Things Aren’t Made To Last Anymore

It’s no secret to anyone that many things just don’t last as long now as they did thirty years ago. Granted, there are some exceptions to this generalization. If I think of any, I’ll add them to this blog.

Gone are the days when you could buy a washer and dryer and they would last a lifetime. It’s the same with furnaces, water heaters, lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, #2 pencils, cases of Dr Pepper and Twinkies. Okay, Twinkies would last forever if you don’t eat them. Twinkies in the original wrapper have been found in archaeological digs dating back millions of years, and they as fresh, and tasty, as the day they were processed. You can’t say the same for Ho Hos.

Another example are t-shirts. I was looking through my t-shirt drawer the other day and pulled out one of my favorites. Let me give you some background about my t-shirts. Many eons ago when I used to attend concerts without spending a few hundred dollars to see acts that should have retired a generation ago, I would buy a commemorative t-shirt. The t-shirts were cheap. I probably never paid more than ten bucks for one. Another of my favorites sources for t-shirts were the bike races I would participate in. Many times the entry fee covered not only the race, but you received a t-shirt to forever remember the event. To this day I can look at one of my bicycle racing t-shirts and recall the details of the event. I can remember if I did well, or if I got blown out the back of the peloton.

One of my favorite races was sponsored by the Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Il. The course was awesome, and I had a great time competing against my fellow cyclists. I was doing laundry a couple days ago and loaded the washer with several of my favorite t-shirts. I turned the dial to the delicates setting, pulled out the knob and walked away. Later, I moved the load to the dryer and set it on the gentlest setting available.

Three days later as I was getting dressed I grabbed my Proctor Racing Classic t-shirt and was going to put it on when I noticed something that totally distressed me. I showed it to my wife and told her how disappointed I was. She noticed a second hole by the collar, and I was close to tears and going to need an emotional rescue. I showed her the date on the front of the t-shirt, and, with my voice choking, explained how this would have never happened in the gold ol’ days. After all, the t-shirt was only twenty-eight years old!!!

I immediately did a search for a tailor who specialized in restoring valuable t-shirts. The closest one was located in Washington state. I called and scheduled an appointment. I took a photo of my t-shirt and sent it to him. I sighed with deep relief when he replied informing me he could restore my t-shirt to its former glory. I raced to the nearest Fed-Ex/UPS/Jerry’s Shipping store. The clerk took a look at my t-shirt, blew a large bubble with what must have been four or five pieces of Bazooka Bubble Gum, and assured me she could package it and send it to Washington later that day. I breathed another deep sigh of relief. I left the store in great spirits. With insurance the shipping cost was a mere $134.48. I considered it a bargain. After all, where can you find an original Proctor Racing Classic t-shirt these days?

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