Summer, 1972: I'm driving up Mascher Street toward Roosevelt Boulevard with my grandmother. Nana did all the driving, of course, but the five-year-old farting into the passenger seat of 1966 Chevelle station wagon had one very important job,
Reading the time and temperature on the marquee sign in front of the Central Penn National Bank.
"It's eleventy-free firty, Nana," I'd shout. (I was a little stupid, and couldn't say the 'th' phonic worth a damn.) "And it's 93 F, 31 C."
Admittedly, the only thing that truly mattered to me at that time in my life was watching Speed Racer and not sh-tting into my tighty-whities. But it was my job to announce the time and temperature, and hell if I can ask my children to perform the same task.
F--k clocks in car radios and f--k temperature gauges in cars: Car radios used to have a little orange plastic-thingie that indicated what FM station was currently playing the Olivia Newton-John song that was searing your eardrums, and if you wanted to know the time, and your Timex was still on the armoire, you actively sought out a bank.
Now, the overhead display in my Town & Country can tell me the time, temperature, my tire pressure, distance to empty and whether or not my balls itch; who gives a sh-t? My bank used to do that with a big clock which revolved in a motorized housing. Now, according to that very same clock, it's been 8:22 since I developed ball-hair.
You're charging me 24.42% interest on my mortgage, you pay 0.50% on my savings, and you sure as hell don't have to pay tellers anymore: Spend a couple of bucks to fix the clock, please?
* Thanks, Mom, for making sure I got a sub-standard, Philadelphia public-school education, so that someday I could type the phrase "F--k Banks" as the way to pay the bills. Stay in school, kids.