Ready to feel old?
1. A dial-up tone coming out of their mother’s mouth: Mention “AOL” or “56k” to a teenager and you’ll get a blank stare, but everyone who remembers the early internet remembers the time their mother’s jaw opened too wide and a familiar electronic screech came blasting out as her eyelids fluttered wildly.
2. Ronald Reagan’s shrieks when he got trapped behind the fridge: While young people today have probably seen pictures of Reagan in history class, they have no idea just how jarring it was to suddenly hear him howling from where he’d gotten wedged behind the refrigerator, or how you’d have to coax him out by dipping a broom handle in Nesquik powder to get him to bite onto it.
3. The gurgle of a milk truck sinking into quicksand: Milk trucks have been in decline since the Clinton years, and one of these days, they’ll be just about gone entirely. But a couple decades ago, you couldn’t go more than a month without hearing the unmistakable sound of one of these milk delivery vehicles slowly sinking into the churning earth.
4. The news anchor saying “And if you want more news, hit your dad with a hammer!” at the end of a broadcast: In today’s 24-hour news cycle, anchors’ trademark sign-offs are as dead as disco, but anyone over 30 will probably forget their own name before they forget hearing Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw say this every night.
5. The cascading roar of the stadium crowd in the crisp autumn air and the crack of baseball bat against baseball bat: They only let one guy have a bat at a time now.
6. The distant roar of a Concorde jet clogged with geese and flies: The world lost a little bit of wonder when the last supersonic Concorde jet flew in 2003, but ask any adult and they’ll tell you about watching them streak across the sky in the cloud of the geese and flies that flocked to them, desperate to lay their eggs in the fuselage, only to get shredded in its mighty engines.
7. A record player needle tracing the delicate curve of a woman’s breast: Sorry, but Spotify will never be able to recreate this.
8. The throaty war cry of mighty Umuara: For he fell to the poisonous hand of Okepi the Coward, and his wives fell weeping at his side, and there they were buried, and his people were driven across the great scrub-grass plain by the painted warriors of Osu. And the seasons turned, and the great rains fell, and time crumbled the bones between its fingers.