Stories I’ll Tell My Children
My grandpa’s the man.
He was a cowboy, then went and fought in both Theaters of Operation during WWII.
He built most of the Chicago skyline and was the foreman on jobs employing over 200,000 people.
He started a family, and one of his kids even went on to become a doctor.
His stories are way better than my stories. It’s not even close.
“Oh? You got wasted at the afterparty for one of your dumb little comedy shows and walked back to your dorm room THREE miles away? IN THE SNOW? I don’t use the word hero very often…”
My grandpa shot down Japanese Zeros the Pacific and sank waves of the German Wolfpacks in the Atlantic. My dad saved people, brought lives into the world, and had to make some hard decisions.
I, on the other hand, had to decide what I was going to have on the TV in the background while I wrote this: the Dark Knight on Blu-Ray or Heat on regular old DVD. I went with the goddamn Batman.
I will end up watching both.
However this got me thinking, what stories am I going to tell my kids and grandkids? How am I going to get across to them how much better it is in the future they were born into? What fires was I baptized in? How did their esteemed father get so accomplished? How did their granddad get so grizzled?
“When I was your age, I didn’t have a magic phone that I could type ‘lobster dog’ into and would receive literally thousands of pictures of corgis in costumes. We’d have to go a bookstore and look at the dog calendars in clearance by the register like fucking animals.”
“There used to be bookstores.”
“There used to be books.”
“Books were like tablets, but instead of typing things and waiting for the information to load, and sifting through erroneous and fabricated ‘information’ uploading by literally anyone, it was right there, in the book.”
“Before videogame systems had online capability, you’d have to go to your local middle school to have a 13-year-old kid call you a ‘faggot’ or say you were ‘Mexican’ or a ‘Jew’ like simply existing as one was a slander. Hanging out a middle school and exchanging homophobic slurs was a quick and easy way to get arrested.”
“If you liked a song, you’d have to wait for it to be played on the radio where you had little to no say in what they played regarding genre, quality,or frequency. If you wanted to see the video, you couldn’t just type it into YouTube, you’d have to sit there and be patient. Like a hunter stalking a mastodon across a frozen hellscape, you’d lie in wait watching MTV or VH1 to play the video. You’d have to endure all the other crap in the world just to see the video for ‘Everlong.'”
“MTV and VH1 once played music videos.”
“If you wanted to have sex with someone, you’d have to get to know them over a series of interactions where you’d speak with them and spend time with that person to find out if you were compatible. There was no magic website where they would keep all their pictures, lists of interests, and how they acted around their friends which would enable you to stalk them in, like, 15 minutes.”
“If you wanted to know what other TV and movies an actor had done you just had to know, otherwise you were fucked and it would bother you forever until you died.”
See? Do you see my problem? Do you understand my pain, now? On the one hand, I hate that all of my life experiences could be handled by a 14 year old, which makes sense as I haven’t really matured or done anything in this world that matters.
The only thing that makes me feel better is knowing that in the future to come, my children and grandchildren will be HUGE pussies.