Stories inspired by GamerDude's Twitch stream. They're about gaming, growing up, family, relationships, food, music, movies; basically, stories about life.
Still More Of The Best Of Storytime
In this week's "Best Of" episode, GamerDude revisits some stories from Season 1. He talks about some superstitions that he actually believes (and some that he doesn't). He shares a story about one of his favorite words - balderdash. He talks about wasting energy worrying about things that are beyond your control. And he shares one of his favorite Halloween stories, about his exploits on "mischief night" and why he always worries about the "family jewels" on Halloween.
"Do You Want Fries With That?"
Eating out was always a rare treat when GamerDude was growing up. In this week's episode, he talks about the various - and different - options for eating out that he grew up with. There were lunch counters in the back of Woolworths, and restaurants in the local Macy's department stores. He talks about how those eating places gave way to food courts as stores left downtown areas to take up residence in the local malls.
GamerDude also talks about how menus used to be simple, with very few choices and very limited options. This simplicity existed in diners, in restaurants, and even on the McDonald's menu, which - at first - was basically burgers, fries, and drinks.
He also remembers how restaurants changed over the years. He talks about how the waitstaff took all orders by hand and how "giving you the check" at the end of the meal was a regular ritual. He talks about how smoking was standard in restaurants, and air conditioning was not, and he remembers the old "cafeteria style" restaurants that are all but gone these days. He also shares some of his favorite restaurant-related "dad jokes."
Making The "Paragon Choices"
GamerDude's recent first viewing of the classic movie Taxi Driver prompted this episode about making the "good guy" choices. He talks about how society in general, and he in particular, used to focus on the good guy - Superman - as the hero in films, stories and life, and how the world has evolved to the point where now, the Joker is the hero. He talks about how Taxi Driver, one of the first anti-hero movies, and The Godfather, one of the first movies where gangsters were not shown as purely villainous, helped change society's views on "good guys" and "doing the right thing."
He talks about being brought up to "do right," and revisits the story of how he found a $10 bill on the street as a kid, and turned it into the police, because it was the right thing to do. He talks about how the default of most people when he was growing up was to do the "right thing," but over time, a selfishness has replaced the willingness to do the right thing in favor of a "what's in it for me?" attitude. He talks about how doing the right thing is not always convenient, but the overall benefit generally outweighs any minor inconvenience. He talks about how this selfishness has changed society in personal, business and political settings, and how "getting away with something" is more important to some people than doing the right thing. GamerDude also talks about the satisfaction he gets simply by doing the right thing, and can't understand people who make the choice to hurt, betray or cheat others.
This Episode Is Lousy With Old Words We No Longer Use
Long-time listeners know about GamerDude's love of language. In this episode, GamerDude talks about words that he grew up hearing, and using, that we no longer use in everyday conversation. He talks about old expressions, like "fiddlesticks" and "whippersnapper" and where they came from. He talks about words that had short but significant lifespans, like "groovy" and "phat."
GamerDude also talks about words for clothes that we no longer use, from slacks and frock to dungarees and galoshes. He also talks about relationships, and how courting and necking no longer seem to exist, and "going steady" is a thing of the past. He also talks about how using words for women like "gal" and "broad" have largely fallen into disuse, and how calling a woman "honey," "darling," or "cupcake" is something that you simply shouldn't do.
Motels, Maps and Postcards: The Way Travel Used To Be
Long-time listeners are aware of GamerDude's love of travel. In this week's episode, he talks about how travel used to be when he was growing up, and how things that used to the norm simply no longer exist. He talks about the difference between hotels and motels, and how he used to stay in little mom-and-pop motels, both as a kid and as a broke, hungry college student. He talks about his first "continental breakfast" at the Bald Eagle Motel and how exciting it was to get "free food," even if it was just a Danish and coffee.
GamerDude also talks about the things that used to be common place in motels that no longer exist. He talks about room keys, and key fobs, and the key cubbie behind the desk clerk. He remembers the guest register, and carrying pockets full of change for the pay phone. He also remembers the "magic fingers" that some motels had for the beds.
GamerDude also talks about other fixtures of travel that we no longer have, do, or need to do. He remembers getting road maps for the destinations you were heading to, and purchasing postcards for friends when you got there. He remembers taking his "friends and family" list on vacation, both for sending postcards and "just in case." And he remembers trying to figure out how much film to buy for the camera, and because pictures were limited by how much film you had, trying to decide what was "picture worthy" on a trip.
Equality Actually Means Equality
GamerDude talks about the very simple issue that first sparked his interest in "political activism." In his middle school, he witnessed how the students, who were interested in change, were able to effect a modification of the dress code to allow the boys to wear jeans and the girls to wear pants to school. He talks about how the archaic dress code was part of the mind-set of making sure "girls acted like girls." He also discusses other laws that were in place in the 1960s and 1970s that were also designed to "keep women in their place," from banks denying single women credit cards to women being ineligible to serve on juries.
GamerDude also talks about race, and how he became aware of racial prejudice. It wasn't until he left his hometown and discovered that people not only had differing views about race, but treated people differently because of their race. He talks about the history of racism in this country, and how racism has been baked into society by the way laws were passed and enforced after the Civil War. He discusses how the concept of "separate but equal" came into play, and how that concept is actually the antithesis of equality. He talks about the passage of the Civil Right Act, and how the Constitution - despite the fact that it was written by a bunch of old white guys - was intended to apply to every person in the United States. He also discusses how equality for all should be the basic premise for all of the laws in the United States, and failure to understand that is nothing more than a failure to understand what the US is supposed to be about.