Saturday, March 23, 2013

Explaining the past

Buzzfeed has "the 14 most irritating questions people born in the 2000s ask."  Well, technically my daughter was born in 99, so she's still pretty close.  I don't know why most of these would be "irritating."  My son especially likes to ask me questions about my past, and it's one of the few things he'll sit still for and listen without interrupting with another question.  And I like answering him.  Isn't that what dad's are supposed to do?


1.  My kids--aged 14 and 12--have used floppy disks.

2.  My kids know the difference between a cell phone and a "land line."

3.  Never came up.  For the record, I never liked that show, either.

4.  Also never came up, but I would be happy to explain it to them, if it did.  Of course, they would easily understand the concept, as anyone should who has used a portable mp3 player.

5.  My kids have used cassette tapes.

6.  My kids have used dial-up.  I hope they never forget it, so they always remember how fortunate they are to have a wireless service now.  They have never used AOL, however, I have told them about it, and how there was a time when you couldn't pick up a magazine without an AOL CD falling out.

7.  Never came up.

8.  See #7.

9.  I used to work at a beeper repair shop.  Although my job there ended when my son was only about a year old, I still had beepers lying around.  They played with them and know exactly what they were and how they worked.  By the way, that beeper pictured was a total piece of c***.  It was modeled after a Panasonic model that was also a total piece of c***.  The best beeper Motorola ever made was the Bravo Plus.

10.  I don't even know who he/she was.

11.  My kids have played Carmen Sandiego games.  Vintage games on a vintage computer.

12.  I never heard of these, either.

13.  My kids have used/watched VHS tapes.

14.  Never came up, but I have a ready answer if it does.

And all this is leading up to the real point of this post.  The other day my son was listening to one of those "country" songs, the one that's called "1980 Something," or something like that, which mentions a space shuttle exploding.  He asked me about it, so I had to somberly tell him about the Challenger.  In the process, I also had to explain to him what an o-ring is and how it works.  "So," he said, "one little part made the whole thing explode?"  "Yep."  It was strange, yet gratifying, to see him sobered by something that happened 15 years before he was born.


  1. #10 was the smart-alecky middle son on "Home Improvement" with Tim Allen, supposed to be the next big heartthrob teen idol, before Justin Beiber came along. I should add him to my list of former child stars on Disney Networks who sold their souls and haven't done anything successful after hitting 21.

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  3. No, you mean #3. #10 is about some person called Sisqo. Never heard of him/her whatever.

  4. Oops, you're right, dunno how I flipped those numbers around. Sisqo (pronounced like "Sisko") was the singer who did "The Thong Song" linked in the list, and his other claim to fame was acting alongside Cuba Gooding Jr in "Snow Dogs."