Thursday was – by far – my favorite day of the week growing up, for a number of reasons. When I was younger, it meant a new episode of The Cosby Show (a classic, to say the least), not to mention Cheers (another classic), which I was – every once in awhile – allowed to stay up and watch.
Needless to say, I had a much better grasp on the comedy of that particular series as I got older.
What I truly loved about Thursdays, however, was the opportunity I had – once I was old enough to stay home alone for a few hours – to kick back and enjoy the fact that I had the house to myself. On top of that, I was typically thrown $5 for a Doug’s Subs foot-long every week. And I’m not talking about the “new and improved” Doug’s Subs that moved to what was once the Two Sisters Cafe, I’m talking about the original Doug’s Subs, just south of that location. Don’t ask me why, but after they relocated, those wonderful submarine sandwiches just didn’t taste the same.
Those were the good old days, let me tell you. And it’s not that I didn’t enjoy spending time with my folks back then (because we certainly had our share of fun), I simply reveled in that three hours of freedom while my parents worked the Thursday night shift at McLaughlin’s.
It was a great time for imaginary games, of course (cowboys and Indians, zombie apocalypse, alien invasion … you know what I mean), and I had a blast re-arranging the furniture, thereby making it easier for me to jump over, around and on to. What can I say, when battling hordes of vicious aliens (or zombies), a guy needs some cover … right mom? Steve?
Obviously, things haven’t changed all that much in 20-plus years, except that now, instead of gunning down my imaginary adversaries, I write about them (I can just feel that first science fiction novel begging me for a chance to see the light of day).
Then again, some nights I would simply throw in a movie (VHS, of course), crank up the “surround sound” (back then, it was just a pair of stereo speakers … but they sounded great) and enjoy. My favorites? Back then? Well, I can honestly say most of those flicks are still some of the best (in my mind) … “Krull,” “Time Bandits,” “Transformers: The Movie,” “Howard the Duck” (that one almost hurts to admit) and any of the original Star Wars movies. Other times, it would be John Wayne, of course … “Big Jake,” “Rio Bravo,” “The Alamo” or “John Wayne and the Cowboys.”
Regardless, I have great memories of that time. It was – as our younger days always seem – much simpler back then. Not that I have any regrets … I don’t. Yet I must admit I find it humorous (in a sad way) to hear kids these days complain on how there’s “nothing to do.”
When I was their age, that was never a problem. In fact, the only issue we had back then was … why isn’t there more time to do it all?