There are many elements of childhood that I share with my children. I love seeing them enjoy the same things I enjoyed as a child. Playing make believe, coloring, building blanket forts. But there are some things, that due to time and technology, my children will not be able to enjoy. Things that to me, were super awesome. Things like…
Making Prank Calls
The years before caller ID were the Golden Years of prank calling. The prank call was a standard at sleepovers. All you needed was a random name out of the phone book and a phone in your bedroom and you were set for hours of laughs. I had a few go-to “bits” that I did when making a prank call. The call that received the best, consistent reaction was one I will call, “Stranded At The Airport.”
This is where I would wait until about 10:00PM and call to tell the person on the other end of the line that I was stuck at the airport and needed someone to come get me. I was scared and alone and needed a ride home…could they please come get me. My friends and I thought it was hilarious when we randomly scored an elderly person, because they would ask lots of questions and it kept the call going longer.
In hindsight: this was horrible! They were probably worried sick – my scared little girl voice was pleading with them to come get me from the airport. This may be the worst thing I have ever done without knowing it was terribly, terribly wrong. But I kept using that bit over and over because “Fake Spanish Accent” and “I’m Taking A Survey” would usually elicit immediate hang-ups.
(Side note: I could write an entire post on prank calling.)
Using White Out
Getting white out to go on smoothly was an art. First, you had to shake the bottle hard and fast to get the liquid nice and thinned out. Then, you had to do a preliminary brush on a scrap piece of paper to dislodge any dried clumps in your brush. Finally, with a smooth and steady hand, you painted on the white out and gave it a little blow to help it dry.
If you had access to a copy machine, you could change the grades on your report card with a the help of your pal, white out. If you accidentally used “f” instead of “ph” on your spelling test, you still had a chance to change your answer. White out made that edgy, middle school bad boy popular because he claimed to sniff his and get a little high.
I wonder how many employees at the white out factory lost there jobs with the dot com boom.
Being On Local Radio
This was a big deal! First of all, your friends were all listening because there wasn’t much else to do. We didn’t have apps, internet, 700 cable channels or on demand, customizable radio – we listened to local stations. And we called in. Hearing your voice, or the voice of your friend, come through your speakers was a freaking big deal. Being on local radio made you quasi famous at your school for approximately 3 days. I grew up in Tampa, FL, where we had Q105 and the “Top 5 at 9.” The 5 most requested songs of the day, played at 9:00PM, announced by callers. Aside from telling listeners which song would play you had 30 seconds to give shout outs to friends and “a special hello” to your crush (because OF COURSE they were listening!). Your goal was to announce the #1 song – hello, obvious!
At most sleepovers, if you were not prank calling, you were trying to get on local radio.
I am sure there are new, cool things that my kids will do for fun. (Although I really hope none involve sending old people into panic because they think you have been kidnapped at dropped at a random location.) What are the things you loved about your childhood?
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