The Washington Post

Report from Week 228, in which you were asked to tell Gen X'ers how much harder you had it in the old days:

Second Runner-Up: In my day, we couldn't afford shoes, so we went barefoot. In the winter we had to wrap our feet with barbed wire for traction. (Bill Flavin, Alexandria)

First Runner-Up: In my day we didn't have MTV or in-line skates, or any of that stuff. No, it was 45s and regular old metal-wheeled roller skates, and the 45s always skipped, so to get them to play right you'd weigh the needle down with something like quarters, which we never had because our allowances were way too small, so we'd use our skate keys instead and end up forgetting they were taped to the record player arm so that we couldn't adjust our skates, which didn't really matter because those crummy metal wheels would kill you if you hit a pebble anyway, and in those days roads had real pebbles on them, not like today. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

And the winner of the velour bicentennial poster: In my day, we didn't have no rocks. We had to go down to the creek and wash our clothes by beating them with our heads. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Honorable Mentions:

In my day, we didn't have dogs or cats. All I had was Silver Beauty, my beloved paper clip. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

In my day, attitudes were different. For example, women didn't like sex. At least that is what they told me. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

When I was your age, we didn't have fake doggie-do. We only had real doggie-do, and no one thought it was a damn bit funny. (Brendan Bassett, Columbia)

Back in the 1970s we didn't have the space shuttle to get all excited about. We had to settle for men walking on the crummy moon. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

In my day, we didn't have days. There was only "time for work," "time for prayer" and "time for sleep." The sheriff would go around and tell everyone when to change. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

In my day, people could only dream of hitchhiking a ride on a comet. (David Ronka, Charlottesville)

In my day, we didn't have hand-held calculators. We had to do addition on our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated. (Jon Patrick Smith, Washington)

In my day, we didn't have mouses to move the cursor around. We only had the arrows, and if the up arrow was broken and you needed to get to the top of the screen, well, you just hit the left arrow a thousand times, dadgummit. (Kevin Cuddihy, Fairfax)

In my day, we didn't get that disembodied, slightly ticked-off voice saying 'Doors closing.' We got on the train, the doors closed, and if your hand was sticking out it scraped along the tunnel all the damn way to the Silver Spring station and it was a bloody stump at the end. But the base fare was only a dollar. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

In my day, we didn't have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms. (Diana Hugue, Bowie)

In my day, we didn't have Strom Thurmond. Oh, wait. Yes we did ... (Peg Sheeran, Vienna)

Kids today think the world revolves around them. In my day, the sun revolved around the world, and the world was perched on the back of a giant tortoise. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

In the old days, nobody asked you to sign petitions. The sheriff just came to your house and told you you was part of a posse. (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Back in my day, "60 Minutes" wasn't just a bunch of gray-haired liberal 80-year-old guys. It was a bunch of gray-haired liberal 60-year-old guys. (Russell Beland, Springfield, and Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)

In my day, we didn't have virtual reality. If a one-eyed razorback barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you just had to hope you could outrun him. (Sarah M. Wolford, Hanover)


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