Monday, June 13, 2011

Keeping up with the times. Or not.

One thing about being an adult writing children's or YA books is that you have to keep adjusting to obsolescence. References that we think of as current may be ancient history to our audience. I've been watching the disappearance of slips and pantyhose (good riddance to the latter!), land lines (still have mine, though--they're so reliable), and cursive handwriting, just to name a few. But sometimes discussions of obsolescence, especially in the general media, take on a sort of scornful tone implying that if you're still doing whatever the article claims is on the way out, you're living like a caveman. Just for fun, I thought I'd do a parody of that kind of article:

Are you still using these old-fashioned products? Experts say they will soon go the way of lickable postage stamps and rotary-dial phones. In fact, they'll probably disappear by the time you finish reading this article.
Exclusive to Trendy Online News Trends

As the world spins ever more quickly, people are finding that if they don't adjust, they will be left in the dust. Here are three items experts are classifying as "the new antiques:"

1. Pillows. Fed up with the need to wash pillowcases or buy frilly covers, most sensible people are now jettisoning the pillow altogether. "Besides, they harbor dust and germs," says Beulah Bingkettle, trend-setting consumer. "We just lie flat on the bed now. Sure, we wake up with horrible cricks in our necks, but that's the price of being up to date. My daughter saw a pillow on a bed at a friend's house, and she didn't even know what it was. I had to explain, and she couldn't see why people ever used them in the first place!"

2. Lights. Lamps and overhead lights are no more, rendering the recent kerfuffle over light-bulb efficiency altogether moot. "Let's face it," says Drew Dennison-Drew, a recent college graduate. "We now have so many lit-up screens, we don't need any other source of light. We can get around by the flicker of our computer, phone, and tablet screens, in addition to the display panels on our appliances. I don't know any fool who's still messing with switches and bulbs. Lights! How geriatric can you get?"

3. Teeth. "You'd have to brush them all the time, and they get cavities--what a pain!" says Simone Sleek, age 8. "Nobody I know has teeth anymore. Well, except my friend Melissa, but her parents are such dinosaurs, they still use paper checks! They even have this thing lying around their house called a 'newspaper,' which is like an internet news site but printed out onto a huge piece of paper with ink that stains your fingers. Her whole family's just plain crazy." Returning to the subject of teeth, Simone adds, "We get by on giant lattes and pudding. What else do you need? Chewing is just so Old Skool. Plus, it's kind of gross, mashing up food inside your mouth that way."

If this article hasn't made you feel old and panicky enough, Trendy Online News Trends will publish another one in approximately ten minutes that will inform you of even more ways in which you are falling further and further behind the times. You're welcome!

So ends this parody. And if any of these items really are on their way out, please don't tell me. I will cling to my land line and my pillow as long as possible.


  1. I had to laugh about the lightbulbs, because one evening when we lost electricity, a not-me resident of my house used the light of her laptop to find her way upstairs to bed.

  2. ROFL I love your sarcasm. Go, you!

  3. LOL! Your points about the pillow make me think about how some cultures use stone pillows -- no pillowcases to deal with and they're probably easier to clean :P

  4. Thanks for the laughs, Words, Donna & Linda!

    Stone pillows--shudder. I still think soft (but not too soft) pillows are one of the best inventions ever.

  5. This is hilarious! And yes, I do feel old and panicky, but I just know I'm not alone. : ) Great post!

  6. Cynthia, I'm finding lately that humor is serving me better than hand-wringing as a defense mechanism. :-)