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The Baby Boomers - How Did We Ever Survive?

Updated on April 1, 2014

Generation X, Y, and Z

Today's generation - is it Generation X? Y? Z?...A again? - has it made! They go to work and school with iPads, iPhones, and Google Glasses! They go home and immediately go on the internet to chat with their friends or play with their XBoxes. Would-be sports stars are protected by helmets and new rules to prevent injury. In fact, so many new rules are being inserted into today's sports that the players don't have a sporting chance of having any fun.

Baby Boomers - Flirting with Extinction

We baby boomers, however, flirted with danger every day our our lives. Here are some terrifying examples:

  • Jackknives and Slingshots. No self-respecting boy was without a jackknife and a slingshot. Yes, we were practically terrorists back in those days. Today we would be suspended from school, if not thrown into prison, and have to undergo six months of behavior modification.
  • Ink wells and Ponytails - they just naturally went together. Of course kids today barely know what a pen is, but back then fountain pens or straight pens were used for writing, and ink wells were used for filling up those pens - or for dipping girls' ponytails into! Just as well that ink wells are a thing of the past, because today a boy caught doing that would be charged with sexual harassment and have to go through sensitivity training.
  • Mercury! Would you believe that teachers would pour out a vial of mercury onto a desk and kids could - Gasp! - experiment with breaking it up into little pools, join the pools together again, and watch the beads of mercury merrily roll around on the table? And don't get me started on lead pencils! Nothing improved our thinking abilities more than chewing on the lead end of a yellow HB pencil! And SOMEHOW we survived!
  • The Hazards of Driving a Car. Driving in those days was no day in the park, either. Back in baby boomer days turn signals on a car were rare, and drivers had to stick their arms out the window, signaling a right turn with their arm straight up in the air and a left turn by sticking their arm straight out. That could prove to be dangerous. I remember one day my father was in the middle of an intersection, signaling a left turn - only to have an Austin Mini drive up his sleeve!

You Haven't Heard the Half of It!

Not only that, but baby boomers

  • ...had BB guns, To make matters worse, they weren't registered!
  • ...drank whole milk, Yep, that stuff that was supposed to make us all fat!
  • ...drank pop from a glass bottle. I know, I know, young mothers everywhere are saying that we could have cut ourselves! Got infected! Died!
  • ...ate meals containing real butter or lard, See above.
  • ...climbed trees and built tree houses, an activity sure to raise the ire of environmentalists today.
  • ...drank non-bottled water out of a garden hose! All those germs! But the water never tasted better.
  • ...ran through a bug fogger machine spraying DDT! But we grew up to live normal lives - well, most of us, anyways.
  • ...didn't wear helmets when out bike riding. Yes, we fell, skinned our knees, picked gravel out of our skin. But we were indestructible in baby boomer days. Oh, what's bike riding, you ask? That's an activity we kids used to do before XBox and Nintendo came along. Thank God most children can spend most of their lives indoors now where it's safer!
  • ...only had as few as one - ONE, COUNT 'EM - TV channels - in Black and White yet! We also had to deal with snowy pictures - yes, kids, even in July we had snow!

Life is Good

Fortunately, mankind is now more civilized. We can spend most of our lives indoors - be it in our homes, restaurants or shopping malls - and shield ourselves from the dangers of the outside world. We can live our lives in the make-believe world of Grand Theft Auto, while munching on food containing fumeric acid, aspartame, monosodium glutamate, red dye #3, sodium sulfite and butylated hydroxyanisole. Yes sir, life is good!


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    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      I remember too, and the world was safer then, much safer. Up, interesting and awesome.

    • profile image


      4 years ago from Fort Wayne

      Yes, I remember those day...sigh... we were safer then and more savy to our world... nowadays, the children and adults stay indoors.. not enjoying the great outdoors.. where is your creativity, your sense of adventure? Don't hide, get out there and enjoy our world... we didn't rely on technology, we used our imagination, our brains and had more compassion towards each other.


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