When did that hap­pen?

South Shore Breaker - - Page Two - Ver­non Oickle was born and raised in Liver­pool where he con­tin­ues to re­side with his fam­ily. He has worked for more than 30 years in com­mu­nity news­pa­pers on the South Shore and is the au­thor of 28 books. VER­NON OICKLE THE VIEW FROM HERE ver­[email protected]

As a writer, I am con­stantly ob­serv­ing peo­ple and the world around me. In that ca­pac­ity,

I’m al­ways on the look­out for things that irk me or kind of hit me the wrong way.

Things like these, for ex­am­ple:

When did a sports team los­ing two games in a row be­come a los­ing streak as I heard one ra­dio an­nouncer re­cently de­clare? Re­ally? Two games is a streak? A bad patch maybe, but not a streak.

When did it be­come OK for homes and busi­nesses to dec­o­rate for Christ­mas be­fore Re­mem­brance Day? This trend seems to be in­creas­ing ev­ery year and it is not OK. Sim­ply stated, this is not ac­cept­able and should never hap­pen. As a sign of re­spect, the least we can do is wait un­til Nov. 12 be­fore pulling out the colour­ful lights and or­na­ments.

When did com­mer­cial­ism take over the world? Se­ri­ously, enough al­ready! Who wants to see Christ­mas ads run­ning on tele­vi­sion be­fore the end of Oc­to­ber and be­fore Hal­loween?

When did it be­come ac­cept­able to sit in a Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony and use your phone for tex­ting? Oh wait. It hasn’t be­come ac­cept­able and all I can say is shame on you. Is noth­ing sa­cred any­more?

When did it be­come ac­cept­able to throw lit cig­a­rette butts out the win­dow of your ve­hi­cle so that they can smack into my wind­shield? I’m not judg­ing you for smok­ing, but please stop do­ing that. If your ve­hi­cle doesn’t have an ash­tray, then find one and use it.

When did it be­come ac­cept­able for phys­i­cally abled peo­ple to use park­ing spots des­ig­nated for phys­i­cally chal­lenged peo­ple? Never! So peo­ple, please stop us­ing them. If you’re parked in one of the clearly des­ig­nated spots and some­one who re­ally needs it can’t get one, then they are forced to park else­where fur­ther away from the build­ing. Hand­i­capped park­ing spots are re­served close to build­ings for a rea­son and be­ing more con­ve­nient for peo­ple who can more eas­ily get around isn’t one of them.

When did it be­come OK to throw your lit­ter out the car win­dow? Well, we all know that never hap­pened. Come on peo­ple, There’s no need to ruin our beau­ti­ful coun­try­side with lit­ter and garbage. It’s your trash. Take it home with you for proper dis­posal but don’t lit­ter.

When did it be­come ac­cept­able to make a turn without us­ing your sig­nal lights? Again, never. It’s one of the most ba­sic rules of the road. Too bad so many peo­ple seem to for­get it. Be safe. Drive de­fen­sively.

When did chil­dren stop go­ing out­side to play? Oh wait. Didn’t that hap­pen with the ar­rival of home com­puter and video games?

When did chil­dren start ask­ing for iphones and ipads for Christ­mas? Does that mean trucks and dolls are no longer in fash­ion? It’s a dif­fer­ent world from when I was a kid, in­deed.

When did our world be­come such a dark place that we can no longer go an en­tire month without hear­ing news of some hor­ri­ble at­tack, bomb­ing or mass shoot­ing? We live in a sad so­ci­ety, my friends. The times have changed.

When did the price of food be­come so out of reach that it now costs more than $5 to buy two ap­ples? Talk about in­fla­tion. Wow.

When did it be­come ac­cept­able for peo­ple to spout their own un­in­formed, and of­ten of­fen­sive, views and opin­ions through so­cial me­dia and pass them off as fact? Se­ri­ously, peo­ple, do your home­work be­fore you take to the cy­ber net­works and make a fool out of your­self and all of those who fol­low you.

When did it be­come ac­cept­able for mil­lions of peo­ple in the United States to be­lieve the lies spewed by Don­ald Trump? The minute on June 16, 2015, when he an­nounced he was run­ning for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion. That seems like so long ago.

When did it be­come ac­cept­able to dis­miss the dire warn­ing of global warm­ing as fake science? Oh wait. It has al­ways been fake science if you’re Don­ald Trump or his fol­low­ers, but I’m think­ing the peo­ple of Cal­i­for­nia would have some­thing to say about that.

When did it be­come OK to blame some­one else for your prob­lems? Se­ri­ously. If some­thing isn’t right in your life, then you need to do some­thing about it. Yes, there is no ques­tion that it takes less ef­fort to sit back and point your fin­ger at some­one else than it does to take some ini­tia­tive to do the work for your­self. How­ever, you’ll of­ten find that mak­ing a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion is much more re­ward­ing than com­plain­ing, but it does take some ef­fort.

When did ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing High­way 103 (or any high­way for that mat­ter) have more right of way than ve­hi­cles presently on the road? Wait. That’s not how it works. Safety first, please.

When did it be­come ac­cept­able for peo­ple to op­er­ate their mo­tor ve­hi­cles while us­ing their cell­phones? Oh wait. That didn’t hap­pen. Come on peo­ple, Stop do­ing that. You are go­ing to kill some­one.

When did it be­come ac­cept­able to drive your car with an an­i­mal perched in your lap? Yes, we know you love Fido or Rex or what­ever you call your furry friend, but tech­ni­cally, you are not sup­posed to do that. If you aren’t wor­ried about your safety and the well­be­ing of oth­ers on the road, think about the dan­ger your pup is in by sit­ting on your lap.

When did it be­come OK for busi­nesses to ex­pect you to fol­low an elec­tronic maze in search of a real per­son to talk to, only to end up right back to where you started? Tech­nol­ogy! Good grief. If you don’t want to talk to peo­ple, then just dis­con­nect your phones and be done with it.

When the world seems like a dark and bleak place and we face is­sues for which we’re seek­ing an­swers, some­times all you have to do is ask the ques­tion, or at least that’s the view from here.

When did com­mer­cial­ism take over the world? Se­ri­ously, enough al­ready! Who wants to see Christ­mas ads run­ning on tele­vi­sion be­fore the end of Oc­to­ber and be­fore Hal­loween?


Christ­mas dec­o­rat­ing be­fore Re­mem­brance Day has been a com­mon de­bate.

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