Six claims about life before the 1990s young people won't believe

DO you want to shock younger people with tales of life in the pre-internet olden days? Here are some things to freak them out with.

You had to buy songs you didn’t like

Otherwise known as ‘albums’, and you always knew there’d be quite a few duds on the LP as you handed over your cash in WHSmith. All were still far better than an iTunes Ed Sheeran playlist, however.

People wrote letters 

Definitely mention this because the texting generation will assume you were sitting in candlelight with a quill pen while wearing a Shakespearean ruff as you wrote a quick letter to your university girlfriend/boyfriend in 1989. 

Pubs were not like now

For vague historical and moral reasons, in the 80s most pubs shut for a couple of hours in the afternoon, with little effect on how much people drank. Food was crisps or a shit ploughman’s lunch, grudgingly served. If you asked for a coffee the barman would look at you as if you’d walked in wearing a spacesuit.

You couldn’t just look up anything instantly

Thanks to Google, it’s easy to look up anything from the opening times of a local garage to the average sperm count of a male velociraptor. Unlike in the olden days, knowledge is far more accessible now, with most people getting their facts from Twitter or the Mail Online.

Car journeys involved no seatbelts and lots of smoking

Seatbelts weren’t compulsory for everyone until 1991, and before then many dads believed they were a slur on their James Hunt-level driving abilities. All cars also had a prominently-positioned ashtray in case you couldn’t make it to the local Kwik Save without smoking 15 Rothmans. 

Penknives were extremely cool

If you’ve grown up with Playstation, it’s hard to grasp how amazing penknives were. Swiss army were the best, obviously, even though you were too young to use the corkscrew and no one has ever used the fish scaler, even the Swiss army.


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Are you planning to go on holiday this year or stay alive?

YOU want a holiday, but on the other hand you might die and infect lots of other people in the process. It’s quite the dilemma. Take our quiz and see if you should go.

How do you view egg and chips?

A) Not the world’s most exciting meal.

B) Lovely, but it never tastes as good at home as eating it in Spain. Definitely worth an epidemiologically hazardous plane journey for.

Would you risk your life for a two-week break in Corfu?

A) No, obviously not.

B) Yes. We need to ‘Holiday Out to Help Out’. We had a great restaurant scheme like this last year, and I’m pretty sure there weren’t any bad consequences. However I only read the Daily Express so all my latest news is about Princess Diana.

Could you survive without a holiday this year?

A) I’d like a holiday, but yes.

B) NO! We’ve been literally imprisoned in our homes. Apart from walks, going to the supermarket, B&Q, the gym, parties and driving to the countryside despite being told not to. We’re under tighter restrictions than Hannibal Lecter, and I’ve never even eaten anyone.

Are you being a bit ‘entitled’ about this?

A) No, I’ll postpone my holiday if I have to.

B) Yes, because we’re entitled to a holiday, even when there’s a global crisis going on. It’s in the Magna Carta, probably. It’s my basic inalienable human right to get drunk by a swimming pool in Tunisia on the cheap.

Mostly As: What the hell is wrong with you? Don’t you like holidays? Book a flight to Malaga NOW – it’s only people with underlying conditions who pop their clogs. 

Mostly Bs: You are so right. Do not let anyone stop you getting third-degree sunburn to add to your Covid symptoms.