We Didn’t Have “The Green Thing” Back Then

The   Green  Thing

Checking  out at  the store, the young cashier  suggested to the
older woman that she  should bring  her own  grocery bags because
plastic bags weren’t  good  for  the environment.

The woman   apologized and explained, “We didn’t  have  this green
thing back in my earlier  days.”

The clerk   responded, “That’s  our problem today. Your generation did
not care  enough  to save our environment for  future   generations.”

She 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  our clothes   back in our early days. Kids got
hand-me-down clothes from  their brothers  or  sisters, not always
brand-new  clothing. But that  young 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 wadded  up old
newspapers 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?

Please forward  this  on to another selfish  old person who needs a
lesson in conservation from a  smartass young  person.
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.

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