Wait…My Kids are Going to Live WAY Longer Than Me!

I don’t know if you heard yet, but it’s 2013. 20-freakin’-13. Wasn’t it just 1982? Didn’t I just get a cable box with two rows of press buttons in order to watch HBO when it came on at 4PM? Or MTV, so I could see the Buggles video six times in a half hour? Video killed the radio star—put all the blame on VCR. Which replaced Beta, which was replaced by DVD, which was almost replaced by Blu-Ray except nobody wanted to re-buy every movie they owned, which is now replaced by .AVI files, which means you don’t have to buy any movies ever if you know where to download them.

What the hell happened?

My oldest son will graduate high school in 2017. That’s the year in that Billy Joel song about the futuristic demise of New York City. In 1976, it was some faraway, mystical number we would never reach, like 1984 for Orwell and 2001 for Stanley Kubrick and 1999 for the artist now known again as Prince. Prince is 54 years old. Swear to God, I just looked it up on the internet. It took 0.31 seconds. If we were playing tag football, that would be like “One, Mi…” Blitz!

People used to talk on phones. Then there was email, instant messaging, Facebook, Skype and texting. Now we type, play games, take pictures and record hip-hop songs on phones. (By the way, my Office program is trying to tell me there are no such words as “Facebook” and “texting”. Things are moving way too fast.) You used to cook everything in the oven or the stove. Then there were toaster ovens—good for hot dogs. Then microwaves—even better for hot dogs. Now we have a George Foreman grill (remember that fearsome monster who almost killed Joe Frazier—he’s cuddly and makes grills now!) that cooks hot dogs in about 0.31 seconds. We are ALL OVER hot dog making.

Every song I’ve ever heard in my lifetime can be contained on one Ipod. Every book I could ever read is contained on my Kindle. I don’t have any physical photos anymore. I can watch an entire series of a TV program in two days, without commercials. I can watch what was on last night at 10AM the next morning, or three weeks from now. Video games today make Space Invaders seem like checkers. I can send forty play submissions out in a day without leaving my seat or paying for postage. I never have to go to bed wondering what the name of the guy who played the head of KAOS in “Get Smart” was, because the information is a keystroke away. I’ll give you 0.31 seconds to look it up. One Mi…back already? Then you know Bernie Kopell was Siegfried, the Vice President in charge of Public Relations and Terror at KAOS. Bernie was Doc on “The Love Boat” and was born in Brooklyn to Pauline (née Taran) and Al Bernard Kopell, if Wikipedia is to be believed. And why should we ever, ever doubt it?

I’m 43, three months away from 44, which in 1982 I only thought of as Reggie Jackson’s uniform number. I’m technically middle-aged, though in reality living until 88 is probably going to be a stretch. If I make it another forty years, I may be around to see the dawn of 2053. My sons will be 53 and 50. My wife will be…right next to me when I go, ’cause there’s no WAY I’m outliving her. Even if we break longevity records there’s no chance either of us see the next century, and only the slimmest of chances our kids reach that faraway summit. Which is not all that far away when you think about it, really.

Funny thing is, I’m just starting to figure out what I’m doing here. I don’t have it down yet. I may never. It may take the rest of my forty-year or so allotment. Not a lot of time.

Good thing I didn’t have to waste more than 0.31 seconds on Prince. Blitz!    

    • Anonymous
    • January 6th, 2013

    Humorous yet poignant

      • Theresa Petti Butler Galimi
      • January 6th, 2013

      that was me Brian, I don’t know why it came up as anonymous

  1. You’re a wonder and you know it. Since I’m losing my mind, Wikipedia (I was going to type Wikileaks but that would be an acknowledgement of failure) is starting to replace a whole lot of broken neural connections. Yea.

  2. Awww…thanks John and Aunt Terry.

    • Chuck Kelso
    • January 8th, 2013

    All i can say is, I feel ya. At some point, technology will increase so rapidly that no one will be able to keep up. I can’t, now. And I am not sure I wish to try. Yes, middle agedness doth suck. But, so far, it beats the alternative…

  3. The next forty should be fun, Chuck. Unless I drool a lot during the last five or six.

    • Chuck Kelso
    • January 9th, 2013

    Just want to remain continent. And I don’t mean Australia!!

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