Another Jacked Up Chain Letter

Those who know me know I hate chain letters. And not just the ones that try and scam you out of money. I hate them ALL!

Usually, I just ignore them. But every once in a while, I’ll shoot a little something back. That was the case with this chain letter (which I actually got about a year ago). First, the chain letter, then my response.

How old is Grandpa or Grandma?

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.

The Grandfather replied, “Well, let me think a minute, I was born before:

  • television
  • penicillin
  • polio shots
  • frozen foods
  • Xerox
  • contact lenses
  • Frisbees and
  • the pill

There were no:

  • credit cards
  • laser beams or
  • ball-point pens

Man had not invented:

  • pantyhose
  • air conditioners
  • dishwashers
  • clothes dryers
  • and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and
  • man hadn’t yet walked on the moon

Your Grandmother and I got married first, and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, “Sir.” And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, “Sir.”

We were before gay rights, computer dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.

When mother or father said “No,” there was no further discussion.

We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions. Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege. We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President’s speeches on our radios. And I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with “Made in Japan” on it, it was junk. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and instant coffee were unheard of.

We had 5 & 10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn’t want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day:

  • grass was mowed
  • coke was a cold drink
  • pot was something your mother cooked in and
  • rock music was your grandmother’s lullaby
  • aids were helpers in the Principals office
  • chip meant a piece of wood
  • hardware was found in a hardware store and
  • software wasn’t even a word

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a real lady needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder people call us “old and confused” and say there is a generation gap. And how old do you think I am?

I bet you have this old man or woman in mind… you are in for a shock! Read on to see — pretty scary if you think about it

Are you ready ?????

This person would be only 59 years old!!!

And now, my response:


1. He thinks that serving in the military was a “privilege”? No, it’s an HONOR to serve.

2. Born in 1949, this guy completely missed WWII, which had its fair share of draft dodgers. But he was old enough to have had to register with selective services and participate in the draft for Vietnam. That means his teenage years were rife with draft dodgers, and he might have even been one himself. It’s OUR generation that doesn’t have draft dodgers because there hasn’t been a draft instilled since before we were born.

Now, as to the “born before…” claims.

3. Born before TV? Are you kidding me? Philo T. Farnsworth invented the first electric TV in 1928. The TV was old enough to drink by the time this guy was born.

4. Something else was also discovered in 1928 as well. It’s called Penicillin, 21 years before he was born.

5. Born before frozen food? That’s a bit ambiguous. If he’s talking “frozen dinners,” sure. But the first artificial refrigeration was demonstrated in 1748. Yep, that’s a full 200 years before this guy was born. By 1920, there were around 200 different models of refrigerators being sold to the home consumer.

6. The Frisbee Pie Company (their pans are traditionally considered the first frisbees) was founded in 1871. Frisbees had been around for 78 years before this guy was born.

7. The first patent issued for a ball-point pen was in 1888.

8. The air conditioner, like the refrigerator, was first invented in the 19th century.

9. The first dishwasher suitable for domestic use was created in 1937. By 1940, dishwashers with drying elements were introduced.

As to several other of this man’s claims:

10. There was no McDonald’s? What about the one that opened in San Bernadino in 1940 and introduced its “Speedee Service System” (i.e. fast food) in 1948?

11. The reason he hadn’t heard of yogurt must have been because he was horribly uneducated or lived in a cave. Yogurt dates back to nearly 2,500 BC. Modern-day yogurt as we know it today was introduced to the States in 1947 by Dannon.

12. Instant coffee was invented in 1901. The Nescafe brand of instant coffee was introduced in 1938.

13. According to the Consumer Price Index, a nickel in 1949 is 43 cents in today’s money. You can still get a Pepsi for that or make a call from a pay phone.

So essentially this gentleman, like all old folks, likes to tell fantastical stories that aren’t true in order to try and impress his grandson. My grandfather walked 10 miles, uphill both ways, and through 10 feet of snow to get to and from school each day. Of course, my grandfather was born in 1910, so its probably true.

And there is one other thing that hasn’t changed between his generation and mine. Corporations are still evil. FM radio was invented in the 1930′s and by 1941, there were 50 FM radio stations. But the 59-year old man in the above story was probably telling the truth about having never heard of it.

RCA tied up the inventor of FM radio, Edwin Armstrong, in court for so long — sapping all his strength, desire, and finances — the man eventually killed himself in 1954.

After Edwin died, FM radio’s popularity soared. RCA suddenly had a change of heart what with its inventor dead and, with no one to pay royalties to, began investing heavily in its research and development. RCA posted record profits in 1955.

2 thoughts on “Another Jacked Up Chain Letter

  1. Azucar


    I do the same thing, only I usually reply all so that the sender is appropriately embarrassed.

    And then the stupid emails stop (until there is an election.)

  2. Stu

    Good call!

    Reading your comment, it got me thinking how strange it is that people automatically believe things like this. It reminded me of a previous post where I discussed a study that showed people trust email from friends more than any other source.

    Which then reminded me of another post about how people tend to believe lies they are told, even if they already knew the truth beforehand — something politicians have really seized upon.

    What a crazy world we live in, huh?


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