They” would always joke that officers probably took it home,or back to the station, and drank it. When they took a pony keg, I’m sure that Sunday Football was “Game ON” at the deputy’s garage the following day (the cousin bringing the ‘tapper’) . . . This was actually pretty sad (for the cops). As students, “we” (okay, I can’t keep up the charade) could barely afford anything better than “Milwaukee’s Best” (aka Milwaukee’s BEAST) or “Natural Light” (Nasty Light) OR on Special Occasions Pabst Blue Ribbon (just PBR, it was like chardonnay) There was also a brew so VILE (it was $3.00 a case) ,called BLATZ, that was so beyond the description of repugnant, that its existence is legendary. I believe it actually derived its name from the “sound” it made in a toilet, once the full case made its way back up the “unfortunate consumer’s” digestive tract. If you were “lucky”(?) enough to “keep it down” a full 24 hours, the beer received a new name. . . “SHATZ” . I would joke, quite often (when I hadn’t been the one whose inner workings hadn’t been savagely BRUTALIZED by the malt beverage) that it would be a lot easier pouring the stuff directly down the toilet. . . Cut out the”Middle Man”. . . BUT, “they” would argue,would’ve lost out on the EFFECT. What was the effect again? Real Nasty Hangovers and a reason to write about how STUPID I was as a kid? . . Lucky that I and my Motley “Brew Crew” had never gotten someone killed, injured or otherwise ruined our lives irreparably?
Some of you may be confused, from time to time, when it seems as though I give contrasting points of view on a topic. . .You may feel that in my effort to speak of the dangers of alcohol and impaired drivers on the roadways, that I may have fallen short in my message and may have instead romanticized an “activity” that could be fatal. Thinking of the “good old days” (not all THAT great in hindsight) and losing sight of how it could have very easily gone a different route. InMY CASE . . .it did. . .I wasted a lot of years continuing to party LONGafter LAST CALL. But . . .this isn’t about THAT. This is about how TIMES ARE A-CHANGIN’.
QUESTION: Do you think that kids are doing the same things I used to do in my YOUNGER DAYS? You bet your ASS they are! In LARGER numbers. The numbers of fatalities each year as a result bare that out. But that isn’t the ONLY thing that I hear on my BUS, that concerns me. Maybe I AM getting OLD, but the “children” of today seem to have been “Thrust” head-first into an ADULT WORLD. Kids 14,15 and 16 years of age are talking about their sexual exploits. They are smoking and drinking as much as they EVER did. Maybe they AREN’T smoking Cigaretteslike they did when I was a teenager. (I’d like to know which kids they get to take part in these POLLS) But they are smoking a HECKUVA’ lot more POT . The first time I caught a kid lighting up a “sneak-a-toke” on my bus, I about LOST IT. I am, as a rule, pretty “laid back” in my demeanor. But the fact this little “puke”thought he would BLAZE ONE UP on my bus, threw me. Not so much because he was smoking weed, but that he couldn’t wait the10 minutes to get home, until he “hit it”.
As much as you might believe I was thinking about the “Good Old Days”, I was thinking more of a “simpler” time. The kids of today are confronted with temptation and “adult” choices at every turn. That’s part of the reason I don’t think they are too concerned about making that “last corner”towards actually “Growing Up”. What do we offer them to look forward to? Who do they really have as “Role Models”? . . . CELEBRITIES? How does THAT one work? We, as a society, are targeting kids with advertising that is VERY adult in nature. The TV shows, movies, music. . .(Wow, did it suddenly just become very OLD in here?)
All Seriousness Aside. . .
Who’d you come up with out there?. . . MILEY CYRUS ? . . . No, I’m thinking when “Daddy” allowed her to date “Mr. Achy Breaky Statutory Rapey”, all bets were off. Then WHO?. . . Britney Spears? nope. . . Lindsay Lohan ?. . .nu,uh. . .To be honest, I can’t think of a legitimate “younger person” that could or should be put on a kids”pedestal”, as “What to Be Like” in a person . I don’t talk A LOT about current events, but I couldn’t help but talk about something I’ve noticed of late on tabloid television. Yes, I watch it. How would I come up with my material? . . Actually, MOSTof that can be taken care of by watching the “regular” Evening News. But, this Levi Johnstonand Jon Gosselin as guest correspondents on “The Insider”, really gets me “bunched up”. WHY would society pin “CELEBRITY” on a couple guys that have contributed NOTHING to SOCIETY? They are a guy who knocked up a teenager and an Adulterer ! BIG DEAL!?What kind of message are we sending the youth in our country? Be a frickin’ LOSER and ruin your family in front of MILLIONS and you can be FAMOUS?. . . Then they can’t stop talking about Johnston’s flabby ass posing for Playgirl – for going on 3 consecutive WEEKS? . . .(My apologies to Sean Astin for my recent comparison’s between you and Levi. YOU, gave us “Rudy” ). . .
On a final note, I wanted to mention that I REMEMBER sitting down at a church in my youth listening to a spiel about the “Evils of Rock n’ Roll” . I understand that this debate has been going on since the invention of Rock and Roll, but because I have recently become “Older than Dirt”, I realized that those that came before me, might have been “On to Something”. NO, I am not going to become Tipper Gore (No matter how much you want me to – Sorry, AL) I LOVE ROCKand still listen to it on a daily basis. . . But, when the kids in mybus ask me to turn the radio station to something a little more”today” than what I am accustomed to listening to. . . let’s just say, I don’t remember the Rock of my youth having ditties like these. If they DID. . . I think my parents must have been doing something the rest of us apparently AREN’T. . . A GOOD JOB. Here’s a few (keep in mind, they are CATCHY as HELL, but little kids are SINGING them):
– Thank You to Ms. Ga Ga for following me on Twitter (still baffles me, why?) But I would think that even she would agree that 14 year old girls singing along to this tune, invokes images of a young lady singing about luring pre-pubescent boys to her “yard” and charging them for a crack at her “Milkshake”. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to sing about a pogo stick – devoid of any innuendo?Though,this song skipsthe innuendo and goes straight to RAUNCHY.
– On one of my family’s trips to Venice Beach (see one of my original “bits” in this epicWEBLOG) I spoke of a hotel catering to this type of clientele. The “train” left the station several times in the room next to ours one night. Seems a few guys (and a “woman”?) were on leave from the “War on Terror” in the Middle East and decided to keep me,my wife and children in horrified “TOTAL TERRORIZED AWAKENESS”. Let’s support our troops. But not at Deano’s Motel (on Sepulveda Boulevard in Culver City, California off of the 405). NOT a”family friendly”excursion. . .OR SONG.
Blame it (On the Alcohol)
– Jamie Foxx was a funny member of the show “In Living Color”. When I heard this song for the first time, I thought, “Cool, yet ANOTHER song utilizing ‘Auto Tone’ technology. (something used by Cher ONCE – and that should have been the end of it – it should have been destroyedIMMEDIATELY thereafter) I thought, “There is someone VERY untalented on the other end of the mic, singin’ about how BOOZE makes him the sleazeball he is”. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that the Oscar-winner for Ray (2004), was the “sleazeball” who was gettin’ the kids on my bus bumpin’. (though not while IN my bus – just to clarify)
Everywhere I Go
– (I couldn’t show the video, because my “bit” is Rated PG – So I am substituting the Lonely Island/Michael Bolton Grammy schtick) On the one hand, it is really good to DANCE to. It is VERY catchy. I liken it to the “Beastie Boys” and “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn”and “Brass Monkey”, save one “fatal flaw”. The lyrics seem to be about a guy who “can’t keep it in his pants” and would like very much to get underage girls a little tipsy, so he could get to a little “Date Rape” action. In other words this song is EVIL! I am sure that this song is very popular at high school beer-drinking parties across this great Nation of ours. The kids completely eating up the lyrics and more than likely living them out every other weekend. If not on a daily basis. . . “The Hollywood Undead” have another hit. . . while our kids have another “miss”. As in “missing the point”.
“WE” used to have Party Anthems too. . . IN COLLEGE. . .
All I know, is that Back in the Day. . . Girls weren’t getting “knocked up” in Jr. High, let alone TRYING TO. . . Kids weren’t KILLING one another with such frequency. . . DRUGS weren’t making the rounds in the playgrounds like they are today. . . TIMES? . . .They are a-Changin’. . . “Back in the Dizzle?. . . fo’ Shizzle” (and yes, I understand that is improper usage and a phrase rarely uttered with any frequency anymore – that’s kind of the point- I’m OLD-SOMEBODY has to keep an eye on this crew)
‘Til Then. . . Go Figg’r!
Peace Out – Later