The not-so-good old days

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Have you ever looked back at your parents’ era and marvelled at how unsophisticated their lives were? Or how bizarre some of the things they did now seem?

Yeah, me too.

But what will our kids say about the age that we grew up in? I’m always keen to introduce my children to some of the fond memories of my childhood, but here are ten things that I suspect will only result in them raining ridicule down on me – and the video evidence to prove it.

1. Our favourite pop stars were men, often with dodgy asymmetric haircuts, who wore more make-up than Coco the Clown. Take a bow, The Human League’s Phil Oakey.

2. We were so innocent that it never occurred to us that George Michael might not be entirely heterosexual. Honestly.

3. One of our favourite TV programmes, Knight Rider, featured a talking car which caused many of us to wander around school playgrounds imitating the following sound. (Come on, admit it, you know you did.)

4. We thought a short Scottish woman dressed as a schoolboy, Wee Jimmy Krankie, was funny.

5. Equally, half the comedians on TV were men in drag: Dame Edna Everage, Les Dawson’s Ada Shufflebotham or, here advertising Emva Cream Sherry, Hinge and Bracket.

6. We got excited by the launch of a *fourth* TV channel. (33 years later, Channel 4’s first ever programme, Countdown, is still going strong.)

7. Flourescent leg-warmers (as modelled by the kids from Fame). No. Just no. Incidentally, the performing arts high school depicted in Fame was based on the Fiorello H Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, whose alumni include Laurence Fishburne, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Suzanne Vega and Nicki Minaj.

8. Shoulder pads (as modelled by the ladies of Dallas). Again, just no.

9. Big hair. Bouffant was the order of the day, male or female. Especially if you were in the soft rock mould of a Bon Jovi, Europe or, in this case, Whitesnake’s David Coverdale.

10. We got excited about being able to buy a computer (the Commodore 64) with a whopping 64 kilobytes of memory. By comparison, I’m writing this post on an iMac with a 3 terabyte hard drive – equivalent to the capacity of nearly 47 million Commodore 64s.

What things from your childhood would make your kids (or you) cringe with embarrassment today?

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