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Old Codgers of the 1990s


Let us imagine that it is the not too distant future. We are paying a visit to the nursing home, it doesn't matter which one, just picture one in your head. There's a group of senior citizens sitting around in their wheelchairs, they are wistfully reminiscing about the "good old days" of their youth. Their grandchildren have come to pay them visit, and they are ranting to them about how things used to be so long ago, in their beloved 1990s salad days.

"You galdurn wretches wouldn't know a good video game if it bit you on the hind-end!" one man begins. "In my day we only had 16 bits of graphics and we were DARN THANKFUL FOR IT! Save feature? HA! We were LUCKY if we had a save feature! You had to beat all of Sonic The Hedgehog in one sitting! Oh, power failure? Your mother turns off the game to call you down to dinner? Tough cookies, Martha! It was OVER!"

The grandmothers are sitting around in another part of the common area, quietly sipping tea out of dainty cups, speaking to their little poppets. "Oh, the hours Sue, Beth, and I spent in my bedroom. Those were precious moments. We'd play that old game Mall Madness, and listen to the Spice Girls. Who were the Spice Girls? They were this popular singing group from England, this was before Putin took it over. My mother took us all to see their movie in the theater. That year for Christmas she gave me a copy of it on what we used to call a VHS tape. Big, boxy thing with this black ribbon inside that had the movie on it. Netflix? Pah! There was no Netflix!"

As the children, sitting there mostly against their will, listen to the stories of this ancient and archaic time, they begin to become antsy. Their parents roll their eyes, they've heard these stories a million times before. People begin to look at their watches, wondering if their visit has been long enough. In the activity area of the home, people are standing around watching little Timmy play “Mario Kart” with his grandfather. Grandpa, despite the light dementia, still seems to have a sense memory trigger take place when playing “Mario Kart,” and he begins to trash talk little Timmy. Once Grandpa had defeated little Timmy, and reduced him to tears, his family decides it's time to go.

The families all start to leave, one at time, leaving their loved ones in the care of a nursing staff who have learned far too much about “The Adventures of Pete and Pete” from the residents. The families all go home and return to their lives, and the nursing home gets back to what is normal at the nursing home. People eating, milling around, and randomly yelling out all the words to “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys.


This is what the nursing homes of the future will be like, but I'm pretty sure my generation will still be sharp enough to figure out so way to access YouTube—someone has to reminiscence about “My Drunk Kitchen.” The future is right around the corner, and it's gonna be filled with old people ranting about blowing on Nintendo games to make them work.  

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