THE past is a different country, especially the 1980s. Here are some of the horrors of the decade today’s youngsters have mercifully avoided.
A constant fear of being murdered by the Russians
No 1980s childhood was complete without a slight fear of nuclear war. How likely this was is unclear, but with a diet of When the Wind Blows, Threads and ‘99 Red Balloons’, it’s amazing that any child was able to go to sleep at night until Perestroika.
Cars were crap
If your mewling spawn complain about long car journeys, explain that they’re at least not stuck on the sticky vinyl seat of a Mini with a car radio that keeps detuning from Dave Lee Travis into static as their only entertainment. Better still, give them a clip round the lughole in proper 80s fashion.
Where d’you start, really? Skinheads abounded, and not the nice ones who were into ska. National Front graffiti was pretty popular, along with bullying Asian kids. For a bit of light relief all male children called each other ‘benders’ all the time. Not the most enlightened time.
Go and do whatever the f**k you like, kids
Today’s parents like to know where their kids are or be sure they can call on their mobile, and rightly so. Back in the 80s you just tended to wander off and do strange things: fancy exploring a rubbish dump full of broken glass? Why not? Want to see I Spit on Your Grave on VHS at Pete’s house while his parents are out? That won’t do you lasting psychological harm.
Rock-hard PE teachers
Mr Griffiths was a boxing champion in the army, and thus did not care if you were about to pass out from dehydration on a cross-country run or had just smashed your face open on a goalpost. His idea of motivating children was to angrily call them ‘poofs’ or ‘nancy boys’.