OK, I’ll bite.
1. Drive-in movie theaters — I absolutely remember them: the movies, the speakers that you hooked to the car windows to get crackling sound (I think for one of the “Rocky” movies you could tune in to a frequency on the radio), playing in the parking lot with kids from the other family we went with.
I’m pretty sure one double-feature we went to was “Clash of the Titans” and “Porky’s.” (They did both come out in 1981.) No, my parents were not hopelessly corrupting 9-year-old me and my 5-year-old brother; we both slept through “Porky’s.”
As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen it.
2. Candy cigarettes — Yup, and it’s pretty wild to think of a time when they sold … candy … that looked like cigarettes … to children.
Of course, I also remember when you could smoke on airplanes. What I didn’t know is that airplanes are still required to have ashtrays, even though smoking has been banned for more than 20 years and there are lights warning you not to do it.
3. 45 RPM records — I sure do. They were the smaller records with one song on either side, and you had to have an attachment for the record player to fit the larger hole.
4. Party telephone lines — I think my parents talked about them, and they may have still been in use when I was a little kid, but not by the time I talked on the phone more than a little bit.
I’ll give myself a half for that one, and not randomly award myself the other half for remembering when there was only one phone in the house, which was attached to the wall … in the living room.
Privacy? Not so much.
5. Soda pop machines with glass bottles — I’m almost certain they had one of these in the bowling alley where I grew up, and it worked the exact way as in the video above — put the money in, open the door and yank the bottle out.
By the way, these are a lot of affirmative answers. I’m starting to get a bit nervous.
6. Butch wax — Nope
7. Studebakers — I’ve heard of them, but they were before my time.
8. Black Jack gum — No
9. Home economics class in school — Yes indeed. I remember making blueberry muffins in one class and holding a pancake breakfast where each group invited a special guest — we invited the school superintendent — in another.
10. 5 and Dime — I think they were just about at the end of the line, but I do remember them.
11. Metal lunchboxes — I had several.
12. Books with records — Not that I recall
13. Boone’s Farm — Does it count if I first heard of it in college? I want to say no, but that was 30 years ago.
14. Metal ice cube trays — This feels like something I should remember, but I don’t.
15. Roller skate keys — I’ve gone once in my life, and don’t remember keys being involved.
16. Home milk delivery in glass bottles — No
17. Wax Coke bottle candy — Nada
That gives me 8 1/2, including the Boone’s Farm. It lands me in “You’re Gettin’ There,” but with a few simple swaps — VCRs for butch wax, computer files on disks for Studebakers and … well, smoking on airplanes for Black Jack gum — I’m in “Older than Dirt!” without much trouble.
But even without funny little internet games, it has always been that way, hasn’t it?
After all, once upon a time, a Studebaker was a modern car and steam trains were technological marvels, so it was the “old folks” who used whatever came before.
And it will happen again. Someday, the younger folks of today may look back on TikTok and feel really old and lame compared to whatever the “kids” are using.
Don’t believe me?
What if I told you that Facebook was once a cool way to catch up with friends?