Things you remember from your childhood that would be ABSOLUTELY UNTHINKABLE today

When I was 6 or 7 or so, I flew from New York to Toronto by myself to meet my parents who for some reason where already there. That would be around 1972-3. I wandered around an awful lot by myself at age 8-10, riding my bike through the nearby towns.

The heck with riding in the back seat of cars without using the seat belt - most of the cars didn’t HAVE seat belts in the back seat.

Us, too. In the early 80’s.

Not only did we not use seat belts (since there were only three of them and I was the oldest of four kids, someone would have been “deprived” anyway), but I often didn’t even bother with the seat. It’s still family legend that when I was about five, I “stood all the way to Canada” on a trip from suburban Cleveland to Chatham, Ontario. Hey, I wanted to see the country (countries), dammit! :stuck_out_tongue:

My parents had a little convertible at the time I was born so to go to the hospital they got my brother (age 1) out of bed and laid him in the rumble seat. And I guess that was about it as far as securing him. It was October, so I assume at least the top was up. :eek:

Getting a haircut and the barber would be smoking cigarettes the whole time. If someone were to do this now, his shop windows would be smashed, there would be 15 letters to the editor in the local newspaper condemning him, he’d eventually go out of business, not to mention be fined 500,000 dollars by the city, be convicted of attempted murder, and be shipped off to live out the rest of his days working in an Alaskan gulag.

I three, in the mid-late '90s.

Wandered around the neighborhood and WENT INTO THE FREAKING WOODS IN THE EVENING without any supervision. I think I turned out fine, except I have an odd tendency to forget everything that happens on nights with full moons and wake up covered in blood, but I figure that’s nothing to worry about.


A girlfriend and I would take her parents’ boat out to the middle of the lake so we could swim, because it was too weedy close to the shore. We were 12 or 13. No life jackets. No adults.

I remember when it was okay to hug a teacher of the opposite sex. On the news last week was a story about a school that has decreed absolutely no physical contact between students. No hugs, no high fives, no arms around shoulders. Gah. What a world.

Sixties and seventies: Asphalt and slippery sharp pebbles made up the base of our playgrounds. There were always kids with broken arms, usually from falling off the monkey bars.

It was common for kids to wait in the car while parents shopped or did whatever, even if it took hours.

My kids love to watch “Leave it to Beaver,” but I have to warn them they can’t do pretty much anything that was the norm on that show.

Yeah - it’s just all part of the ongoing pussification of society that insists that everyone live in a hermetically-sealed bubble and expose themselves to NO risk whatsoever…at the cost of all enjoyment of life whatsoever, and no feeling beyond the dull hum of apathy.

Being left in the car in the supermarket parking lot with my sister when my mom “just ran in to grab a few things”. Forty-five minutes later, she’d come out with thirty bags and we’d often sit on the floorboards on the ride home if she needed the backseat to hold the groceries that wouldn’t fit in the trunk.

That’s either brilliant comic timing or the best typo ever.

Mainstream comedians doing derogatory routines chiefly about homosexuals. I’m not talking about a side reference during a different topic or innuendo (Don’t start). I’m talking about entire routines that were titled “Faggots” on the album cover.

Remember Eddie Murphy’s standup albums from the early 80’s? He totally ripped on gay people, and I believe that he started off his routine with them on the first two albums.

Meh, I’m not outraged. It was a different time, and I’d be lying if I told you that my friends and I didn’t crack up at it when we were stupid 15 year olds, but I doubt a comedian trying to make it in mainstream show business could get away with that now–rightfully so, of course.

BTW, if I’m wrong, could someone please correct me? I don’t listen to much new comedy anymore, so I could easily be putting my foot in my mouth on this one.

Linty Fresh, meet Lisa Lampenelli.

When I was 7 (1983), and my brothers were 5 and 3-ish, we took a trip from Montana to Minnesota. It’s a 24 hour trip if you drive straight through.

My parents tossed a single mattress into the back of our truck, (which had a camper shell on it) along with many of our toys, and some blankets and pillows and that’s where us kids spent the entire trip. Every once in a while, one of us was allowed in to the cab with Mom and Dad, but not often.

Teachers giving kids the beach bat then joking about how far they had made the kid fly.

Both my mom (originally from Brooklyn) and my stepmom (still living in the same house in Tennessee she was born in) have those on their stoves.

I remember laying (lying??) down on the rear deck of my fathers '72 Ford Maverick and waving to the cars behind us out the rear window. I remember that one trip from Florida to New Mexico I got a policeman from every state to wave to me. Now a parent would be given a citation for not restraining a 5 year old in a car seat and possibly charged with child endangerment.

I also remember getting slammed by my fathers right arm across my chest when he had to slam on the brakes because someone ran a red light. I remember it not just because it hurt but because it was the first time I heard him swear.

I identify with every damned thing in this thread.

My mom was told by her OB/GYN to smoke during her pregnancy so she wouldn’t get so fat- she was only allowed 15 pounds or so (1967). Wasn’t the advertising slogan “Have a Lucky instead of a sweet?”

Riding in the back of my dad’s pickup truck.

Going out shooting with my dad… and wandering off armed.

My parents had a Dodge Challenger convertible when I was born, so they would jam the car bed down between the seats.

My first car (a 1957 Nash Metropolitan) had no seat belts. I got it in 1984. No one cared.

I didn’t wear seat belts regularly until 1991 or so, when I was hit and narrowly escaped injury.

When I was 12, I and my friend of the same age took a 6-day canoe trip by ourselves (we had a great time). I doubt that happens much anymore.

Right - anyone over the age of 5 would have died of shame if their parents had come along to supervise.

When I was a kid I always carried a pocket knife at school and thought nothing of it. This was in the 60s and 70s. I think I carried it in college too in the 80s.

The smoking. Almost half of adults smoked. Ashtrays everywhere. Coffee tables with ashtrays, cigarettes for guests, matches. You could always find somebody with a light.