Things I Remember When I Remember To

A couple things that have just disappeared, and their disappearance has gone unnoticed for the most part until someone points it out.

  • When police used the word “suspect.” Now, of course, no one is ever a suspect. They are a “person of interest” until the time they are arrested. I don’t get it. Was the term “suspect” sexist or racist?
  • Rusty cars on the road. When I was growing up, it wasn’t uncommon to see cars with rust on them. A lot of rust on them. Partly that’s my cohort of the era, but also it’s because fiberglass and plastic have replaced metals in vehicle exteriors, so there’s nothing to rust except the three pins holding the cars together. Of course, one might say that one does not see as many old cars as one used to, but you know what? Old cars look a lot like the new cars. Sometime in 1993 or 1994, the design of cars changed forever to accommodate CAFE standards, and they’re all wind-tunnelled-to-death blobs of fuel efficiency, and Tauruses from 1998 look a lot like Camrys from 2012. And then the car starts to get to that breakdown point, it fails expensively from the inside, and in the course of a year or two, there’s a great Automobile Rapture that calls all instances of a model home. Remember Neons? Remember Saturns? The roads were lousy with them, and now they’re just….gone. Without rusting first.
  • Tags on shirts. Remember those? They used to itch, sometimes, but most importantly, they allowed you to dress in the dark since you could feel the tag and orient the shirt. Now, I spend many morning hours walking around in shirts that are inside out and backwards because the shirt manufacturers want to save a couple ha’ pennies’ worth of paper and a couple stitches.

If I were Andy Rooney, I could probably get 600 words out of each cantankerous thought. But Andy Rooney was a professional, and he got paid for it. If I were getting paid for it, I could stretch that out, too. But since you’re a freeloader, you get the steno version, gentle reader.

1 thought on “Things I Remember When I Remember To

  1. Not just rusty cars, but cars that burned oil. They used to be a lot more common. I saw a Saturn that was leaving a smoke cloud a couple of weeks ago and it struck me that I hadn’t seen a car burning oil like that in a long time.

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