“I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer.”
What the hell is wrong with young people?
And when did I incorporate the words “young people” into my vocabulary?!?
Taking a remote temp job has been an interesting experience. Being trained by two, young women, 28 & 30 years old, is eye opening, to say the very least.
First, these chicks remind me nothing of myself when I was their age. One is married with a kid and another on the way — undoubtedly, a Lockdown Baby Boom “Uh-oh” — and the other is shacked up with a guy who she desperately wants to marry, but he’s not in any hurry to get hitched…
“Mooooooooo…” (Some of you will get it.)
Second, the majority of my “training” with them is done via Zoom calls — ah, the age of technology is both amazing and a monstrous pain in the ass, isn’t it?
And third, every five minutes they have to stop to check their phones because they’re getting an alert/notification.
Today, I decided to see if I could distract them from looking at their phones — for one hour — with stories of famous people from Michigan.
They both live in Michigan, and I grew up in Michigan. It seemed logical.
I started with Ted Nugent, and told them the story of how The Motor City Madman showed up to our senior class, sober bowling alley bash for a little while and shook hands, took a few pictures (which were produced, ten days later, when the Foto Hut had developed the actual film) and just kind of hung with us for a little while.
Next, I asked if either of them had heard of Bob Seger. One of them said that she thought she’d heard of him. I listed off a couple of his songs to see if any lightbulbs went off…
Roll Me Away…?
Turn The Page…?
Don’t think so.
Like A Rock?
“Oh, yeah…I think I know that song,” one of them says.
Sweet, Lord, my head hurt.
“Well, Bob Seger — who was and is a famous singer/songwriter — used to play all around the Allen Park/Wyandotte area (Detroit suburbs). My mom grew up in Lincoln Park — pretty much, the same area. Anyhow, long before Bob Seger became famous, he played all of the bars in this area, and my mom’s particular claim to fame was that she banged Bob Seger, once upon a time.”
Both of them stared at me through the lenses of our laptops with that deer-in-the-headlight-look.
Time to shift some Motor City gears
“What about Tim Allen? Do you know who he is?”
“Yep, Tim, The Tool Man, Taylor!” one of them gleefully cheers. I told them how my brother — back in his private pilot days — had flown Tim around a little bit, and told stories of what a great guy he was to have as a passenger.
They were unimpressed.
They knew who Kid Rock was, but had no clue where Houghton Lake, MI was.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Since it was apparent that they both considered me to be the human equivalent of a raisin, I casually asked if either of them knew anything about Fleetwood Mac — not a Michigan group, but let’s face it, they only knew of Eminem and some rappers that I’d never heard of.
“What’s a Fleetwood Mac? Is that an old car?” one of them asked, never looking up from her phone.
Gasping a little, it felt like my heart might give out right then and there.
“Not what,” I corrected. “Fleetwood Mac is a band — one of the greatest bands of all time. You’ve never heard of them? You’ve never heard of the ALBUM Rumours?”
Neither of them looked up from their phones to answer me.
We’d made it about 15 minutes, if that. I lost.
I wonder if I was ever that oblivious. I’m sure I was. It’s part of growing up — only caring about what directly impacts you.
We grow out of it, somewhere along the way. Some of us much earlier than others, because we had kids at a young age, or responsibilities that curbed that self-centered, self righteousness in each of us.
The silliest thing of it all, is that we don’t realize how good we have it, in that very moment.
The shame of it is that we don’t make the connection until years later.
We just assume that there will always be great television with characters like Less Nessman, on WKRP In Cincinnati, or Jim, on the show Taxi, and great music and great memories.
It got me to wondering if — in 20 years — I’ll look back on these years with a fondness, as I reminisce of the good old days…
My hope is that we are more aware of the great moments we’re living right now — living these very moments.
One thing is for sure: There will NEVER be a greater television line than this one:
“As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
Oh, the humanity.
I hear ya, Mr. Nessman. I really do.
I hope you made some great memories today.