Kids today! They’re always toting their Hydro Flasks and bottles of Vitamin Water around like they’re going to die of dehydration. Give me a break. All they’re doing is scrolling through their phones—how does that even work up a thirst? My generation played outside all day in the blazing hot sun, and we didn’t need any fancy water bottles—we either drank from corrosive, lead-contaminated water fountains or slurped our H2O straight from a rusted-out hose. Delicious! We drank that stuff and we loved it. And guess what? We survived. Except for those of us who ended up consuming unsafe levels of mold and frog feces, and eventually succumbed to fungal infections.

My generation played outside until dark—no checking in on “parental control apps” or whatever nonsense these helicopter parents are using to keep their kids dependent. Nope, it was a different world back then. We rode bikes all day without helmets, and our cranial injuries made us stronger. We weren’t delicate little brainiacs, and we didn’t all get a trophy just for participating in the spelling bee—especially those of us whose bike-accident-related brain damage left us unable to spell our own names. I pity these kids today—we had a magical childhood, at least what we’re able to remember of it.

We were fearless—we didn’t hesitate to hop into pickup trucks driven by strange mustachioed men offering us Big League Chew gum. Not only was it full of sugar and devoid of nutritional value, but it also looked just like a pouch of chewing tobacco, so we got to sit in the back of the pickup and shove it in our faces like little snuff-sucking badasses. And guess what? We turned out just fine, unless you count the kids who got into the wrong truck and were never heard from again until their faces showed up on our cartons of full-fat chocolate milk. Yep, you heard me—we got to look at computer-aged photos of our missing buddies while we drank FULL-FAT CHOCOLATE MILK for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What kid today gets to have that kind of good old-fashioned fun? Then we washed it down with more sugary tobacco gum and phthalates-riddled hose water. And we turned out great! Even our presumed dead friends looked like they turned out fine—how else could they be looking so great in their forensic age-progression pics? Back then, children were seen and not heard, and then occasionally never seen again.

When we misbehaved, we got spanked, and if we got in trouble at school, our parents automatically blamed us and sided with the authority figures in a collaborative gaslighting effort. Nobody worried about our delicate “feelings” or our “desperate pleas to be heard and believed” or any of that crap. If the teacher said you were bad, you were bad—end of story. And we turned out perfectly fine, except for the crippling hellscape of neuroses and inferiority complexes that have haunted us throughout our lives and now compel us to post lengthy screeds on social media about how fine we turned out!

Sure, life was tough, but we were tougher. There was nothing we loved better than riding in cars without air conditioning, airbags, or seat belts. Hell, we would have loved riding in cars without brakes if we could. Our parents wouldn’t have dreamed of strapping us into our car seats—straps were for spanking, not safety. And yet, we all managed to stay alive—unless you’re the kind of dork who believes all the fancy-schmancy statistics indicating that several thousand of us did not, in fact, stay alive.

And if you are that kind of dork, I don’t know what to tell you. Go drink some Vitamin Water while wearing your helmet, I guess. It’s a dog-eat-dog world (in fact, our dogs loved when we fed them other dogs, none of this “dog bakery” crap). Only the strongest and most able to click “share” will survive!