“You know why this book isn’t so cool?”

Jeb is pointing at the Guinness Book of World Records.

“Why?” I ask as I butter his toast.

“Because it’s so old. Everything in it is really old-fashioned.”

“Well what year is it?”

“One thousand…nine…nine..three…”

Jeb’s still learning how to read big numbers and I’m suddenly aware that since he was born in 2003, the 1900’s are an era he’s completely unfamiliar with.

“Right, that’s 1993. That was before you were born.”

“Yeah, I know. That was like 100 years ago!”

“Well more like about 20.”

“It was so long ago they thought they had cool things but really they didn’t – not like stuff they have now.”

I figure he’s meaning technology for the most part. Both sides could be argued on whether or not Whitney Houston is/was cool.

Then I enter the realm of the stereotypical old-timer that I can’t believe I am becoming. A smidge of nostalgia emerges. “Do you know where I was in 1993?”


“I was already out of high school and living on my own in San Diego.”  (Man, that was 1993! ) My life is set to soundtracks so I run the playlist quickly: Spin Doctors, Arrested Development, Pearl Jam, Steel Pulse and Dinosaur Jr. Oh yeah, and that strange Jim Croce phase.

I hear myself sounding like the adults around me when I was young. How they’d tell you something time-related with a hint of a smile. Their own little joke. The secret of perspective they knew they had and you did not. Now at 38, I’m humored by the fact that my seven-year old doesn’t know how to say a year outside the 21st Century.

It’s time for breakfast and we put library books to the side and I hand Jeb his toast.

I sigh with a smile.  “Yep. That was a while ago.”

I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem accurate. I can’t quite bring myself to say “long time.”

2 thoughts on “World Records and the Twentieth Century

    1. But young at heart, right?! Only later after this posting did I realize that Jim Croce epitomized the essence of time with his classic “Time in a Bottle”. Now that’s nostalgia! Thanks for reading and chiming in, Dave.


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