Unfortunately mishaps do happen; however, as our characters grow older, their mishap realism can become lost in antiquity. Realistically, brief conversations between age groups may not be as comprehendible as we want them to be. Let’s think about what has happened in our lives, and think about how quickly different generations can visualize the incident.
For example, when I was asked by a ten year old how I got a scar on my lower arm, I replied that I scraped my arm on a sharp rabbit ear. “Rabbit’s ears are not sharp!” “It’s slang for a TV antenna.” “What’s a TV antenna?”
What are some ‘common’ mishaps that could baffle our older or younger generation readers?
Our kitchen trash compactor ate my watch!: With curbside compost and recycling pickup becoming available in more and more communities, the trash compactor is becoming history.
I spilled water/soda/beer/wine on my floppy disk!: The first floppy disks were developed in the late 1960s. Today, computers were rarely manufactured with installed floppy disk drives.
I can’t call her; the dang party-line is tying up the phone!: Party line (multiparty line, shared service line, party wire) is a local loop telephone circuit that is shared by multiple telephone service subscribers. Party line systems were widely used to provide telephone service, starting with the first commercial switchboards in 1878. A majority of Bell System subscribers in the mid-20th century in the United States and Canada were serviced by party lines. One of the last manual telephone exchanges with party lines was in Australia, and was closed down in 1986.
He tripped over the milk bottle the milkman left in front of the door.: Yes, in some places milkmen/women do still deliver milk to residences. However, younger readers think of grocery stores, Walmarts, and WaWa type retailers. In the early-1950s, a wonderful innovation helped my family to keep the delivered milk from spoiling; an insulated box on the back porch.
She was late because she forgot to wind her wristwatch.: Since 1923, when John Harwood, a watch repairer from Bolton, England, introduced the first commercial self-winding watch, hand cranking one’s wristwatch has become a rarity today.
Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.