A Victim of Circumstances
Curly of The Three Stooges used to plead plaintively that the mess he was in was due to being a victim of circumstances. It usually just got him a knock on the head or a poke in the eyes.
For baby boomers life seems to be always going in this direction, too. As we age, more and more things happen that we have no control over. It could be a trip due to momentary clumsiness that ends up in a visit to the hospital emergency room. Or all of a sudden the car starts to fall apart and you don’t have enough money to buy even a decent used one without breaking into the retirement income.
It could be the frustration of seeing the next generation in your family tree is not turning out the way you wanted them to. Or all of a sudden people in your age bracket are dropping like flies.
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I started driving in 1971 at the age of nineteen. I didn’t get my license when I turned sixteen due to circumstances beyond my control. In other words, I flunked the road test even though I aced the written classroom test. The state supervisor didn’t, I guess, like the way I parked in the high school lot. Maybe it had to do with sideswiping his own parked car.
Anyway, the first time I was obligated to stop at a gas station, pull out the wallet and pay for the fuel the gas cost thirty-two cents a gallon. This was before the Great Oil Embargo in 1973. Even at this pre-inflationary time, people were complaining that it was a nerve of the oil companies to jump the price up four cents from twenty-eight cents a gallon. Back then, when you drove up to the gas pump, the car’s tires drove over a hose that caused a ding to go off and send a message to an attendant in the store to come running out and give assistance.
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Living down the block from school as a kid in the late 1950’s and early 60’s enabled me to come home early enough to catch some quality afternoon tv for children. This was before the era of do-gooders trying to offer diversity-based educational stuff like The Electric Company or Sesame Street. We did have early education staples such as Ding Dong School with Miss Frances and Romper Room (“I see Jimmy and Mary and Bobby”) but a lot of it was electronic babysitting.
Continue reading “The Three Stooges”