Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'll admit it: size matters

Last week, I sat down to catch a bit of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. It had been a while since I'd watched professional men's tennis, and even with the benefit of high definition, the ball was really tough to follow. The combination of equipment, speed and strength has created a sport where the server has an overwhelming advantage.

Thirty years ago, the game was far slower; the rackets were small and wooden, much like Tom Cruise. In this earlier photograph of me, you can see how much I had to strain to get some velocity on the ball.

Thank God for the muscle control of youth. Otherwise, tennis white would not have been a good color that day.














Now, I still grimace when hitting a tough shot, but that's only because I'm looking down at my filthy ridiculous biceps:









Naturally, tennis equipment isn't the only area of technological advancement throughout my life. There are so many others.

In the old days, children's car seats had no restraining devices; they were simply hooked over the front seat right next to the driver:

These seats were born out of practicality. Our moms needed someone nearby to hand them smokes while driving. Since we weren't belted in, I recall my mother wedging a small, portable ironing board between the dash and my still-forming sternum.

Here's a portable music device from the 1960s. It's not an iPod or even a Walkman. It's a transistor radio:
You were usually lucky to clearly tune in two stations, and one was the farm report. The other was the oldies station, which back then, was newies.



Portable phones have certainly evolved. Here's a model from 1982 (the phone, not the guy):












And here's how far cellular technology has advanced:

Rumor has it that prolonged exposure to cellular signals can muck up a man's naughty bits. Hopefully, the 1982 guy had sired all the children he needed before strapping that behemoth to his holster.



Pet clothing is a phenomenon that wasn't around back in the black and white days:

You don't need to dress your dogs all fancy-like right before they head down to the local school to keep those "new" kids from coming in.







Don't forget about the food category. Look at this guy. It's like he has no idea how he can possibly eat this entire yo-yo-sized burger:

Nowadays, that burger would be part of the McDonald's "Infant Meal."






This dude seems to be saying, "Uh, hello, I ordered the meal, so where are my fries and 64-ounce Diet Coke?"









Some foods haven't changed, but their packaging certainly has. Here's an old Cap'n Crunch box:

The cap'n seems fairly straight-edge and benign.









But what happened here? He looks like he's totally jonesing to get to happy hour with Sugar Bear the minute the photo shoot wraps:











A few items are indeed smaller than they were forty years ago, most notably computers, the ozone layer, automobiles, and, of course...

supermodels.









 Someone hand her that big burger.

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