We were traveling to see the family last weekend and listening to the Comedy Channel on the radio. Admittedly, I rarely find the featured entertainers in the least bit amusing. Misogyny and sexual crudities rarely elicit smiles from me. But once in a while my husband and I discover a comedian that cracks us both up and he becomes a favorite. Our most recent is Don Friesen.
If you’ve never heard him before, you can listen to him here:
In this clip he talks about the lack of safety standards in his (and my!) childhood. His recital of four kids riding in the back of a pick up–with tailgate down–is hilarious. We shared it with our parents and kids at Easter and it started a discussion of the ways we used to travel, and how safety laws have changed since then.
John’s family (five kids) used to ride to church in a Volkswagen with John and his brother stuffed in the compartment behind the back seat. The three oldest siblings sat in the back seat and parents up front. I recalled riding in the family’s old sedan riding comfortably in the back window while my four older siblings shared the back seat. My baby sister was, of course, carried up front in my mother’s arms <wince>.
It wasn’t until our youngest three were born that safety standards had been implemented and car seats were made mandatory. My oldest two started out in flimsy child carriers seat belted in and graduated–when they could stand up–to riding next to me on the front seat. To this day when I come to a sudden stop I fling my right arm across the front, to save my long-grown kids from flying through the windshield.
When I was in sixth grade my family took a vacation. We drove across country from Iowa to Oregon in a station wagon with neither luggage rack nor air conditioner. There were nine of us <g>. My sister, cousin and I rode with the luggage in the back, knees up and tucked beneath our chin.
Then there were bicycles. Stingrays were the cool rides of the day, and I commonly rode double with a friend on the handlebars. Wearing a bicycle helmet, had they existed, would have been an open invitation for ridicule once we hit the school playground. In a testament to how times have changed I recently suggested to my son that my grandsons be required to wear helmets on their scooters. (This after I’d cleaned up blood and tears three times in an hour.) I was over ruled.
Not long ago there was a news story about a woman who had her children taken away from her because she punished them by putting them in a clothes dryer. I agreed whole-heartedly with that consequence, even while I have fond memories of my older brothers giving my sister and me rides in the dryer when they were babysitting. At that time the door could stay open and they just had to press a button inside it to make it go. In my brothers’ defense, they always put us on air fluff <g>.
For the most part increased safety regulations have been positive. But do you have any fond memories of fun things you did in your childhood that would be considered crazy dangerous these days?