Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Well, Charlotte, it was like this...


Someday, maybe in the not too distant future, my daughter Charlotte may ask me what life was like when I was a child.
At least, I hope she asks me.
Now, I know how boring the past is for some. I have personally witnessed eyes glazing over at the mere mention of the Sixties.
But for little Charlotte (she's not 18 months old and really isn't into my music yet) it will be important to know what life was like for her daddy. If she isn't permanetly on her phone and her computer, that is.
I made a little list for her. Ok. A big list.
Here, I will tell her, is what we DIDN'T have.
1 More than one television channel.
2 Colour television.
3 Live soccer on television.
4 Reality television.
5 Satellite television.

6 Personal computers.
7 Email
8 The Internet.
9 Mobile phones.
10 Playstation or Nintendo.
11 Health food.
12 Late night drinking (legally, at least).
13 Cheap air travel.
14 CDs
15 DVDs
16 Even the now obsolete videos.
17 iPods or any form or MP3 player.
18 Identity theft.
19 Digital cameras.
20 Digital anything.
21 Shredders.
22 ATM machines.
23 Chip and Pin.
24 Motorways.
25 Commuter rail services like LUAS or DART.
26 Greed.
27 Barbecues.
28 Sushi.
29 Chinese/Indian/Thai/Japanese/anything other than Irish or Italian, restaurants.
30 Wine (other than Blue Nun, Black Tower and Green Lable).
31 Chick Lit.
32 Bonsai trees in offices.
33 Sandwich bars on every corner.
34 Kebabs.
35 Karaoke.
36 Hair gel.
37 Botox.
38 B list celebrities, C list celebrities all the way down to Z list celebrities.
39 Multiplex cinemas.
40 Shopping malls or even shopping centres.
41 Enough taxis.
42 The money to get taxis.
43 Gap or transition years.
44 Work experience.
45 Points to get into college.
46 Two, three, four – or even one car per house in many cases.
47 Dishwashers.
48 Detergent tablets.
49 Quite as many corrupt and useless self-serving politicians.
50 Black pepper and sea salt.
51 Speed cameras.
52 Alternative medicine.
53 Dairy spreads.
54 GM foods.
55 Heelys.
56 Replica football shirts.
57 A Rugby World Cup.
58 A card-carrying imbecile in the White House.
59 Widespread availability of drugs. Other than a bit of blow. Maybe a tab of acid here and there. And a little speed.
60 Rap 'music'.
61 Footballers paid, per week, what most people earn per year.
62 WAGS.
63 Any concert venues.
64 Bad manners.
65 Booking fees for tickets.
66 Toll roads.
67 The Green Party.
68 Fridge-freezers.
69 Islands in the kitchen.
70 Stereo.
71 Remote controls for the television.
72 Property speculation.
73 Crap summers.
74 Foreigners and immigration.
75 Christmas ads in September.
76 Pat Kenny
77 Millions of radio stations.
78 People making millions out of Irish dancing.
79 Boy bands.
80 BMX bikes.
81 Latte, cappuccino or  mocha.
82 Croissants, bagles, Danish pastries.
83 Croke Park – as it is.
84 The Spire.
85 Smoke alarms.
86 Iraq and Darfur and tensions with Iran. (But we did  have Vietnam and Biafra and tensions with Cuba)
87 The Brit awards. The Soap awards. The Irma awards. The Meteor Awards. The Mercury Prize. The IFTA Awards. And so on.
88 Alternative comedians.
89 Wheely bins.
90 Wormers.
91 Anybody going to Leinster rugby matches.
92 Disc parking.
93 Smoke-free pubs.
94 Natural gas.
95 Church scandals.
96 Dirty hospitals.
97 Chuggers.
98 Garda helicopters.
99 Political correctness.
100 The cheek to tell our fathers they were boring when they told us about their childhoods.

1 comment:

Brendan Martin said...

Dear Charlotte, Your dad has a short memory. I query the following:
11. Health food - most food in Ireland was health food in those days because we weren't applying additives
14. CDs - yes we did, they were little plates on the back of diplomats' cars
21. Shredders - but in those days the cereal company that made them called them Shreddies. (In fact, until I read your blog I didn't know they had changed the name.)
23. My uncle in Kilkenny had two dogs that he called Chip and Pin
36. Hair gel - We had Brylcreem, a sort of gel...well, sort of. I'm told some fellas between 12 and 15 didn't always use it on their hair!
37. (Not actually querying this one - just pointing out that's not how you spell bollox.)
47. Dishwashers - As kids we were dishwashers after every meal
48. Detergent tablets - The pills we took after getting disease from all the washing up
70. Stereo - I bought "Beatles For Sale" in January 1965 in Murray's Record Centre (any relation?) in Dun Laoghaire in stereo. Mind you I had nothing to play it on except a mono turntable.
76. Pat Kenny - True, but it was worse, we had that fecking eejit Jimmy Magee (Go on sue, Jimmy)
79. Boy bands - The Batchelors, need I say more? Probably but I'm not going to
88. Alternative comedians - we had Hal Roach. He's an alternative to comedy
92. Disc parking - Of course we didn't, nobody drove discs in those days. Still don't as far as I can see.
98. Garda helicopters - My aunt Brigid says she remembers seeing at least one Garda chopper in Naas. She can't be certain as it was a bit dark behind the dance-hall. It was either that or a Denny's sausage that had gone hard
100. The cheek to tell our fathers they were boring when they told us about their childhoods. - Don't kid yourself, matey. That's why Kane and Abel fell out. They got fed up with their Dad wittering on about how great the garden used to be before global warming!