One bad thing about being a dad who likes dad jokes, is that sometimes I’ll say something and my kids won’t believe me because they think I’m trying to be funny-ish.
Case in point: The other day I was telling the kids that when I was their age there were no such things as Chicken McNuggets. They stared at me blankly, as if to say, “Sure, Dad, very funny,” so I had to tell them, “No, really, I’m not making this up.” It took my wife looking it up on Wikipedia to show them the McNuggets were first introduced in 1981 before they believed me.
It’s not the first time they’ve questioned me. One time I told them that if I wanted to see a movie, I had two choices: 1. Go see it at the theater; or 2. Wait for it to be shown on television, which could be a long wait. It might be several years after leaving the theater before a movie would be shown on TV, and even then it would probably only be shown once a year, so you’d better know which night and what channel it’d be on, or you’d have to wait another year for a chance to see it.
The kids looked at me as if I was talking crazy. “Wouldn’t it be on Disney+?” No such thing. “What about video stores? You could just rent or buy it, right?” Nope. There were no videos or video stores. “Couldn’t you just record it?” No, there were no video recorders available. “But what if you really, really wanted to watch it?” they asked. You were out of luck, and you’d just have to wait. I’m not making this up.
The kids were equally baffled when I told them that instead of Wikipedia and Google, I had to rely on encyclopedias. We had a set of about 30 big, thick books that were full of information on a variety of subjects, and if you wanted to know about something, you would look it up in the appropriate book.
“How could they put information about everything in a book?” They couldn’t, but they sure tried. “But what if you wanted to know about something that wasn’t in the book?” You were out of luck. “If it was a book, how did they update it with new information?” They didn’t. By the time I was in high school, our family encyclopedia set was about twenty years old.
I told them it would be like if they were looking up “Presidents of the United States” on the internet, and the most current information it had was about President Bill Clinton.
“Ha, ha, Dad. Very funny.”
“No, really, I’m not making this up.”