Once, during an old episode of All In The Family, Mike Stivic, the hippie son-in-law, complained: “Everything these days is new and improved. What was it before? Old and lousy?”
He had a point. No matter what I’m doing of late, somehow it’s too old fashioned for my younger, cooler friends to tolerate. Half the time I don’t even know what they’re talking about:
“Ray, do you Tai Chi or Tai Cheng?”
“No ties. Just turtlenecks.”
“Ray, you’re so passé. Don’t you even Zumba?”
“No, but I can do a pretty mean waltz.”
For anyone out there as confused as I am; Tai Chi, Tai Cheng and Zumba are all trendy new exercises. Call me a square but I always thought walking was the best way to fitness. I guess not. Recently a friend asked in amazement, “Ray, don’t you do yoga?”
I replied, “Sweetie, I don’t even do yogurt!”
Speaking of nutrition, can someone explain to me how on earth foods go out of fashion? Nowadays, cuisine has to be chic. When I was a kid nobody in their right mind paid $20 for a plate of raw fish – even if it did have a cute name like sushi. We had basic foods like meat and potatoes. Sometimes my mom would just wash and cut up a whole head of lettuce and put it in a bowl for us. One night, my dad finally asked, “What kind of salad do you call that?”
Mom replied, “Honeymoon salad!”
We all looked confused.
“Don’t you get it?” she asked. “Honeymoon salad. Lettuce alone!”
Truth be told, I could do with more salads. It’s time to lose some of those extra pounds. Maybe I shouldn’t have given up swimming. Unfortunately, I had to. Every time I tried to get out of the ocean, David Suzuki and his friends kept pushing me back out to sea. “You’re free, Willy!” But, I guess that’s just The Nature of Things.
Speaking of television stars, what happened to all the great old shows we used to watch? When I was a kid, the most talked about program was The Beverly Hillbillies. It got 60 million viewers a week. Nowadays, everybody’s talking about Breaking Bad. It gets less than three million. Maybe I’m no longer part of the key 18-34 demographic, but what would you rather watch: some nasty old bald guy selling drugs from a motor home, or the lovable Elly May Clampett taking a dip in the cement pond?
I often wonder why I own a television. My TV provider charges me nearly $110 per month for about 40 channels and the Internet. When I was eight, our mortgage wasn’t even $110 per month. True we only had seven channels, but they were free. And there was always something good on TV.
By now you’ve probably concluded that I’m tragically unhip. You’re right. But at least I know it. Last summer a friend suggested we drive down to Victoria and check out the dinosaur exhibit.
I replied, “No thanks. If I want to see an old dinosaur, I’ll just look in the mirror.”