Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 6:26 pm | Fair 60º

 
 
 
Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Rona Barrett: Old Is Cool, Not Old School, Take 2

For a second year we’ve jumped into the way-back-when machine, dialed it back several decades, and shared our “old school” words to 30 college students age 25 and under.   

Their guesses as to the meaning of our “freaky-deaky” phrases put a twinkle in our wrinkle.


A little dab will do ya:  Depending on the song, “dab” today means to take a puff or a hit, or just relaxing. Little did the students know the original phrase was part of a ad jingle persuading men to give their hair what amounted to a lube job:

Brylcreem, a little dab will do ya

Brylcreem, you’ll look so debonaire

Brylcreem, the gals will all pursue ya

They’ll love to get their fingers in your hair.”

Nowadays, rubbing my fingers through the hair of the men I know feels like trying to pick up a bowling ball!

Betamax: Students thought it to be “some kind of movie theater.” Developed in 1975 during the “Please be kind and rewind” era, Betamax eventually lost out to VHS.

We could have paid off the national debt with the late fees we accrued.  

Boob tube: Six students knew this one. Others guessed that this pejorative term for television was some sort of, I kid you not, “vacuum cleaner for bras”!

Imagine what our parents would have thought about today’s teens averaging nine hours per day in front of some sort of glowing screen!  

Here’s a reminder to us all: life is what we’re doing while we’re waiting for our cell phones to vibrate!

Ducktail: When we think of this Philly creation from the ’50s, we can’t help but think of Elvis and the Fonz. One student guessed a Ducktail was “…when your tucked-in shirt starts puffing out in the back.”

Actually, the college students were more interested in what a “Fonz” was!

Shake it, don’t break it: Any of you men have memories of telling a girl to “shake it, don’t break it”? If so, you probably also have memories of getting slapped.  

Students thought this was a warning to be careful with something fragile. In reality, it was a compliment “Daddy-Os” (aka “Dipsticks”) catcalled to “chicks” who had a “wiggle in their walk.” 

Johnny Mercer even wrote and cut a record by that title in 1953.

Hair eyeball: Students speculated that giving someone this look meant “passing on a contagious disease.”

Submarine races: Students couldn’t figure out why anyone in their right mind would be interested in watching such a spectacle. We explained that when we used that term we actually were not in our right mind — that’s because we were teenagers who wanted to play a little “tonsil hockey” in a steamed-up car!

By this point the students under 25 were giving us the hairy eyeball, looking at us like we didn’t have a full deck.

How do we tell them we’re still cool and holding all 52 cards, that we’re just shuffling a little slower these days?

Until I catch you on the flip side . . . keep thinking the good thoughts.

— For more than 30 years, Rona Barrett was a pioneering entertainment reporter, commentator and producer. Since 2000, she has focused her attention and career on the growing crisis of housing and support for our aging population. She is the founder and CEO of the Rona Barrett Foundation, the catalyst behind Santa Ynez Valley’s first affordable senior housing, the Golden Inn & Village. Contact her at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

 

Special Reports

Heroin Rising
<p>Lizette Correa shares a moment with her 9-month-old daughter, Layla, outside their Goleta home. Correa is about to graduate from Project Recovery, a program of the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, and is determined to overcome her heroin addiction — for herself and for her daughter. “I look at her and I think ‘I need to be here for her and I need to show her an example, I don’t want her to see me and learn about drugs’,” she says.</p>

In Struggle to Get Clean, and Stay That Way, Young Mother Battles Heroin Addiction

Santa Barbara County sounds alarm as opiate drug use escalates, spreads into mainstream population
Safety Net Series
<p>Charles Condelos, a retired banker, regularly goes to the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics for his primary care and to renew his prescription for back pain medication. He says Dr. Charles Fenzi, who was treating him that day at the Westside Clinic, and Dr. Susan Lawton are some of the best people he’s ever met.</p>

Safety Net: Patchwork of Clinics Struggles to Keep Santa Barbara County Healthy

Clinics that take all comers a lifeline for low-income patients, with new health-care law about to feed even more into overburdened system. First in a series
Prescription for Abuse
<p>American Medical Response emergency medical technicians arrive at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with little time to spare for victims of prescription drug overdoses.</p>

Quiet Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse Taking a Toll on Santa Barbara County

Evidence of addiction shows an alarming escalation, Noozhawk finds in Prescription for Abuse special report
Mental Health
<p>Rich Detty and his late wife knew something was wrong with their son, Cliff, but were repeatedly stymied in their attempts to get him help from the mental health system. Cliff Detty, 46, died in April while in restraints at Santa Barbara County’s Psychiatric Health Facility.</p>

While Son Struggled with Mental Illness, Father Fought His Own Battle

Cliff Detty's death reveals scope, limitations of seemingly impenetrable mental health system. First in a series