Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Old people just don't get the "green" thing

Papa B:

In the queue at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Papa B adds, "Remember: don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off."

Related: How did we survive?.


juandos said...

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."...

This is when the 'older woman' should've whipped out this story from that leftist rag, the UK Guardian: How going green may make you mean
Do Green Products Make Us Better People is published in the latest edition of the journal Psychological Science. Its authors, Canadian psychologists Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong, argue that people who wear what they call the "halo of green consumerism" are less likely to be kind to others, and more likely to cheat and steal. "Virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviours," they write...

Carla Ackley said...

"Green" is a marketing slogan.

rhjunior said...

And in all bloody fairness, you wouldn't have put up with any of that for a hot second if escalators, elevators, washing machines, cheap new clothes, etc. were readily available.

Nothing is a tenth as irritating as old people pretending to virtue they never had.

Anonymous said...

rhjunior needs to send away for a sense of humor. Sheesh, it was a joke.

There's someone like her at every party, peeing in the punchbowl.

linnilu said...

rhjunior, unless it's a young person pretending to virtue to put down someone else.

rhjunior said...

No, old people putting young people down rates a bit higher.

I'm just incredibly tired of the previous generations-- and now, increasingly, my own generation-- bragging about how they "did without" and "got by" on so little, as if this somehow showered them with heavenly virtue. Bragging how you did without any grapes in your diet does not impress me, Brer Fox, when I know that you would not have been nearly so spartan had they been within reach.