I Want To Ride 80’s Style

I don’t know about these iPod’s and stuff.  What the hell ever happened to sitting in the car hour after hour as a kid and looking out the window?  Now the kids are all hooked into their stupid devices where they squint (maybe that’s just me) at a screen hour after hour while the scenery goes by.

Listen, I totally get the drown out the parents thing.  Back in the day it was all about having my hand-me-down Sony Walkman and listening to my tunes instead of the endless classical music my parents played on the radio, from which relief was granted every half hour by way of the news that would drone on for what felt like forever.

With my Walkman and head phones on, I would gaze out of the window and take in the landscape, the wildlife and the other vehicles sharing the road.  The only time I looked down was to flip the tape and press play.  Sing it to me, Billy Idol.  Screw you classical boring shit.


If my kids just listened to music I wouldn’t be perturbed because they’d be happy yet still engaging with the world outside the window.  I’d be happy listening to my own cool tunes – and no not classical – I haven’t become my parents… yet.  However, their way of passing time in the car has morphed into screen time.  I don’t think they ever look up.

“Kids!  Check out that hawk sitting on that post.  It looks like he has a mouse in his talons.”

Nothing.  I look in the rear view mirror and see ear buds firmly in place, heads down and busy fingers.

“Kids!  Look at that crazy car shaped like a flower with some lady sitting right in the centre of it waving to everybody.”


“Kids!  Look at that incredibly skinny, stick-like French clown with a British cap kayaking in that roadside bog beside a field of angry-looking bulls.”

Silence.  I’m getting worked up into a sweat.

“Kids!  It’s a fucking unicorn flying over a pack of wolves that are howling at the moon because they can’t get a bite of that god damn piece of white meat.  Holy fuck and that shit is crazy!”

My one kid pulls a bud out of one ear, leans forward and says, “did you say something, Mom?”

I’ve really got to wean them off these things. They’re missing out on the joy of road trips and it’s just about killing me.


29 thoughts on “I Want To Ride 80’s Style

  1. Reblogged this on Christopher De Voss and commented:
    Reblog Thursday is upon us again. It only seems like a week ago it was Reblog Thursday…

    Anyway, I can take both sides of the issue in this piece…you are missing the world with your head glued to the usually broken glass of your iphone 5, yet a lot of times the world ain’t all that exciting…you know…with everyones face glued to their broken glassed iphones. Often if I’m not driving I take the opportunity to visit Simpson’s Tapped Out on my phone even though I grew up listening to Dad’s AM light rock radio and figuring out landmarks along the way to Grandma’s house to know how soon we would get there.

    By the way at the big rock that looks like a butt, we are almost there…

  2. I hear ya – and I also am sad to see a lot of parents that do the exact same thing with their kids – especially when my son was young and we went to the park – parents ‘with’ their young children – engrossed in their effin’ cell phone – modeling the behaviors of their future. Honestly, I hate fucking phones – I can’t wait for things to come full cycle and people disconnect from virtual and get to actual. Why is something on a screen much more exciting than something real? I’m especially annoyed with 3D TV – fuck, the entire WORLD is 3D – but it’s not enough. Have I said Fuck enough?

  3. Road trips for us as kids was oldies music and Ovaltine commercials. Nowadays, Aerosmith is apparently an oldies band, or at least classic rock, and they do still make Ovaltine! The only problem with the kids looking up from their screens is that they might realize they have to pee or that they’re hungry or bored. There are only so many cows and Jesus Saves billboards that a person can get excited about.

  4. I’m getting my 3 year old daughter used to playing I Spy… And she sings to the songs I listen to on the radio…I’m hoping it lasts but am going to cherish every moment now in case it doesn’t!

  5. Oh yes…we played the license plate game, the alphabet game, the I’m-not-touching-her game. We would be stuck in a car for two-weeks at a time every summer going to places like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. We wrote. We colored. We made faces at our reflections in the windows. Ahhh…I still love a good road trip.
    My kids’ dad has TVs for them in his car. In my car, we look for colors, numbers, and letters. In his car, they are front seat and back seat. In my car, we are a family. Of course, they are 5 & 3, so I haven’t yet lost them to the iEverythings and I’m still cool to them.

    • TV’s in cars = lunacy. I feel a little less guilty for not having that option (and I never will) but iPods are just about as bad. Still guilty. D- on the parenting report card.

      • I don’t know how one can win against the multiple options of technology. Even forgetting the chargers wouldn’t do much. You can keep the TVs out of the car, but even if you left all forms of technology at home, you would just be riding with resentful kids. Oh how I do not look forward to teenagers, near teenagers, or whatever age it is that kids now decide parents are no fun.

  6. Tell me about it. Kids these days are so attached to their iPhones or iPods and are perpetually plugged in that we’re beginning to think that they came out like that straight from our wombs! In Malaysia, whenever we go out to any restaurant or cafe, you’d see each kid engrossed with their iPads, totally obviously to their environment.

  7. I stared out the window when I was a kid, but that was only because there was nothing better to look at then the kid in the car passing us flipping the bird.

  8. I think kids pick up more on it than you might think. I remember road trips with my mom & train trips with my grandmother where I kept my face buried in a book and my Walkman (actually a non SONY knock-off) going all the time. But we still managed to talk a great deal and see stuff.

    On a trip around the US by train, my grandma told me one time, “If I had known that all you were going to do was read books, we could have stayed home and saved the money,” but I remember that decades-old trip well, AND I remember many of the books I read.

    But MP3 players are light-years better than the old Walkman.

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