5 Essential Skills Our Children Won't Need

Categories: Random Ephemera

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dakotapam
Watching the Kid With One F grow up is magical, and by that we mean that it is both miraculous and horrifying. It's miraculous because watching something that used to be able to scream and poop become able to say, "Daddy! Zombies say, 'BRAIINNNNNS!'" On the other hand, it's horrifying to realize that this is a person who will instinctively know a world that we will be baffled by.

The skills that we spent many years perfecting to a ninja edge have more or less become completely obsolete, and before we give up all thoughts of being relevant, we figured it would be nice to toot our horn one final time in regards to the abilities we have that our daughter never will. Such as...


Cartridge Blowing, Rubbing Alcohol and Advanced Ledge Mechanics

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Video game systems today are sleek machines that all look like they were designed by SkyMall, and their games either come in disc form or are downloaded directly into the system's memory. Only the 3DS still uses cartridge-based technology, but they're so much more advanced than what we had back in the NES days it's like saying a scooter and a Lamborghini are the same thing because they both have wheels.

When the NES was the standard household gaming system, you quickly learned three things that were necessary to keep your games working. Dust had a tendency to build up on the connectors so you had to clean them. The first step was blowing into the cartridge. You wanted a quick, powerful blast to shock loose the dust, not a prolonged expulsion.

If that didn't work, the next step was using a tissue soaked with rubbing alcohol on the connectors. Now, Nintendo sold a cartridge cleaner and warned that using anything else was sure to eat away your game like acid. We were terrified of using anything else until our dad pointed out that the ingredients on the back of the bottle were the same as in rubbing alcohol. This is when we learned that nothing makes a company more erect than finding a way to make you spend the change you just got back from your purchase on useless, overpriced crap.

Finally, if all else failed, you took the ultimate step. You inserted the game almost all the way into the NES and pushed down quickly. Leaving just the right, tiny amount exposed would catch the edge of the game on the shelf of the slot while simultaneously engaging the connectors, creating a shift in grimy build-up just enough to make contact. We spent many hours perfecting this technique, and now the only way we'll get to use it is if we drop some cash at Game Over to revisit the glory days of gaming.


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Geezy
Geezy

You forgot the most quintessential tool of the 90's, the wire coat hanger- damn near vital to some folks survival. Cable TV wasn't working right, that bitch became your antenna. Lock your keys in the car, bingo. Don't get me started on what you could do with a wire hanger in a washeteria if you didn't have the quarters to stick in them little slide slots. 

But the tape is very telling. Gone are the days of high speed dubbing, recording off the radio and putting actual tape on the corners of your cassette if you didn't have a maxwell handy to record. 

Them was the days. 

Kolman
Kolman

Don't forget about cleaning your pipe/bong with a wire coat hanger and then smoking that nasty black tar because it's all you have.

Bob Ruggiero
Bob Ruggiero

There is also "VHS cassette surgery," a useful skill I learned to save a tape with a munched-up portion while working at West Coast Video near Kirby and various Blockbuster Videos. I guess we can add "Video Rental Store Browsing" to the list as well...

HC
HC

My first job was at a video store.  Amazing how they're all disappearing and soon people will say, "What's a video store and what did you do while you worked there?"  In my particular part of Aldine, the video stores are being replaced with dentists who accept Medicaid and gaudy blanket stores.  Sigh...

Mylifeisloud
Mylifeisloud

"hurling them back into the parking lot like a horny, screaming Frisbee"

Genius.

Jack_Around
Jack_Around

Wow, and here I thought I was the only one familiar with the NES cartridge "just the tip" technique

mikhastur
mikhastur

you forgot dialing a rotary phone.  not too long ago I was actual witness to a teenager who was totally baffled by the rotary phone dial.

Skippy
Skippy

Ha, I remember the whole "portable cd player in the car" thing. They even had a little pedestal thing you'd attach to your dashboard with screws. It had little rubber "shock absorbers" to dull the impact and jostling you'd surely have driving on Houston streets. Even that wouldn't keep it from skipping when you hit the really nasty potholes or speed bumps.

Craigley
Craigley

I mounted mine with velcro on the back seat carpet (within arms reach) and it rarely skipped.

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