It’s a plane? It’s a bird? It’s a …….
an exclusive feature*
I personally love the old adage, “You’ve either got to live it, or live with it.”
Despite my being kicked and dragged into the 21st century, I have come to realize that not all things new are bad or confusing. There can be some rather amusing or even time saving aspects to living in the present. Yes, life can become easier and you can even use the lack of knowledge of present day nuances to have a little fun with the ones you love.
So there I am one day horsing around with my grandkids and waiting for my son to get the grill fired up when he calls out to us, “Dad, kids, would you please move the lawn furniture to the sides, we need to set up our landing pad.” Although I have no idea what he’s talking about, I help move the lawn chairs to the sides of the backyard and turn to ask my grandkids, “What are we doing?”
“We’re making a landing pad for the pizza drone,” my grandson says.
“Landing pad?” I ask.
“Yes, silly.” My granddaughter adds, “It lands right in the middle of the yard.”
My daughter-in-law opens up the backyard sliding door and instructs, “Okay kids, make sure you stand to the sides and that includes you, Dad. You don’t want to get hit in the head, do you?”
“By what,” I say, “a flying pizza?”
“No Dad,” she replies, “by the pizza drone.”
A few minutes go by as I watch my grandkids with their heads held high watching the sky for I don’t know what. Then, all of a sudden the two of them start singing in unison. “The pizza drone is coming, the pizza drone is coming!”
Sure enough I see this dot in the sky coming towards us. A drone peacefully lands on the backyard lawn. My son comes out, takes the pizza, signs the credit card receipt, pushes a button and poof. The drone goes up, up and away leaving us with several pizzas.
So this is the new age? Hmmm, I think I can get used to it, and by the way, the pizza is totally delicious.
Though my family takes a poke here and there at all the nuances I am ever so unfamiliar with, I do believe that sharing some aspects of the old past tense life I have lived can still be fun. After all, they don’t know everything. Take the notion of teaching our grandkids what a telephone booth is for one example.
One day, my wife, grandkids and I were walking along a newly gentrified area of downtown Charleston. I spied an old hotel that had been remodeled, but had left their 1950’s wooden telephone booth intact. I looked at the kids, jingled my pockets to make sure I had change, and decided to have a little fun.
“Hey kids come here. I’ve got something to show you.” I took them into the hotel lobby and up to the brown stained wooden phone booth. “Do any of you know what this is?” “For Superman to change his clothes,” my smart aleck grandson shouted.
“No,” I replied, “This is what we used to use before there were iPhones.”
“NO WAY,” they both shouted in disbelief.
With such excitement and amazement, both grandkids entered the booth and immediately picked up the receiver. “I bet this is how you talk and listen,” they said. Smart kids I thought to myself.
“So, go ahead and call someone or call me,” I suggested.
“But how?” my granddaughter asked.
“You listen to a tone at one end, then dial the number.”
“But there’s no tone.”
“Right,” I said, “first you have to put money into the phone.”
“But where’s the credit card slot?” she asked.
“Oh, this baby doesn’t take credit cards, it takes coins.”
Knowing they wouldn’t have any coins on them, I reached into my pocket and gave them a handful. They figured out where to put the coins and were shocked by the tone that came out of the receiver. “So this is where you listen and this is where you speak, right?” my grandson intuitively asked.
“Yes, now try and call me.”
They looked at the numbers on the dial and proceeded to stick their fingers into the holes pressing each number to call me. Nothing happened. “It’s broken,” my granddaughter said.
“No, you don’t press the numbers. You dial them by putting your finger on the number and pushing the wheel all around.”
“Like a carnival game,” my grandson said as he inserted his fingers in the wheel and started dialing my number. “This is stupid,” he said, “and it’s beginning to hurt my finger. You have too many numbers.”
After two attempts and a probable blister, he completed the ten-digit task and my phone rang.
I took my iPhone out of my pocket and answered, “Hello,” to my grandson, and asked if he wanted to return to the 21st century.
The lesson? Our past can certainly amuse and entertain the youth of today. I was pleased for the opportunity to show my grandkids how it was in the good old days of the 20th century.
Now if only some Kid would come over to my house and teach me how to use Twitter, and perhaps upload some videos to The Facebook, I would be ever so receptive, (and grateful).
*Dinner by Drone is an exclusive feature for Grandparentslink.com by Steven Ziplow, writer & producer, who lives with his wife in Charleston, South Carolina. He enjoys both sides of his “blended family.” As a footnote, he totally loves the idea of aging and pokes fun at it in his writings. His hobbies include acting, tennis, and replacing non-functioning parts of his body with titanium.