HOW THINGS have changed over the past 40 years or so:

Our cars used to get eight miles to the gallon. Now, with all of the fuel efficiency technologies, our cars still only get eight miles per gallon, but now they are humongous.

We used to get so drunk and wonder how we got that tattoo. Today we just get the tattoo.

Every child wanted to become president of the United States. Today they want to be a charter school CEO.

If you broke up with someone, you were called an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Today you're called the baby's mama or baby's daddy.

Chalk was used on driveways (hop-scotch). Today chalk is used to outline victims of drive-bys.

When we had a cough and cold we refused to take cough medicine. Today we take cough medicine when we don't have a cough or a cold.

If a cop beat a criminal, the criminal still went to jail. Today if a cop beats a criminal, the cop goes to jail.

You tried your best not to have to work in a fast-food restaurant. Today you are lucky to work in a fast-food restaurant.

A dollar used to get you a quarter-tank of gasoline. Today, a dollar gets you a quarter of a gallon of gasoline.

Mayer Krain, Philadelphia