Skip to main content

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.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Convincing Yourself You're Good.

I have Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome is that feeling that what you do isn't good enough, and that someone is gonna eventually figure out how woefully unqualified you are and kick you to the curb. One of the traits of my personality that I dislike is that I am way too hard on myself. Seriously, give my mind an inch and I will somehow figure out that I am the sole person responsible for the world's troubles.

Having Imposter Syndrome is kind of like playing the game Werewolf. My friends and I play a version of the game called One Night Ultimate Werewolf, in the game each player picks a card that gives them a specific role, either a villager or a werewolf, and the villagers all have distinct roles that they play on top of that--special abilities and the like. The object of the game is two fold, if you're a werewolf, you don't wanna be caught. If you're a village, you wanna catch the werewolves. Imposter Syndrome makes you feel like you're always in the role…

Where The Blues Are

I come to you again this week with another pair of blu-rays from those master celluloid handlers at Warner Archive. First up we have 1960’s “Where The Boys Are,” a defining teen picture of the era by MGM, and the film largely responsible for kicking off the whole cycle of 1960s beach films. The other is 1955’s “Pete Kelly’s Blues” a film starring, produced, and directed by Jack Webb--TV’s Joe Friday. Part of a deal Webb had made with Warner Brothers when he was setting up the original big screen version of “Dragnet” in the ‘50s. 
“Where The Boys Are” was set for the screen before the book it was based on had been released. Producer Joe Pasternak snatched up the rights to the book by Glendon Swarthout, which was originally titled “Unholy Spring.” Pasternak, strongly feeling “Where The Boys Are” would be the better title, persuaded Swarthout to change the book’s title. Pasternak also felt he could use the film as a starring vehicle for one of the stars of MGM’s record label, Connie Franc…

Twelve-Nine-Three

Picture it! Scilly, 1922! OK, actually Andy Ross’s Childhood Bedroom 1993. I had been given as a gift the dream attachment for my beloved Sega Genesis, the amazing Sega CD. For those of you young children who have only grown up in the era of XBox and Playstation, it may seem strange that there was once a time when the idea of playing a video game off of a compact disc was mind blowing. But it was, and I was fully ready to have my mind blown. To use a slogan of Sega’s ads of the era, I was ready to enter “The Next Level.”

The Sega CD model I had was the second one, the smaller model designed to go with the slimmer Genesis that had been introduced to the market. I had the first Genesis, the larger one, but the Sega CD came with an extension block that allowed it to partner it on the original model. You attached the Sega CD to your Genesis by a special connector on the side of system. The Sega CD came with a game to get you going, as was the norm with gaming systems at the time. The game …