Pokemon (the original) cards Ah, the currency of my primary school days. The fondness my heart still holds for these shiny pieces of cardboard, cannot be explained. Begging my parents for just one more “booster pack”, was my entire vocabulary back then. I know of a few of my friends that still have their entire collection, after almost 10 years. I envy them. If I ever get my hands on an original Charizard card, my life would be complete. So here’s to the humble Pokemon card, you will be missed. Tazo’s You must remember these little plastic discs. You could find them in almost every pack of Simba chips, quite a few years back. I’m sure the childhood obesity level rose a little when these were first introduced. I still remember buying at least two packs of chips a day, just to get my cheese-crusted fingers on a new Tazo. Saturday morning cartoons There was a time before Cartoon Network and Disney Channel, where you could only watch Pinky & the Brain and Tom and Jerry, early on a Saturday morning. You’ve been waiting patiently for an entire week, just for these magical two hours of cartoon bliss. Staying up late to watch shows you’re not allowed to watch With downloading and the ability to record shows right onto the DVR, comes the death of staying up past your bedtime to watch South Park and, well… Trying your best to not wake your parents up, while you stealthily sneak into the living room to watch an R-rated show. Ah, those were the days. Pure exhilaration. Sticker trading Stickers were the IN thing, way back when I was just out of diapers. It’s where many of us first learned about the intricacies of trade. There were “softies” (stickers with fur), “shinies” (blinged out stickers) and one or two more categories that I can’t remember, each with their own value. This fad was probably the most stupid. But, it did prepare us for all the trading that would be happening in Primary school, so here’s to stickers! Playing arcade games After school when you got home, there was nothing to do except do your homework (lol), or walk/ride your bike down to the local arcade. With a pocket full of coins and your best friend at your side, many hours of youth were wasted playing Metal Slug. I still have no regrets. Listening to a band or group simply because they say “fuck” I still remember when my sister first let me listen to a few of her CD’s. Bands like Korn, System of a Down and Limp Bizkit, were among the collection. I was about 10 or 11 at the time, and was still a novice when it came to swearing. So imagine my delight at hearing a certain Limp Bizkit song… “If I say fuck two more times, that’s 46 fucks in this fucked-up rhyme!” Recording songs onto cassette right from the radio There was a feeling of accomplishment when you’ve waited an entire day, listening to the radio, when finally the song you were waiting for comes on and you hit that record button on your cassette player. Sure, the quality sucked and you could only record one or two songs, but damn did it feel good to know you could listen to your favorite song whenever you wanted. Improvised projectile weapons With schools all over the world shitting their pants because of any sort of violence, future generations will never know the satisfaction of using a rubber band as a means of torture. Playing with real toys in class It seems like every kid I see today has a smart phone, tablet or other expensive device in their hands. I remember sitting in a particularly boring class, not texting or updating my status about how boring the class was, but playing with all sorts of self-made, or store-bought boredom killers. Actual toys, for the fucking win! The Gameboy Color Sure, most of the Gameboy Color games can now be played on phones or PC’s, but it’s not the same as playing it on the actual device. Playing at night was an adventure. The device would become completely useless in the dark (or even slightly poorly lit rooms), but that’s where the fun actually begins. Your enjoyment of the device at night, relied entirely on your own inventiveness. You could try playing with one hand, and the other holding a flashlight to the screen, or you could use some brain power to create something awesome… (and no, turning on the lights in your room was not an option. Because most of your nocturnal gaming time was done way past your bedtime.) Buying… certain magazines without your parents finding out The noble art of acquiring a nudie-mag when you’re too young to do so, and then using your cunning to keep them hidden from your parents, is sadly, almost extinct. Every device now has internet access, so seeing stuff you’re not allowed to, has become way too easy. It’s a damned shame! “Veldskool” Primary schools in SA have had this tradition of sending kids into the bush and seeing who survives longest… Okay I’m exaggerating a bit. But they did send them into the bush. This week-long excursion was something to look forward to, it was where you could learn a lot of useful stuff and it was a great experience. Sadly, this tradition is dying out, but for those like me who were lucky enough to have gone through this, we made some great memories. Riding bikes everywhere… without a helmet The bicycle. It was the first taste of freedom you have as a kid, and chances are, you rode that damned thing everywhere. It didn’t matter how far away your destination was, you’ll be going there by bike. Yes, you fell, broke a few bones, left 50% of your skin on the pavement and mangled your face permanently, but you didn’t care as long as you had fun. But with moms everywhere freaking out; a helmet, elbow, shin and knee pads are now a common sight. This “you have to wear a helmet” thing is so prevalent now, I could not find even one pic of someone riding a bike without a helmet. So to continue “helmet awareness”, here’s what can happen if you don’t wear a helmet… Playing Video Games With Your Best Friend Sitting Right Next To You It was a simpler time back when I was a kid. We didn’t have access to this mumbo-jumbo called the “internet”. We had a TV (shitty fucking TV), and TV games where you still had to blow on the cartridges to work. We had none of this online stuff, so we had to get together and sit next to each other, while enjoying a game of Contra. This type of bro-bonding, you won’t find in an online game of COD (Call of Duty). So, even though it took a lot more effort to arrange time to play together, it led to some of my most enjoyable youthful days. I compiled this list with suggestions from fellow “olden-day-enthusiasts” (you’re awesome), along with some of my favorites. So please let us know if we missed anything, or if you just want to share some of your own experiences, in the comments.