Things aren’t like they used to be for kids back in the ’70s. When I was growing up our parents would let us run free through the neighborhood with only a carton of cigarettes for our supper, and the cheap kind too, and we’d climb trees, and throw rocks at each other in trees, and try to push over the trees that we were hiding in to get our friends to stop throwing rocks at us. It was a different time. A time when doctors smoked in the delivery room, and babies smoked on airplanes, and Ralph Nader had to convince the world that hurtling through the windshield of our giant boat cars probably wasn’t a great idea. By all accounts those of us born in the decade should be dead by now, but we’re not. And that’s bad news for you, millenials, because now we’re only getting stronger, feeding on your youth for our sustenance.
Here are a certain number of reasons kids of the ’70s should be dead by now.
Nowadays parents get arrested if their kids go to the shitter without three chaperones, so you may find this hard to believe, especially if you’re an eternally surprised nincompoop incapable of imagining a frame of reference different from your own, but there was a popular game back then known as Lawn Darts. The way it worked was one team of kids threw spears into the air, trying to place them into a circular target set across the yard, also known as “your friend’s clavicle.” Ten million kids died from Lawn Dart injuries in the summer of ’78, which is a tragedy, but the aftermath did give us Eric Clapton’s indelible hit about the era “Lay Down Sally”, which topped the charts that year.
According to the Center for Disease Control, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for people age 35-44. In 2011 alone, 15,230 people in that ’70s kid sweetspot died from slipping in the tub, car accidents, falling off of telephone poles and so on. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death for all age groups until 45. The fact that any of us have made it this far is frankly pretty impressive.
Cancer, or malignant neoplasms,become the leading cause of death once ’70s kids turn the corner past 45, so while it may not have caught up to all of us yet, rest assured it’s on the way! Around 50,000 people between the ages of 45-54 will die from the stuff this year. True ’70s kids know what I mean, because it probably got your parents by now.
You may not know this if you didn’t live through it, and to be honest ’70s kids were probably a little too young to fully understand what was going on, but do you have any idea how close we came to war with the Soviet Union and all out nuclear Armageddon with swaggering goat fuckers Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher at the switch? Never mind ’70s kids, the entire earth as we know it should be dead by now. Dodged a bullet there.
Terrorists kill anywhere between 0 and 400,000 American citizens a year, depending on which numbers you look at. With terrorists embedded into the fabric of every American small town, from Des Moines to Olympia, it’s a wonder they haven’t conspired to bomb your local Rite Aid yet by this point.
They hadn’t discovered that bread was literally poison yet back then, and tens of millions of children all over the country ate it in their lunches every day. Somehow we all managed to adapt to this newly introduced form of sustenance and came out the other side, bruised, sure, but not beaten.
Suicide has overtaken traffic accidents in recent years as the leading cause of injury death, and it’s a surprise it didn’t happen sooner. Do you have any idea how emotionally oppressive it is to be heading into your 40s with almost nothing to show for it in terms of career satisfaction, home ownership, or lasting romantic involvement? Not great!
The Revenge of Our Enemies
We know damn well what we did.
Thanks for reading my listicle. @lukeoneil47