Both of my parents have been gone for more than 20 years. Maybe many of you can relate to this; I think about them during the holiday season.
I sometimes think about how much the world has changed in the past 25 years — and how surprised they would be at some of the changes.
I try to imagine how they would react to:
• The Internet as a major source of information. They would have to be convinced it was better than the old reliable World Book encyclopedia that was a staple in our household when I was growing up.
• Cell phones. I think my father would say that the advantage of the old-fashioned phones was that at least you always knew where it was in the house and didn’t have to go looking for it.
• Kindle and its counterparts. How can any electronic book possibly be a page-turner, they would ask.
• The price of gasoline. It was 89 cents a gallon in the mid-1980s but was fast approaching the dubious mark of being $1 a gallon.
• Bookstores that invite you to come in and have a cup of coffee while you browse instead of having signs at the front of the store saying “no food or beverage allowed.”
• The price of automobiles. The average price was $9,200 in 1986.
• Legalization of marijuana in some states.
• The number of television situation comedies where the underlying theme is what they would have referred to as “illicit sex.” My mother would say she would prefer to watch “Cosby” or “I Love Lucy” reruns.
• Not seeing many kids playing outside in parks or on streets and playgrounds because they are inside playing their video games.
• Cutbacks in public education.
• Same-sex marriages.
• Lawyers advertising themselves on television as if they were bars of soap.
• Laptop computers.
• Television ads for various medical products that include possible side effects that seem more daunting than the ailment.
• The skyrocketing cost of political elections.
• Grocery stores that have their own restaurants.
• Drug stores that sell just about everything, including prescription drugs.
They would be pleasantly surprised that America had become culturally comfortable enough to elect an African-American president.
They would not be surprised that the Chicago Cubs still have not been in a World Series — now 67 years and counting.
Reach John Skipper at 421-0537 or firstname.lastname@example.org.