Things My Kids Won't Know

I'm Kev. This is a list of things I did that my kids will never experience.
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54. Hidden Tracks

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Dookie was the Sgt. Pepper of my generation. As Wayne Campbell once said about Frampton Comes Alive, “If you lived in the suburbs you were issued it. It came in the mail with samples of Tide.”

The album transcended genres. Everyone I knew, regardless of what kind of music they were into, had this CD. I of course had the cassette.

Quick aside: before I bought it, a kid in my class once offered to trade me the cassette in exchange for doing his homework. I declined because he stole it. I was a good kid.

In addition to boasting such loser anthems like “Longview” and “Basket Case”, Dookie was groundbreaking for another reason: it was the first album I remember that had a hidden track.

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53. 1-900 Numbers

Two dollars the first minute, forty-five cents each additional minute.

I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but when I was a kid I could recite it verbatim. I suppose I understood the basic principle of paying for a phone call, but I never really understood what a ripoff it could be, and how quickly it could add up. All I knew was that I wasn’t allowed to dial any number that started with 1-900.

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52. Seats in the Trunks of Station Wagons

I have these relatives that I don’t talk to anymore, because they’re terrible people. But when I was a kid, I was forced to hang out with them. Some of my worst memories from childhood involve being in or around their household.

There was one positive experience, however, which may just make up for all the terrible ones. Every once in a while, when my sister and I got left at their house, we’d all have to go for a drive somewhere. And on special days, we’d take the station wagon.

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51. Quickly Boarding an Airplane

Not too long ago, I was watching a show on TV where a family/group of friends were saying goodbye to a child/other friend as he or she was about to board an airplane. I forget what show it was. I want to say it was either Saved by the Bell or Full House, but that’s only because I watch those a lot. It’s also possible I made this up.

Regardless, the group of well wishers stood right at that gate waving, literally until the moment the traveler stepped onto the plane. I immediately thought, “Man, that’s a convenient plot hole. How did those other people get to the gate without a ticket?”

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50. Beepers

I never had a beeper.

My memory is a little fuzzy but I assume my parents wouldn’t get me one, so I convinced myself that I didn’t want one.

A comic at the time explained why he never carried a beeper: “I don’t want people to know where I am when I’m out. That’s why I’m out.” I stole this line and repeated it ad nauseam whenever I was questioned about my beeper-less life.

But one day, back in 1999, my girlfriend asked me to hold on to her device so I would know when to pick her up from something. Almost immediately, everything I had previously thought about beepers changed forever.

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49. Manually Scoring Bowling

Bowler City in Hackensack was, and still is, northern Jersey’s premiere bowling emporium. It was the first place I ever encountered “Moonlight Bowling”.

Allow me to sidetrack for a moment. Moonlight Bowling was a sight to behold. Black lights and black light responsive materials provided the only source of illumination, while the hottest music of the day blasted through the loudspeakers.

At only fourteen years old, you could imagine the kind of impression that Moonlight Bowling had on me. Music and black lights made up approximately 90% of the “things I thought were cool at the time,” so to combine them and put them in a public setting was incredible.

Moonlight Bowling was an amazing experience, but there was something other than the fanfare that I discovered that night. It turned out to be the most fun part of that evening, and it would provide entertainment on bowling nights for many years to come.

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48. Winamp

MP3s and file sharing ruled the early 2000s. A lot of people used the new technology to download the latest music from their favorite artists. I was more concerned with obtaining every single song that I heard between 1986 and 1991.

As I’m sure you could guess, I had amassed a pretty impressive (or terrible, depending on your tastes – though if you’re reading this you probably have a similar collection) library of classic songs from my youth. But once the files were in my hands, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them.

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47. Candy Cigarettes

When I was in junior high, there was a store in the middle of town that we used to go to after school. It was appropriately named “Midtown Market”, but we just called it “Midtown” because we were all anti-establishment.

Midtown had everything the blossoming middle schooler could want: cigarettes, candy, and Gatorade. Since I wasn’t a smoker and I trained myself to never need to purchase a beverage, I spent my hard earned quarters on sugar.

The selection wasn’t much, but there were a few items that were staple delicacies for the duration of my awkward years.

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46. Going to the Bank

My very first job was at a local Dairy Queen. I proudly held the title of “Lot Boy”, which meant I was responsible for cleaning the windows, garbage cans and bathroom. Essentially I was a janitor, and while I wasn’t actually serving ice cream, I got to eat whatever I wanted. I made $4.50 an hour (at least it was off the books), but what I lacked in salary I made up for in Royal Treats.

Shortly after I started working, my dad took me to the bank so I could open a savings account. He told me that every time I got a paycheck, I should decide how much of it I wanted to keep for spending money, and deposit the rest of it. It was a valuable lesson to instill in a fourteen-year-old, and I have continued to apply its wisdom to my finances to this very day.

Looking back though, it’s unbelievable that I actually stuck to that budget, because the whole process was unbelievably cumbersome.

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45. The World Wrestling Federation

There was a bus I used to take when I was in elementary school, and there was always this one specific thing about it that bugged me.

Up in front, by the dashboard, there was a sticker with a panda on it, and below that were the letters W-W-F.

I didn’t understand. Where was the block logo, and why was a panda there instead of the Ultimate Warrior or Bret Hart?

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