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Paul D Berube

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Member Since: Jun, 2007

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Featured Book
Fourteen Pieces of Gold
by Charlene Tess

A short story of mine was included in an anthology of short fiction by fourteen of Port Town Publishing Company's authors. It is out of print and no longer available exce..  
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The Green Thing? BAH - HUMBUG
By Paul D Berube
Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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I'm really sick and tired of the old folk being criticized for their wastefulness by the younger generation today. So, I offer the following in their (and my own) defense.

At the check out counter of the store I frequent, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right;
our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over again. So actually, they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in my day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300 horsepower gas guzzling machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing back in my day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the money to throw away on the NEW disposal ones. We dried clothes outside on a clothes line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts of electricity with each load.
Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes. As kids, we got hand-me-down clothes from our brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house, not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Rhode Island.
In the kitchen, our Moms blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric using machines to do everything for them. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, our Dads didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They actually exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank water from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had to have a drink of water.
We refilled our pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we
replaced the razor blades in our razors instead of throwing away the whole (plastic) razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took a streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen or more appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget (GPS) to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. We asked a real human being for directions or looked at a rusable printed map.

I find it very sad that the current generation criticizes how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then? Funny, we didn't need the green thing back then. We simply used what too many young folks seem to be lacking today, good, old fashioned, reusable COMMON SENSE!

Feel free to copy and send this to any selfish, old people (like myself) that you know who need a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person who doesn't even know how to talk over their smartass cell phones.

And remember: don't make an old person mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to really piss us off.

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Reviewed by John Domino 1/24/2013
Great story, I LOVED IT!! Yes, when I was a teenage I use to take gallon milk jugs to a big milk store and recycling glass containers kept the cost of milk down. Today I try to put a refill in a pen and it's a joke! They are all different sizes and the standard refill's do not fit anymore. I can go on and on but you said it best! Amen my friend!

John Michael
Reviewed by Mary Lacey, Desertrat 12/19/2011

You've said a mouthful and said it so well, my friend! The things you mention I did too, but you never thought of it, just did. A young woman who had just had a baby, asked me what a cloth diaper was! She must have been jiving. Oh, how do you keep cloth diapers on, there is no tape.
Reviewed by JMS Bell 11/11/2011
Reviewed by J Howard 10/22/2011
i remember seeing this in an email as it crossed my desk and thought about the many ways, good and bad that time has changed how we look at our live. a good reminder. thanks for sharing-
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 9/7/2011
I love this Paul, it's the smartasses of today who's invented all the crap that we didn't need and then they wonder why there are so many folks overweight. I do realize that weight problems can exist from health problems but not all. Great write and I will use it.

Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Donna Chandler 9/7/2011
This is a good write. I have received it SEVERAL times via email from various friends and relatives. Are you the original author?

Reviewed by baz busbe 9/6/2011
I am in that awkward age of not being young enough to be brought up on the green thing but being to young to qualify for most things in your Write. Whoops guess I am a real offender. I enjoyed your piece, well said, will pass it on to the older folk round here, I am sure they would be delighted. God bless. Baz
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/6/2011
Seems like we are the ones who have it "all figured out"; the young people of today don't know squat! Great write, Paul; well done! (And as an added warning: don't piss ME off. I have two added bonuses: my crutches. I might use 'em on somebody's head if they really piss ME off.)

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. :D

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