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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Life without rabbit ears just isn’t the same

Do not read this if you aren’t a baby boomer.

Here are 10 reasons why a new fall TV lineup was way more exciting to little kids 40 years ago than it is to children today:

1. Back then, everything didn’t get hyped to death.

2. When there were only three or four channels, it was more or less possible to keep track of and anticipate each network’s offerings.

3. On playgrounds and in grade school restrooms, a new show such as “The Outer Limits” could be regarded as a significant event because the viewing audience wasn’t spread out over 200 channels.

4. The producers of a prime-time series used to crank out 30 new episodes each season, instead of the half dozen or so they manage to eke out now.

5. Network execs used to give a new show longer than two weeks to build an audience.

6. Electronic games hadn’t been invented.

7. There was no Internet.

8. It was OK to like some dopey show because kids weren’t expected to be sophisticated, media-savvy consumers of entertainment, information and marketing.

9. You didn’t have to fret that the truly exciting shows were out of reach because of parental controls programmed into the cable box.

10. Before it was standard for each household to have multiple TV sets and before it was easy to record a program for viewing later, simply getting to watch your show could represent a towering triumph of lobbying, whining and bartering.

“Misspeaking: “When my son Alex was in first grade (he’s 19 now), he brought from school a gift he had made me,” wrote Teresa Sporleder.

It was a mobile, on which he had identified household chores he could do to help his mom.

One hanging circle said, “Bust dishes.”

Perhaps he meant “bus.” Unless, of course, he knew his mother was sick of the old china but couldn’t justify buying new stuff. Nah, probably not.

“Ever since then, when it’s time to clear the table, I ask someone to bust the dishes,” said Sporleder.

“Slice answers: The question about what animal comes to mind after the pizza arrives made Linda Pitt think fondly of her granddaughters. “Piglets” she wrote.

And in the matter of romances that started last September, The Slice heard from a 25-year-old Spokane resident named Rachel. “My boyfriend and I started dating Sept. 17, 2004, and will officially move in together on Sept. 17, 2005,” she wrote.

It’s less complicated now that they don’t work at the same business.

“Warm-up question: What’s your favorite story about someone seriously missing the mark when saying “You strike me as a (fill in the blank) kind of guy/gal”?

“Today’s Slice question: Which area high school’s football helmets have the coolest graphic design?

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