When I was a kid we used to ride race cars and fast horses. Not the REAL ones of course, but the metal ones outside of Woolworth’s that you put a quarter into. Remember those? Sometimes there would be a merry-go-round if you were really lucky. Usually they were broken though and had an “Out of Service” sign taped to them(or your parents refused to sacrifice a quarter to the mechanical beast), but they were always there tempting each and every child with their faded paint, glory days, you wish you could ride this presence. I wonder where they all are now? I keep picturing a junkyard filled with broken, mechanical ride on toys. What a vast and desolate wasteland I have pictured in my mind’s eye….
I am no Spring chicken and so the era of the ride on toy was years and years and years ago. Sort of like right after dinosaurs became extinct and right before Michael Jackson started looking weird. You know, back when Madonna was still a virgin and kids still played outside. Back when kids wore rainbows a lot and wore shorts that were obscenely short and hair that was obscenely feathered…sigh…good times. Remember all of the unicorns?
Anyway, jump ahead several decades and those little ride on machines are no longer outside of the store. Nope, now they are inside the store and have an entire room devoted to them. At least they do at Wal-Mart. Look, I don’t like that store. I would even say I dislike it the way I dislike liver which is to say I find it disgusting, but the reality is I am not about to drive 120 miles for dog food. So, until we get some more stores around here that’s where we go so Tiny-Small can practice riding bikes, have fun waving to the Santa popping out of the blow-up trailer, Christmas lawn ornament and to play on mechanical ride on toys that now cost two quarters. Except, I never have two quarters so Tiny- Small just sort of hangs out on the giant apple car (with a worm passenger) and pretends to drive while sitting at the race car video game that has replaced the actual race car car. Yep, I just said the same word twice in a row. This is not going to win me any writing awards. That’s OK because I would much rather win free chocolate.
My point is things sure have changed. Now, instead of shopping in the store I try to shop from home over the Internet and instead of riding fast horses, kids ride giant, wormy apples…indoors. Instead of Michael Jackson and Madonna we have Lady Gaga and I can’t even think of another singers name. Are there any out there that compare, even slightly, to Michael Jackson? I don’t know. Rainbows are making a comeback and I do see some boys walking around with feathered hair, but I don’t think they are very popular. Of course, I could be wrong about the popular part. I mean, really, I am not an expert on popularity. I’d tell you to ask my friends if I had any, but I digress….
I guess what I really want to know is when did I get so old? I swear I was still a kid just five minutes ago. I still want to ride on the old mechanical merry-go-round. I finally found that quarter! Too bad it is decades and decades too late. At least Tiny-Small can still have fun.