So true…

Thursday, November 21st, 2002

Yeah, I know this has probably gone round the internet three times over and everyone's seen it already, but I found it in a dusty corner of my webmail inbox earlier and thought I'd post it. Feel free to pinch it for your journal or whatever. I'm sure there's an American version of it somewhere too…

Close your eyes… and go back in time. Before the Internet. DVD. Before semi-automatic machine guns, joyriders and crack… Before SEGA or Super Nintendo… Way back… I'm talking about Hide and Seek in the park. The corner shop, Hopscotch, butterscotch, skipping, handstands, football with an old can, Bulldog, Beano, Twinkle and Roly Poly, Hula Hoops, jumping in enormous puddles, Building dams. The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass. Bazooka Joe bubble gum. An ice cream cone on a warm summer night from the van that plays a tune – 99s, screwballs or a cider lolly.

Wait… Watching Saturday morning cartoons and wrestling on World of Sport… short commercials, Banana Splits, Road Runner, Hong Kong Phooey, Captain Caveman, Noel Edmunds' MultiColoured SwapShop, and Why Don't You..?

Staying up late for Starskey and Hutch or Minder. When around the corner seemed far away, and going into town seemed like going somewhere. A million mosquito bites, wasp and bee stings. Sticky fingers. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians. Zorro and Monkey. Climbing trees, building igloos out of tiny amounts of snow. Walking to school, no matter what the weather. Running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Jumping on the bed. Pillow fights. Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for the giggles. Being tired from playing… Remember that?

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Water balloons were the ultimate weapon. Football cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.

I'm not finished just yet…

Eating raw jelly, orange squash, ice pops. Remember when… There were two types of trainers – girls' and boys' Dunlop Green Flash and the only time you wore them at school, was for “gym.” You knew everyone in your street – and so did your parents! It wasn't odd to have two or three “best” friends. You didn't sleep a wink on Christmas eve. When nobody owned a pure-bred dog. When 25p was decent pocket money. When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for 10p. When nearly everyone's mum was at home when the kids got there from School. It was magic when dad would “remove” his thumb. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at real restaurant with your parents. When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When being sent to the head's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, And some of us are still afraid of them!!!

Didn't that feel good? Just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that! Remember when… Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.” “Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in “Monopoly”. The worst thing you could catch from a member of the opposite sex was germs, and the worst thing in your day was having to sit next to one of them. Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a catapult. Nobody was prettier than your Mum. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. Taking drugs meant orange-flavoured chewable aspirin. Ice cream was considered a basic food group. Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true. Abilities were discovered because of a “double-dare”. Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!! Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their “grown up” life…

I dare you – in fact, I DOUBLE-DARE YA!!!


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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.