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What Is the Point?

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When I was growing up, sometimes having no agenda was the best fun of all.

kids playing with hamster

Lori Curley: I am sure this article has been written a hundred times by people my age -- a nostalgic look back at the good-ol'-days when no one wore a helmet or a seatbelt, and our moms blew smoke straight into our faces. But this morning my son and I were joking about buying a marsupial over the Internet -- and it reminded me of a turtle that came in the mail in (I am guessing) 1967.

Encouraged by smoke-blowing Mom, we saved up enough box tops from Mr. Bubble to send away for Touché, named after the cartoon character who has probably been banned for his insensitivity to Spanish speakers. These turtles have since been outlawed because they carry so many diseases, but a friend of mine swears her older brother (who is still amazingly alive) used to carry their turtle around in his mouth. We performed no such act of bravery; we found Touché's antics of scooting about interesting enough and felt no need to stick him in our mouths. He came to his tragic end when we left his shallow bowl on the floor, which tempted our overweight dachshund. She ate him while we were out. I remember Mom rushing to shelter us from the scene. She did the same thing when the same dachshund ate Freddy the hamster.

I realize there should be some point to all this, but frankly, there isn't -- which could possibly be the point. Without the Internet, 150 channels, or around-the-clock news (unconnected to the world), perhaps we children growing up in the '60s were the last to experience a perfectly pointless existence. We saved box tops, licked stamps, waited for mailmen to bring us a turtle in a box -- only to learn a year later that our dog ate him.

Now people do so many more important things like Facebook or Farmville.


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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Alice February 1, 2010, 2:24 PM

We used to go out and ‘play’ after school…that could mean doing nothing but sitting on the porch, maybe a game of tag or a bike ride. At dusk we heard our mom’s yelling our names to come in. It was a far safer and less competitive time.


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