I recently started mourning, while celebrating, the loss of great Americana traditions via the show “American Pickers” whereby the pickers find old motorcycles, jugs, art and other interesting memorabilia from people’s yards and barns, etc., displaying our past and how we got to the point we are today thru these objects.
This got me to thinkin’ about what treasures of the past I’d like to see make a comeback…
The Dunce Cap-Never heard of it? The Dunce Cap was used in elementary school to inspire lesser students to greater intellectual heights via ritual humiliation by seating the offending youngster in a chair at either the front or rear corner of the classroom while wearing a white, cone-shaped paper hat on his/her noggin that had the word “DUNCE” prominently displayed on the front of it. (Scarring kids for life wasn’t a big issue back then.)
The Hotfoot- Apparently this was a big hoot during World War II. Here’s how it works: If you notice that a friend, comrade, etc. has fallen asleep barefoot in your presence then the only thing to do (apparently) was to stick a lit match between two of his toes and wait patiently while the flame makes it way to skin contact. The resulting hilarity involves the subject waking and suddenly hopping around like some kind of nitwit while screaming like a banshee. Unfortunately, the targeted individual didn’t always quite see things in line with the intended humorous effect often resulting in a fistfight.
Working on Your Own Car- Yeah, yeah, people still do this but not like before. Dinging your finger on the fan, spitting out black fluid from an ill-advised posture during an oil change or being semi-electrocuted resulting in temporary loss of consciousness while dealing with vehicle issues was a rite of passage back in the day. It’s a man thing. Having black, oily, severe looking, emergency room-level cuts made you more of a man provided it didn’t kill ya. Nowadays you’ll be needing such ultra expensive, sophisticated equipment and such intensive training that the average backyard mechanic just can’t compete.
Music- Don’t get me wrong here. I LOVE seeing my favorite bands on YouTube while equally digging some of the new bands (big fan of the Pretty Reckless) and I don’t know what heaven’s like but I think I’d like to scan the radio, dealing with static only to hear “Hey WHAY listeners! Here’s newest number from Buddy Holly!” While I was used to scouting around my transistor radio, hearing static in my dialing search and getting frustrated from time to time, I still miss hitting a gem. Nope, Buddy Holly died before I was even born but his legacy ultimately made me want the experience all the more (and again).