Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Keep it in the time capsule

There was a sound in the house. A strange sound? No. I recognized it. I just wasn't willing to believe it.

"Well I think I love you, la la la la la la la la," came from the living room. The "la la las" were actual words, but after my brain recognized the song, it instinctively shut down the part that tries to make sense of the world. I find my brain doing that more and more often.

"Uh, what are you doing?" I asked my wife.

"Singing to our son," she said, smiling in a way that showed she had no idea how close my brain was to sliding out of my head.

"Do you know what you're singing?"

"Sure," she said. "'The Partridge Family' song."

"The Partridge Family" song. I thought that had been outlawed in most states.

"OK," I said, shrugging, trying to hide the nervous tick that comes when I consider my childhood rife with "Three's Company," "The Brady Bunch" and, yes, "The Partridge Family." "I thought we were going to spare our son exposure to any pop culture between 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'Family Ties.'"

She turned back to the boy.

"Well I think I la la, la la la la la la la la."

There are many things we grew up with our children will never know. My grandparents knew the Depression. My parents knew the Vietnam War. I know Alf. Every parent hopes their kids won't be subject to the problems of their generation, but ...
Good lord, Alf?

Looking into the living room, seeing my son dancing as my wife sang the song of commercialized hippies past, I realized there were things my kid will never know ­ and I think I'm happy:

- Cassette tapes: They were smaller than 8-tracks, fit in your pocket and made the Sony Walkman possible, but a cassette tape is now as popular as the cast of "Facts of Life." I'm glad I didn't save my copy of, "Ratt: Out of the Cellar."

- The Plymouth Reliant K car: It looked like something the Soviet Union would have made if it was a soulless, spirit-crushing society that treated individuality like a crime against the state. Oh, wait, it was. He won't know that, either.

- Mork from Ork: Robin Williams was funny once. I suppose.

- Rat tails: Unless there's a huge resurgence of New Kids on the Block, the rat tail will stay at the state fair where it belongs.
A list that would take up most of this page: The A Team, Jordache jeans, the Clinton administration, "Where's the Beef?" Yummy Mummy cereal, "I've fallen and I can't get up," the movie "Legend," "Highway to Heaven," Bo knows, Kato Kaelin and the XFL.

And I'd hoped that maybe, just maybe, he'd be spared the Partridge Family.

I hate it when I'm wrong.

Copyright 2006 By Jason Offutt