Stegosauri, Scooby, and Snail Mail

steg_laughingOn NPR last week there was the usual litany: Syria, Isis, Ebola and various other dismal subjects that prompt the boys and me to start more pleasant topics in the car, like laying odds on which of us would most likely survive a Zombie Apocalypse (do not bet on mom), or what the boys would do with their allotted millions when Mike or I win the lottery.

Because, surely we’ll dole out a few large to each of them, right?

I always say yes to that one. I’m a giver. Especially with money that I’m far less likely to win than I am to get run over by a reanimated stegosaurus … while street dancing in purple underwear … after being struck by lightening.

I don’t even own purple underwear.

Anyway, last week I was alone in the car, and not preoccupied with keeping up with a conversation about zombies or the lottery, so I actually heard the shocking news: Saturday morning cartoons are gone.

Actually, I didn’t hear the original story, but the responses from people who were ridiculously sad about something I’m not even sure is a real thing. How can Saturday morning cartoons have officially ended, when my kids can get cartoons twenty-four hours of any day of the week?

I was particularly floored by one forlorn listener …

MH of Toledo, Ohio, writes this: Saturday’s were the best, and it’s sad that one more thing has been taken away from the children growing up today. They’re required to be adults too soon. Saturday mornings consisted of Count Chocula cereal, a blanket and cartoons till late afternoon. “Schoolhouse Rock!” walked generations through the process of a bill becoming a law.

Okay, MH, no disrespect, I get the Count Chocula, but what sad sack is pining for Captain Caveman or Scooby Doo Where Are You?

And for that matter, did you catch that part about “growing up too fast?”

These children? Today?

The very children whose parents will drive them four tenths of a mile to school because they can’t get their crap together soon enough to walk?

That is only once in a while, mind you, but it happens.

These children, who, by the time they hit puberty, probably have a trophy or at least a ribbon for every time they even showed up to a game, set foot on a playing field, or jumped in a pool? These kids are growing up too fast?

I think whoever is pining for the imaginary death of Saturday morning cartoons is letting nostalgia get the better of her. For the record, although I can still sing the theme songs to Scooby Doo and Schoolhouse Rock, it wasn’t quality television.

One day, my own kids are going to say the stupid things old people do about stuff that doesn’t really matter to people who are currently children.

Which means a list is in order:

A few things for which my kids might one day be nostalgic that will make everyone else roll their eyes:

Pokemon … speaking of crap cartoons, Pokemon is probably less likely something they will pine over in the future than something that will make them wonder if someone put hallucinogenic berries in their Capn’ Crunch every morning from the time they were about four until third or forth grade. How else does one explain the hours long conversations about the virtues of Bulbazar over Charmander, or whether Misty ever had a thing for Ash Ketchum?

Everyone knows she had the hots for Brock.

Cars with wheels that we actually have to drive. I’m still waiting on the hovercars that the damn Jetsons promised. I think before those happen, it’s more likely we’ll have cars that will drive themselves.

I would like that to happen before my kid has to navigate the freeway in winter, science-y people, so please put please put your hurry pants on.

Zombies. Surely, there will be something new and weirder to occupy the national psyche, and my kids will one day be old and say stupid things that make no sense unless you’re also old.

“Kids these days. They have no sense of how precious life is. Who around here has a good zombie apocalypse survival plan anymore? Nobody.”

Computers. “You know, back in the day, computers were things we set on our laps, and had to carry around in cases. These days? Folks just flash those jazz hands and – Blam-O! Virtual screens hanging in thing air ala Tony Stark (damn, that man was a visionary).”

“Back in the day, we had hard shell thingies with keyboards. We built up massive biceps carrying our tablets around, and carpal tunnel syndrome from typing. It was crazy.”

“When we weren’t typing, they had this way of writing that was kind of like calligraphy. It was called cursive. We had to learn it in school so we could read birthday cards from our grandmothers and sign legal documents and letters.”

“Letters? You know, those things we’d put in a box on the street, which someone would get and take to the person we wanted to say something to…”

“Only not right away, see? It had to be something we didn’t want anyone to know right away because letters took a couple days to get to where they were going.”

“I don’t know why we’d want to wait a couple days. It was a thing.”

“Are you listening? Get your feet off the coffee table.”

“Speaking of waiting, kids these days have no patience. Back when we had the kind of mail that came on paper, we also had something called buffering. It was a little like the mail in that you had to wait a long time to get what you wanted. Problem was, when you expected something right away, you’d go a little crazy waiting for the buffering.”

“Buffering’s what happened to Great Grampa Stinky back in the winter of fourteen, when he smashed his television waiting for House of Cards to load.”

“And, for the record, everything was awesome before they figured out how to reanimate stegosaur … er, steg … um dinosaurs.”


Yes, I did have to look up the proper plural form of stegosaurus.  That’s worth a vote, right? You can do so as often as once a day and I’ll keep using proper grammar and stuff. Mostly. Thanks.


Photo by Steven Jones


Drowsiness_bookAnd check this out! Motherhood: May Cause Drowsiness is finally out! ManicMumbling is part of a collection of hilarious tales (in retrospect, I mean, sleep deprivation is rarely funny when it’s happening, except in that crazy, they’re-coming-to-get-me kind of way, right?), with some of my favorite bloggers.

Let me know what you think!


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  1. My children are growing up too fast, but only in the sense that time keeps speeding up as I get older, like I\’m starting to race toward the finish line.

    But they\’re certainly allowed to be kids.

    Now that I think about it, I don\’t own purple underwear either. Is that something we should work on? Does one need to own purple underwear?

    I\’m thinking about that too hard. I must need a nap.

    1. I\’ve never ruminated before on the virtues of purple underwear, but probably everyone needs some. You never know when you\’re going to have to run from dinosaurs in them…

  2. So cool being published in print! Congratulations!

    I think my children will wax nostalgic over photograph albums. I print all my pictures and put them in albums so we can actually look at them. I keep them on shelves in the living room, and my kids, nieces, and long-time friends of my kids love looking through them and seeing pictures of themselves when they were little.

    No kidding, stegosauri? I wouldn\’t have guessed that.

    1. Oh, I used to love looking through my mom\’s photo albums. It occurs to me that we don\’t print out photos, just keep them archived on the computer. My kids might actually like looking through them.

  3. You\’ve gotta love Schoolhouse Rock. I actually bought the DVD a few years back so that my children would know the wonders of \”I\’m only a bill\” and \”Conjunction Junction\”. Practically required watching. Captain Caveman they can live without.

    1. I wonder about the civic and grammatical foundation I\’m keeping from my kids by not having Schoolhouse Rock in the house. I should get that DVD as well.