There are a lot of things that could have killed me by now.
My wife just showed me an article about the ‘5 second rule’. I didn’t read it because I have to write this blog, and that wouldn’t have contributed to it, but she was telling me that there is scientific evidence that actually supports the ‘5 second rule’. Her being a scientist, and me being someone who just might eat food off the floor, we have an appreciation for the fact that someone actually took the time to research this. I can’t comment on the article any further because I didn’t actually read it. My wife is the type that wouldn’t eat food off the floor, unless it was our floor, but it would take her longer than 5 seconds because I know her brain would run some sort of risk analysis before she did it. Me? I wouldn’t think twice. In my conversation with her, I confessed to eating food off restaurant tables frequently. In Diners, Fast Food restaurants, and shopping mall food courts. If a few french fries slip off my plate onto the table, I don’t hesitate. Consequences be damned. I’m still here.
Earlier this week a co-worker and I joked about being left in car parking lots as kids. My mom will read this blog and deny it, but I remember being given the option of sitting in the car when she went shopping. Not for a long time or anything, but as long as I kept the doors locked and didn’t open them for strangers, I could sometimes stay in the car and play with baseball cards. That stuff is a little more frowned upon now, but back in the day it was not a problem. The only issue with sitting in her car was that on a hot summer day, she had these horrible patterned vinyl seats. As the sun beat down on them during the day, they would heat up like a cast iron skillet, and if you were unfortunate enough to be wearing those high 80’s shorts (which in the 80’s I certainly did), you were going to get an imprint in the back of your leg, not unlike the guy in ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ when he was in the burning tavern and grabbed the hot medallion, and it seared into his skin. I can almost remember the sound of burning flesh on my legs. I also remember walking around for days with the pattern of her car seat on my skin, and being able to run my fingers along it like braille. I survived.
I was transported in a baby carriage that had what I can only describe as ‘shocks’ on the bottom to absorb the uneven sidewalk. I suspect I wasn’t the first baby to be pushed around in this thing, and it was worn in. I feel like if you hit a large enough crack in the sidewalk, that you could launch a baby 20 feet into the air with those loose springs. We didn’t use bike helmets when we were kids. I don’t even think they existed. Nobody used mouth guards when they played sports, you would just get your teeth knocked out. Food allergies didn’t exist the same way they do now. I don’t ever remember anybody seeming worried about anything I ate. If something was past the expiry date, you did the smell test, and if it passed, you were good to go. I’m alive.
I’m not trying to suggest all of that was better than being prepared, and padded, and safe. Just different, that’s all. Every generation has their exaggerated stories of having to walk through 50 miles of snow up to their eyeballs to get to school. They just get less and less interesting. When you’re the kid you roll your eyes every time your parents tell you those stories. Before you know it, you’re telling them, and you can’t believe how spoiled your own kids will be. By today’s standards I’ve done some things that probably aren’t too good for my health, safety or well-being. I’m still here though.
April 4th, 2014 at 8:15 am
Well said. I think that we worry far too much about things today. We never had seatbelts or baby seats or anything that you wouldn’t dream of going without now. And yet… here we are. 🙂
April 4th, 2014 at 12:46 pm
I forgot about baby seats! Weren’t seat belts kinda optional at one point too?
April 4th, 2014 at 1:26 pm
Yes, you only had to wear them in the front over here in the UK. And even then they weren’t law in the front until the mid 70’s I don’t think. 🙂
April 4th, 2014 at 9:23 am
And you wonder why your sweet little boy eats Cheerios off the floor… lol.
April 4th, 2014 at 12:46 pm
Like father like son 🙂
April 4th, 2014 at 4:34 pm
Yes, we see as we evolve what we lose and what we gain…The cars I grew up with were tanks compared to today’s vehicles. I used to lie in back where the ragtop went for our ’98 Olds convertible. It was like a lovely little hammock and kept me as far away from the front seat as possible–now it’s starting to make sense!
I do remember being left alone while my mom ran into the store for a few quick things…and back then, all cars had cigarette lighters…so I used to push the lighter on and try to re-light my mom’s cigs…Ah, those were the days… 🙂
April 5th, 2014 at 2:21 am
Haha. Love the cigarette trick. We used to sip the empty beer bottles to get whatever was left in the bottom. So gross to think about it now. Who knows how long they were there.
April 4th, 2014 at 9:42 pm
The hot vinyl burn always won out over going shopping again, at least for me it did. How did we survive without all that safety equipment. Overworked guardian angels? Dumb luck? Karma? I hate to say it, but, those were the days!
April 5th, 2014 at 2:23 am
Yup, those of us who lived to tell the tale were certainly fortunate 🙂