your post made me laugh out loud (snort)
because it really took me back to my 1960's childhood.
guilty as charged!
Rode in the front seat of the car with no seatbelts...on freeways, too.
our safety belt was my mom's right arm, which would hit me in the face as she threw it out to block me from hitting the dashboard whenever she hit the brakes.
my little sister opened the car door once and fell out of our moving car onto the road when she was about 2 years old.
Stood riding in the back of a pickup truck.
and got tossed out when it hit a bump on the gravel road
No air conditioning at home or school.
never heard of it
Played with Dad's dry cleaning bags...and even stuck it over my head.
we did that to each other to pass out on purpose, or for sick torture games. once i put a plastic bag over my own head and held it tight around my neck so i could see if i could chew my way out before i passed out... just in case it ever happened to me in real life (i had seen it on some tv show). i was successful in making a small hole big enough to breathe through but it was not comfortable.
the only adult that i knew that did not smoke was my mother.
people smoked in restaurants, waiting rooms, transit, everywhere.
my dad would send me to the corner store to buy his cigarettes when i was still 5 or 6 or 7 years old.
no ID required.
i started smoking when i was about 10 years old, but had experimented with it as early as 5 or 6. by 14 i was chainsmoking. i was quite the firebug and set fire to a lot of stuff when i was little, and i always had matches and firecrackers. i have many burn scars.
sad to say... started quitting at age 15, still smoking at 52, but only 1 or 2 cigs a day, with a week off here and there. nasty habit.
Went swimming in ponds with no life rings anywhere.
and lakes and rivers and creeks and oceans.
Played with jackknives.
and the ever popular swiss army or boy scout with choice of blades and gadgets that i didn't even know what they were, but i had a fascination for blades.
i have many scars from many stitches.
i am sorry to say, while playing with knives, i accidentally cut 3 of my childhood friends bad enough that they had to go for stitches.
these days, i have a leatherman multi-tool which i use very carefully for practical purposes only.
Indulged in a type of steak tartare (raw ground beef and raw eggs)...with Lawry's salt! Just gives me a hankerin' thinking about it.
yes... i ate raw meat, and raw eggs, and raw potatoes.
don't forget... eating things off of the floor.
i still do that at home.
or used chewing gum, stuck under tables and chairs.
as kids we used to eat all kinds of things,
including grass, flowers, wild berries, whatever was growing around us and tasted good.
we played for hours, unsupervised, in neighbourhood bushes, pretending we were jungle savages or soldiers or stranded pioneers.
as young as 6, we drank instant coffee with evaporated milk and lots and lots of sugar.
remember the supersweet quicksand at the bottom of the cereal bowl?
we played at construction sites and barns.
we played at the dump, digging through the piles of garbage, looking for cool stuff to take home.
no one ever got sick that i recall.
at least, not sick enough to stop.
but we sure did get hurt a lot.
Rode bikes without wearing helmets, pads, etc.
without no hands or standing on the banana seat, showing off.
of course there were the spectacular wipeouts and road rash.
Drank water from the tap.
NOT ANYMORE. filtered or distilled only.
but back then... who didn't drink straight outta the tap? maybe add some kool-aid or tang powder. i even used to drink from public fountains. eeeeeewwwwwwww!
thought i would mention one more thing.
walk up to the K-mart with cash, and come home with a gun.
by the time i was a teen, i owned a .22 caliber rifle and ammo. i did not require any certificate or training.
things have changed.
as kids, we were NOT safe with our weapons.
we almost always shot at each other.
when we got to the point where we were shooting pellets and bb's, we started to have "pygmy wars" in the bushes.
it is a miracle that no one was blinded.
there are plenty of scars.
i ended up having a pellet surgically removed from my head after my cousin shot me with my own daisy pump action.
i used to shoot tin cans off the head of my friends and sisters, then force them to shoot the target off my head so they could not rat me out.
but I NEVER SHOT AN ANIMAL except one duck with a shotgun while hunting, and it made me sick and i cried!
that was the only time i ever went hunting.
i got rid of all my guns a long time ago.
i was almost killed by a cop because of a gas powered pellet pistol i was foolishly carrying around in my car.
he jabbed his real gun right in my spine, and waved it in my face. he was not joking.
i still remember looking down the big hole in the barrel.
it was a .38 revolver, and i knew it was loaded.
i still enjoy target shooting under controlled circumstances.
i took a couple firearms safety courses and obtained my FAC (firearms acquisition certificate), but have not fired a shot in 15 years.
speaking of learning the difference between toys and weapons...
i stopped carrying a knife after some biker guy at a party pulled my own knife out of my sheath and dug it into my throat.
he had me pinned up against the wall, and was trying to teach me some lesson about never carrying a knife unless you know how to use it.
"what are you gonna do now?" he taunted.
of course, i had already looked into the eyes of a killer before, and i knew he was not going to kill me, only publicly humiliate me. with all these witnesses, and my psycho reputation at stake, i had no choice.
looking him right in the eye, i pushed my neck into the knife, daring him to quit or continue.
i kept pushing until there was a small cut and some blood.
he backed off and handed me the knife handle first.
saying something like "you're sick, dude, you're fcked up."
i really enjoyed the look in his eye and the crowd reaction, which i imagined was somewhere between disgust and fear with a hint of respect.
to finish the performance, i accepted the knife, lifted my shirt and cut a shallow red Z onto my chest and yelled "ZORRO!"
i was left alone for the rest of the night.
but i never carried an open knife again.
ah yes... Dangerous Things!!!