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March 6, 1998

A friend passes along some funny stuff from the Internet, that peculiar new media tool that is engulfing more homes and businesses each day. I'm a newcomer to the system myself and have not yet delved deeply enough into the multitude of possibilities it offers, so I can't tell you exactly where the following samples originated. What I do know is, the Washington Post newspaper evidently has a feature in which readers, or Internet users, can take part. In this particular one, readers are asked to tell Gen-Xers (Generation X persons) how much harder it was in the old days. Each morsel begins with something like, "In my day,..." Here are some of the entries:

In my day, we couldn't afford shoes, so we went barefoot. In the winter we had to wrap our feet with barbed wire for traction. (That received second runner-up honors in the voting by judges.)

In my day, we didn't have MTV or in-line skates, or any of that stuff. No, it was 45s and regular old metal-wheeled roller skates, and the 45s always skipped, so to get them to play right you'd weigh the needle down with something like quarters, which we never had because our allowances were 'way too small, so we'd use our skate keys instead and end up forgetting they were taped to the record player arm so we couldn't adjust our skates, which didn't really matter because those crummy metal wheels would kill you if you hit a pebble anyway, and in those days roads had real pebbles on them, not like today. (That was first runner-up.)

First place winner was this: In my day, we didn't have no rocks. We had to go down to the creek and wash our clothes by beating them with our heads. (For that, Barry Blyveis received a velour bicentennial poster as a prize.)

Here are some honorable mentions:

In my day, we didn't have dogs or cats. All I had was Silver Beauty, my beloved paper clip.

When I was your age, we didn't have fake doggie-do. We only had real doggie-do, and no one thought it was even a little bit funny.

Back in the 1970s we didn't have the space shuttle to get all excited about. We had to settle for men walking on the crummy moon.

In my day, we didn't have days. There was only time for work, time for prayer and time for sleep. The sheriff would go around and tell everyone when to change.

In my day, people could only dream of hitchhiking a ride on a comet.

In my day, we didn't have fancy health-food restaurants. Every day we ate lots of easily recognizable animal parts, along with potatoes drenched in melted fat from those animals. And we're all as strong as AAGGKKGAKK Urrgh. Thud.

In my day, we didn't have hand-held calculators. We had to do addition on our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated.

In my day, we didn't get that disembodied, slightly ticked-off voice saying, "Door closing." We got on the train, the doors closed, and if your hand was sticking out it scraped along the tunnel all the way to the next station, and it was a bloody stump at the end. But the fare was only a dollar.

In my day, we didn't have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

In my day, we didn't have Strom Thurmond. Oh, wait. Yes we did.

Kids today think that the world revolves around them. In my day, the sun revolved around the world, and the world was perched on the back of a giant tortoise.

Back in my day, "60 Minutes" wasn't just a bunch of gray-haired liberal 80-year-old guys. It was a bunch of gray-haired liberal 60-year-old guys.

Thanks to Don Sikes for sharing these witty tidbits. Hope you enjoyed them, too.