Recently some friends have sent me e-mails listing things we don't hear much anymore. Among those things were: "shut the door, you're letting the flies in," and "take these bottles back to the store to get the refund." These sayings brought another list of things to my mind -- things you don't see much anymore.
It's hard to describe some of these things when I don't remember the name they were given back when we used them daily. But since my latest profession is using words, I will try.
Not many screen doors have the little bobber on a six-inch wire fastened to the inside of the screen door. The purpose was to keep the door from slamming shut since the bobber would swing into the doorframe as the door was swung shut. This would make the door bounce back open again, slightly, and then after the second or third time, (depending on the force with which the door was slammed in the first place) the door will close. As far as I know, the only real purpose was to save the nerves and eardrums of the people inside the house as kids ran in and out the door.
Another thing that went right along with the bobber contraption on a screen door was a series of strips of cloth of different lengths fastened to the top of the screen door on the inside. These pieces of material would swing as the door was opened and presumably scare away any flies that were looking for a chance to join the family inside the house.
The car shows that have been held in Nevada recently reminded me of the steering knobs that some people had fastened to their steering wheels so that they could guide the car with one hand. That was handy when the right arm was being used to cuddle a girlfriend. With the many bucket seats used today, I don't see many couples sitting that close together anymore. I'm sure that is safer, in more ways than one.
Our family was surprised to see a bottle opener attached to the wall of the bathroom in a motel in Washington, D.C., recently. That used to be a common sight. But since vending machines in motels dispense drinks in plastic bottles with screw-on tops or aluminum cans, not many bottle openers are needed.
With the current bans against smoking in public places, we don't see many matchbooks with advertising, and ashtrays on tables in hotel lobbies or restaurants are also gone. Even the sand-filled canisters outside doors to elevators or entrances to buildings have been replaced with a tall narrow metal container to take care of discarded tobacco butts.
Not many churches have funeral home cardboard fans stuck in with the hymnals and Bibles. The angel pictured hovering over the toddlers walking toward a cliff has been replaced with a nice air-conditioner.
Corduroy knickers for boys and long stockings for girls have been replaced with perma-press slacks and the ever-present denim or camouflage jeans.
Speaking of styles, there is one thing that I am eager to put on the list of things not seen very much anymore.
I am eager to be able to say that we don't see very much cleavage anymore -- either top or bottom.
I hope I live long enough to say that. I will die happy!