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In This Century

Posted by johnnieraz on May 4, 2025 at 1:20 AM

    By John Rezell

      Although we don't zip around in flying cars yet — as promised way, way too many years ago — technology appears to be separating generations by light years these days. When you've circled the sun as many times as I have, it's pretty easy to blurt out something that prompts a blank stare from a Millennial. More than a few years ago my daughter Sierra put it into context while explaining something to Grandma.

       She simply said, "In this Century ..."

     I spit up my coffee then, and I've held onto this thought for too many years, banking on turning it into a book someday. But I woke up a one day to learn that turn of the century was nearly 20 years ago, so today, well, I feel like sharing.

       It began when I casually listened to Sierra start to explain the nuances of boy-girl relationships in the sixth grade — middle school — with her Grandma on the phone.

     You know, how boys and girls ask each other "out" without any real intention of going out anywhere, but rather, simply earn the commitment that they are going out.

     Grandma had a bit of difficulty grasping this concept because, as I recall from personal experience, different generations just naturally have trouble understanding each other all the time, burdened by that terrible habit of taking things literally rather than, like, you know, literally.

      That's when I heard Sierra attempt to straighten it all out in as direct a manner as she could.

      "Grandma," she said very matter-of-factly, "In this century ..."

      Moments after she hung up, we had a new favorite phrase in our household:

      In this century ...

      It captures the essence of our time so, so, well.

      You know, like, in this century, people actually buy music. They don't buy records or 8-tracks or cassette tapes or even CDs, they simply buy the music. Which means when your hard drive crashes, you quickly learn about singing the blues.

      In this century, kids take thousands of photos. With their phones. And seldom, if ever, print any of them onto paper. Or keep them around more than a few seconds, much less a week. True snapshots.

      In this century, Theodore Cleaver is a sponge who wears square pants, Wally's a starfish and Eddie Haskell is a squid.

      In this century, Christmas displays appear in September, Halloween displays in July and Back-to-School displays in May, even before school lets out.

       In this century, a grilled cheese is a quesadilla.

       In this century, mail is free and fast.

       In this century, the taste test between the top sellers from Coke and Pepsi is a draw because they both taste like tap water — Dansani and Aquafina.

       In this century, West Side Story is High School Musical.

       In this century, Hairspray is Hairspray.

       In this century, I Want To Hold Your Hand is a ringtone, movie credit tune and/or future Apple ad.

       In this century, bubblegum comes in a million different flavors and toothpaste comes in bubblegum.

       In this century, 31 Flavors cost $5, come with chunks of candy bars and are named after fat dead rock stars.

         In this century, good sneakers cost twice as much as good loafers.

      In this century, Peter Pan is just a peanut butter.

      In this century, toddlers don't "See Dick run," they "Give a Pig a Pancake."

      In this century, Charlie Brown still won't go away or walk away from Lucy and a football.

      In this century, kids' bikes have 24 speeds and suspension.

      In this century, NASCAR is cool and baseball is not.

      In this century, a cup of coffee costs more than the donut.

      In this century, a GOOD cup of coffee costs more than a dozen donuts.

      In this century, donuts come with Captain Crunch, Fruit Loops, Oreo cookies and other healthy add-ons.

        In this century, country is the new pop.

      In this century, kids type on phones with their thumbs.

         In this century, no one can remember a cellphone number other than their own.

      In this century, no one can give you street directions without an App.

      In this century, college is the new high school.

      In this century, 60 is the new 40 and for me 9 is the new midnight.

        And in this century, my future is still so bright I have to wear shades ...

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