Hammertime: Enjoy the goodness of change

Remembering the good old days but moving into the future.

Mike Rainone


I guess at the age of 75 some may consider me somewhat ‘ancient’ or ‘old school’, but just like all the rest of you I try to relax, take a deep breath, stay positive, dig in, and try to adjust to all those every day changes and new adventures that are occurring in our everyday lives.

No, I don’t mean the hair turning grey, aches and pains, wrinkles, or memory loss; I am quite simply referring to all of that we have always taken for granted, but now just might be a little different, or quite possibly even extinct.

Take for instance; I was really disappointed many years ago when communications giant Telus started eliminating pay phones and raising the prices to 50 cents a call for those that remained and most of us really missed those handy-dandy outside phone booths, where you could make a quick call or duck into to get out of the rain or snow. There is absolutely no doubt that those cost cutting measures were being made because of the much anticipated arrival of the cell phone, Internet, tweet, and whatever era, which now allows everyone to stay in touch 24-7 no matter where we are.

Some of you will no doubt remember when we could use a pay phone for a nickel a call, the same price to get a song on those great old juke boxes in the restaurants. As kids we used to call our folks for a ride home or with a wild excuse as to why we had missed curfew and those neat little booths the perfect spot to hide out from a bully or an old girlfriend. If either end was chatting too much you could sit on the floor and stretch out that long coiled cord, and if you were lucky that machine might even kick out some extra change at the end of a call.

We usually found those telephone operators to be quite friendly and helpful on most occasions, and if you were extra polite they might even tell you the score in the hockey game, the time, some advice to the love-lorn, or let you stay on just a little longer, but now it’s mostly just a boring old recording. Although sometimes frustrating, it’s really not that bad, life is only what we make of it; and if we run into a few glitches along the way we can always ask the younger generation, browse the Internet, take a nap, go for a walk, or flip on an old movie channel to remember how it used to be. Now let’s have some fun with a few of life’s funny facts.

Getting older in the modern era

• Our houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them, at least not until August.

• We keep more food in the fridge than beer, we actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time and eating a basket of hot chicken wings at 3 a.m. would severely upset, rather than settle our tummies.

• We now hear our favourite songs in an elevator at 6 a.m., because that is when we now get up instead of when we used to get home and go to bed. We like to take naps, but sleeping on the couch makes our back hurt.

• Our vehicle insurance goes down but our car payments go up, we have gone to 365 days of holiday but no more vacation pay, and we have to feed our old dogs Science Diet instead of fast food or take out leftovers.

• We now like watching the weather channel and game shows on T.V. more than the news, and we don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

• Dinner and a movie is now the whole date instead of the beginning of a wild evening, and jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as ‘dressed up.’

• Our friends now marry and divorce instead of ‘hook up’ and ‘break up’; and our older relatives now feel more comfortable telling naughty jokes, spreading a little gossip, and relating those wild ‘you’ll never guess what WE did when we were kids’ jokes.

• Your childhood was the time when you made funny faces in the mirror and giggled. Middle age is now the time when the mirror is getting even.

The importance of walking

• I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I’m doing.

• I joined a health club last year and spent about $400. Haven’t lost a pound but apparently you have to go there to make it work.

• I just love long walks, especially if they are taken by people who annoy me.

• If you are planning on going cross-country skiing this winter, please start with a small country.

• We all get a little heavier as we get older because there’s a lot more information contained in our heads. That’s my story, and I am sticking to it.

• Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a happy hour, and by the time I leave, I look just fine, and I feel even better.

No matter what Trump, Trudeau, or little Miss Notley and the rest of the politicians say, just go ahead and enjoy summer to the fullest at your favourite sport or pastime, and always share your joy with others. In the meantime, have a great week, all of you.

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