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In My Day

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The Arabs believed a horse’s life should be divided into three phases – the first seven years in training, the second seven years during the prime of their lives and the last seven years, which are the most productive because a person can lend their horse to an enemy or someone they don’t like.

I believe a human life can likewise be divided into three segments. However, instead of seven years, the human life can be divided into three 25-year fragments. 

During the first 25 years, youngsters have a lot of exuberance and good ideas but they have little experience in the ways of the world, so they spend most of their time in school – in training, if you will. 

When they do finally leave home and attempt to advance in the world, they are held down by stodgy, old bosses who fear for their jobs. 

The second 25 years are prime working years, when a person should have equal portions of exuberance and experience. This is a human’s sweet spot. 

Finally, in the last 25 years, when senior citizens have oodles of experience but little energy, they spend their days going to garage sales, doctor appointments and napping – a lot of napping. 

There will always be, and always has been, a tug of war played out between the younger demographic and the older one. 

Back in my day, the oldsters never had the slightest idea what was in the hearts and minds of my generation, whose sole purpose in life was getting under the skin of the old fogies. We lived our lives trying to come up with ways to irritate them. 

My generation grew their hair long, listened to psychedelic music, used drugs, wore colorful bell bottom pants, went to Woodstock and escaped to Canada to avoid the draft. 

We sat with the old folks on the couch to watch The Wonderful World of Disney, where never a cuss word was uttered nor a breast laid bare. 

Then, our parents and grandparents were shocked out of their long johns when, on the Ed Sullivan show, Elvis “The Pelvis” Presley did things never before seen on television. As if this wasn’t bad enough, old Ed brought the Beatles to America’s attention with their long hair and wild ways.

Nowadays, the youngsters get under my generation’s skin by turning their bodies into fleshy canvasses for tattoo artists, getting studs in their tongues, rings in their nostrils and other metallic hardware installed in unmentionable places. 

For gosh sakes, they have more ear ornamentation than a common cow.

The youngsters befuddle people my age by listening to rap music with four letter words, constantly expanding their digital and downloadable world by playing on their cell phones, riding their skateboards on the sidewalk and using the word “awesome” in every sentence, like, you know? 

They too experiment with illegal, dangerous drugs, while the oldsters at least have prescriptions for theirs. 

And what is this fetish the young people have for guns? When I was their age, the only Colt 45 kids wanted to get their hands on was a brand of beer known for its potency. If one could drink a six pack, they were a real stud. 

In my day we at least pulled our pants up. Nowadays, it seems there is a  competition to see how low they can go without having their pants fall off entirely. 

I have no idea how some of these kids keep their pants up. I just know they’re doing it to irritate us.

In my day we at least had paper routes and lawns to mow, while today’s urban killers of their fathers’ dreams avoid work like it’s the plague, and they keep coming back home like the sparrows to San Juan Capistrano.

To complicate matters, we now have old guys who refuse to act their age by gathering up what little hair they have left into a pony tail. Such a man is a traitor to our cause. 

As for me, I’m going to hire a mercenary to fight this generational guerrilla war because honestly, I just don’t have the energy for this unwinnable skirmish. I say unwinnable because by the time a man realizes his father was right, he has a son who thinks he’s wrong.

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