Column: Joe Morinville


Come Feb. 4 the government is going to start keeping all the pennies that get turned into the banks and then they will be no more. Folks are talking that the nickel is going to be next. I hate to see the penny go, but it got me to thinking about all the other stuff we used to love that isn’t around now, at least not as much.

1/ VCRs – The first VCR I bought was a Betamax. Then a year later VHS came out and took over the market. Now you don’t see either of them or all those great video stores we used to take the kids and grand kids to get a family movie. Only place you see VHS tapes now is at yard sales.

2/ Encyclopaedias – Was a time these things were found in nearly every home, taking up a whole room. Back then it was everything you could want to know, written and compiled by people who studied such things in universities. Now you got the Wikipedia, which is written by a bunch of people with opinions sitting at home in their pyjamas. It is edited and changed by other people sitting at home in their pyjamas who have different opinions. The Internet’s a funny place.

3/ Speaking of the Internet – fifteen years ago you’d have to tie up the phone and wait 20 or 30 minutes while your dial-up modem downloaded a picture of a cat. Now you can go on the Facebook with your phone and look at all the cats you can handle. Or you can come over to my garden any summer day and see the neighbourhood cats taking a roam.

4/ Cassette tapes were a great way to listen to music. Well, until the tape came out of the thing and you had to wind it back in with a pencil. I preferred 8-track tapes and was never bothered that it would change tracks half way through a song. Now they tell me the CD is going to disappear, too.

5/ Lawn darts were banned in Canada in 1989. It was a great family game, one you had to be responsible about by overseeing the kids when they played it. Now we let the kids tuck in with the M16s and rocket launchers in their video games for hours on end, while we flit around them like helicopters if they step outside.

6/ NHL hockey – Was a time you’d turn on the TV or go down to the arena and watch the Oilers play live. Then came the lockout and … What … it’s over. OK. Short list this week, folks, I got to go dig out my Gretzky jersey from the mothballs.

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