by Frank Kaiser
GEEZER TEST! ARE YOU “OLDER THAN DIRT?”
1. Where did headlight dimmer switches used to be located?
a. On the floor shift knob
b. On the floor, left of the clutch
c. Next to the horn
2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle has holes in it. For what was it used?
a. Capture lightning bugs.
b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing
c. Large salt shaker
3. Why was having milk delivered a problem in northern winters?
a.Cows got cold and wouldn’t produce.
b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled.
c. Milkmen left deliveries outside doors and milk would freeze, expanding and pushing up the cardboard bottle top.
4. What was the popular chewing gum named for a game of chance?
5. What method did women adapt to look as if they were wearing stockings when none was available due to rationing during W.W.II?
b. Leg painting
c. Wearing slacks
6. What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn’t tell whether it was coming or going?
b. Nash Metro
7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?
a. Strips of dried peanut butter
b. Chocolate-licorice bars
c. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside
8. How was Butch wax used?
a. To stiffen hair cut into a flattop so it stood up
b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing
c. On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust
9. Before inline skates, how did you keep your roller skates attached to your shoes?
a. With clamps, tightened by a skate key
b. Woven straps that crossed the foot
c. Long pieces of string or twine
10. As a kid, what was considered the best way to reach a decision?
a. Consider all the facts
b. Ask Mom
11. What was the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex?
a. A cold
12. “I’ll be down to get you in a ________, Honey?”
13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy’s pet pony?
a. Old Blue
14. What was a Duck-and-Cover Drill?
a. Part of the game of hide and seek
b. What you did when your mom called you in to do chores
c. Hiding under your desk, covering your head with your arms in an A bomb drill
15. What was the name of the Indian Princess on the Howdy Doody show?
a. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
b. Princess Sacajewea
c. Princess Moonshadow
16. What did all really savvy students do when mimeographed tests were handed out in school?
a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was believed to get you “high”
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window
c. Wrote another pupils name on the top, to avoid failure
17. Why did your mom shop in stores that gave Green Stamps with purchases?
a. To keep you out of mischief licking the backs, which tasted like bubble gum
b. They could be put in special books and redeemed for various household items
c. They were given to the kids to be used as stick on tattoos
18. “Praise the Lord, and pass the _________?”
19. What was the name of the group who made the song “The Gypsy” a hit in the US?
a. The Ink Spots
b. The Supremes
c. The Esquires
20. Who left his heart in San Francisco?
a. Tony Bennett
b. Zavier Cugat
c. George Gershwin
- b) On the floor, left of the clutch. Hand controls, popular in Europe, took till the ’60s to catch on.
- b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing. Who had a steam iron?
- c) Cold weather caused the milk to freeze and expand, popping the bottle top.
- a) Blackjack Gum.
- b) Special makeup was applied followed by drawing a seam down the back of the leg with eyebrow pencil.
- a) 1946 Studebaker.
- c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.
- a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.
- a) With clamps, tightened by a skate key, which you wore on a shoestring around your neck.
- c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.
- c) Cooties.
- b) Taxi. Better be ready by half-past eight!
- c) Macaroni.
- c) Hiding under your desk, covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.
- a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring. She was another puppet
- a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get “high.”
- b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded for household items at the Green Stamp store.
- c) Ammunition, and we’ll all be free.
- a) The all male, all black group, The Inkspots.
- a) Tony Bennett and he sounds just as good today.
*Barry Hollander, sharp-eyed reader of Generations and The Senior Connection of Howard County MD, said that he remembers Princess Summerfallwinterspring as a real person. We checked it out and, sure enough, before the puppet, there was a live princess. Here’s what John Lockwood at http://www.concentric.net/~Lockwooj/TV.HTM says, “Princess Summerfallwinterspring was portrayed by a young actress and was a lot less offensive than Thunderthud. Sadly, the young woman was killed in an automobile accident during one Doody season and her character was quietly dropped from the show. The following fall, however, they decided to reintroduce the Indian maid. Amid much fanfare and right on the air, in front of the peanut gallery, Buffalo Bob breathlessly introduced the new Princess Summerfallwinterspring! I was excited. Just think, a new Indian Princess and in my lifetime, too. I had heard that she had been killed in car crash, but I did not really understand at that age exactly what that meant. I was more than slightly taken aback when the camera panned across Doodyville and alighted upon – a puppet. “My God! she turned into a puppet!”, I thought. To this day, I wonder what they were thinking. Maybe they thought we wouldn’t notice. I did. I noticed right away.”
**Equally sharp-eyed reader, Rich Hovey, says, “For the record —
The purple ink wasn’t exactly ink (more like a carbon paper released from a backing by the strong smelling fluid) and wasn’t from a mimeograph machine — it was from a Ditto machine. The Ditto replaced the black-ink mimeograph for most teacher-produced worksheets during the ’50s and ’60s I believe. The mimeograph hung in there a while for printing longer runs of material usually to be distributed to all students in the school.”
***And reader, Mark Kornmann, suggested that two other answers would be appropriate:
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window
c. Wrote another pupil’ s name on the top, to avoid their failure
Mark noted, “This question previously appeared with “Mimeographed” instead of “dittomastered”. Mimeograph ink most often was black, & copies made via that process did not have the telltale “olic” chemical odor of the purple dittoes. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimeograph, then click on the dittomaster link down the page for the skinny.
17 — 20 correct: You are not only older than dirt, but obviously ifted with mind bloat. Now if you could only find your glasses.
12 — 16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but your mind is definitely muddy.
0 – 11 correct: You are a sad excuse of a geezer. Redeem yourself by declaring to everyone that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.