In My Day...

tortoise with world on his back

Winners from the Washington Post contest in which participants were asked to tell Gen-Xers how much harder they had it in the old days:

MedalThe Winner:
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. [Barry Blyveis, Columbia]

MedalFirst Runner-Up:
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 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 that 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. [Russell Beland, Springfield]

MedalSecond Runner-Up:
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. [Bill Flavin, Alexandria]

Honorable Mentions

  • In my day, we didn’t have dogs or cats. All I had was Silver Beauty, my beloved paper clip. [Jennifer Hart, Arlington]
  • 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. [Elden Carnahan, Laurel]
  • Kids today think 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. [Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park]
  • In my day, people could only dream of hitchhiking a ride on a comet. [David Ronka, Charlottesville]
  • 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. [Jon Patrick Smith, Washington]
  • In my day, we didn’t have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms. [Diana Hugue, Bowie]
  • In my day, we didn’t have Strom Thurmond. Oh, wait. Yes we did. [Peg Sheeran, Vienna]
  • In my day, we wore our pants up around our armpits. Monstrous wedgies, but we looked snappy. [Bruce Evans, Washington]
  • 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. [Russell Beland, Springfield]
  • In my day, we didn’t have virtual reality. If a one-eyed razorback barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you just had to hope you could out run him. [Sarah M. Wolford, Hanover]