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You Won't Believe These Insane Chain Restaurant Portions (Slideshow)

You Won't Believe These Insane Chain Restaurant Portions (Slideshow)

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Applebee’s: Provolone-Stuffed Meatballs with Fettuccine

This item isn’t on the menu any more, but it’s never a good idea to top creamy fettuccine Alfredo with cheese-stuffed meatballs and call that a meal. Breadsticks are larger than they appear!

Cheesecake Factory: Chicken Bellagio

This platter of breaded chicken on top of basil pasta with creamy Parmesan sauce, topped with arugula and prosciutto, contains a whopping 1,980 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat.

Applebee’s: Trio

This heaping platter is a part of Applebee’s “Trios” promotion, where you get three appetizers for a set price. This one is a combination of Mini Chicken Ranchers, Dynamite Shrimp, and Buffalo wings and contains well over 1,000 calories.

Cheesecake Factory: Monte Cristo

Here’s a hearty breakfast: Two slices of French toast stuffed with ham, bacon, scrambles eggs, and Swiss cheese, topped with powdered sugar and served with strawberry preserves and potatoes. This packs in a whopping 1,970 calories and 54 grams of saturated fat.

Cracker Barrel: Grandpa’s Country-Fried Breakfast

That right there is a country fried steak topped with cream gravy served with a biscuit, two sunny side-up eggs, hash browns, and a bowl of grits on the side. Their website doesn’t give us nutrition information, but we’re not sure we want to know. Grandpa’s gonna need a nap (and a couple of antacids) after this one.

TGI Friday’s: Cajun Shrimp and Cheese Pasta

There’s more cheese than anything else on this platter, with an end result of 1,110 calories, 59 grams of fat, and 30 grams of saturated fat.

Olive Garden: Chicken Crostina

Olive Garden isn’t just great at making up Italian-sounding words, they’re also good at devising gigantic portions of food. This is a platter of linguine tossed with a creamy garlic-butter sauce, topped with potato-Parmesan crusted chicken breasts sautéed with Roma tomatoes and roasted garlic. It’s probably tasty, but this should be feeding a family, not a single person.

Perkins: Southern Fried Chicken Biscuit Platter

When you see the word “platter,” beware. This one contains two biscuits filled with fried chicken and cheese, topped with cream gravy and more cheese. On the side? Two scrambled eggs, potatoes, and bacon. The calorie count must be astronomical.

Red Lobster: Admiral’s Feast

Deep-fried paradise: shrimp, bay scallops, clam strips, and fish, served with mashed potatoes and clocking in at 1,200 calories and 62 grams of fat.

Friendly’s: Giant Sundae

And don’t forget about dessert!

17 Bonkers (And Occasionally Relatable) Reasons Why People Sued Fast Food Places

In the present age, it’s actually not that strange to hear about really weird lawsuits and legal cases. You might think the high cost of lawyer fees and the extreme amount of wasted time would dissuade people from taking legal action, but no. Apparently, a lot of people have both the time and the money to sustain a lawsuit, even if their reasoning seems completely ludicrous.

That said, it’s not uncommon to hear about weird fast food lawsuits. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that fast food places make their fair share of mistakes. But while some lawsuits are totally warranted, others seem a little bit over the top. And we’ve assembled a plethora of both the reasonable and the wacky fast food lawsuits below. You won’t believe some of these are real.

King Tut

King Tutankhamun was the pharaoh of Egypt from 1334-1324 B.C., and outside of Egyptologists, no one would know his name if it weren&rsquot for the discovery of his tomb in 1922. Thanks to archaeologist Howard Carter, we now know a great deal about the boy pharaoh, and thanks to modern technology, we now know what he looked like.

Scientists and researchers spared no expense after analyzing King Tut&rsquos genetics, conducting CT scans and over 2,000 digital scans. What was revealed was a boy with a heavy overbite who was extremely frail, and far more shocking were the revelations made about his body.

We know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. Miso-spiked jam is not only delicious with pork but is especially tasty on bread with cream cheese.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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20. Hoss's Family Steak and Sea

If you're looking to feed a family, you might think it makes sense to visit Hoss's Family Steak and Sea. However, despite having the word "family" in their name, there's really nothing family-friendly about this eatery. First of all, the dining experience isn't overly comfortable. Secondly, while their steak prices aren't the highest on this list, their meat is definitely overpriced for the second-rate quality. The only family-friendly aspect of Hoss's Family Steak and Sea is their reasonably priced kid's menu.

Don't be tempted by the seafood, as the seafood menu at this restaurant is limited and isn't anything to write home about. To find one of these steakhouses, your best bet is to travel to Pennsylvania, as that's where a majority of their restaurants are located. That said, unless you're already in the area and you're looking to feed a gaggle of children, there's no reason to make a special trip to eat at this place.

10 Over-Used Restaurant Buzzwords

&lsquoJumbo shrimp!&rsquo Remember the comedian George Carlin making us laugh at the absurdity of restaurants using the buzzword &lsquojumbo&rsquo in front of shrimp? What made this funny? The realization that we saw this type of thing all the time, right there in front of us, on menus, and thought nothing of it.

I thought of this the other day when I was about to have a nice meal at a restaurant and all across the menu I noticed various &lsquobuzzwords&rsquo used to try to entice me to buy the food. You have all seen them. A simple &lsquohamburger&rsquo description isn&rsquot good enough &ndash though I know very well what a hamburger is and what it will look and probably taste like. No, the simple word &lsquohamburger&rsquo is not sufficient. To lure me in and get me to try THEIR hamburger, they use buzzwords to describe it. Therefore, a simple hamburger becomes a &lsquohand-selected, free-range, grass-fed, organic, choicest beef hamburger.&rsquo Or some such nonsense. I thought to myself &ndash now here is an idea for a top ten list!

Doing some research, I was quickly overwhelmed with possible top ten choices. Hell, I could rattle off about twenty just from memory. Between eating out and reading many menus, and constant media bombardment, we all know these buzzwords. Their use (and over use) render them mostly meaningless. I mean, can a gigantic chain fast food place with hundreds of thousands of restaurants scattered around the globe really &lsquohand-select&rsquo anything they serve? But there it is, right there on the menu. &lsquoHand-select salads&rsquo or &lsquoselect prime beef.&rsquo These buzzwords must work, or why would all restaurants continue to use them? So here are ten over-used restaurant buzzwords.

At the dawn of time, before the 1970s, before there was lite beer, there was &ndash beer. Then a black obelisk of marketing appeared before man, and gave unto the world the word &ndash &lsquolite.&rsquo Meant to imply &lsquolight&rsquo (as in, not heavy), they did not even spell it correctly. But soon the idea of a light (lite) beer caught on, and sold tons of product for Miller Brewing Company. Everyone jumped on board. Not just other beer makers, everything and anything having to do with food, within a few short years, would have the post script &lsquolite&rsquo attached to it. It got so that everything could be &lsquolite.&rsquo A Mad Magazine parody of this summed it up nicely when it depicted a can of &lsquoChicken Fat Lite.&rsquo As I am writing this I am drinking &lsquolow calorie&rsquo Gatorade though it could just as easily be called &lsquoGatorade Lite.&rsquo Today, the word &lsquolite&rsquo and all it is meant to convey has taken over. Entire sections of the menu at restaurants are titled &lsquoLite,&rsquo or &lsquoLite-Faire.&rsquo Is the food really &lsquolite&rsquo? Yes? In what sense? Is it lighter? Less heavy? Lower calorie? Lower fat? Healthier or better for you? In fact, the answer could be all of the above, or none of the above. The word &lsquolite&rsquo has simply taken on a mythology of its own. The word is slapped on the product or used as a buzzword to describe a menu item, and we just automatically know what it means. Right? Don&rsquot we?

When you go to a restaurant, seldom if ever is it located inside someone&rsquos home. Yet the menu tells you their mashed potatoes are &lsquohomemade.&rsquo Seems odd? Some restaurants, especially those that really are small and family owned and operated (something that is fast disappearing from the landscape of the United States), really do serve you food that is homemade &ndash homemade as in it comes from a home recipe and is prepared by a family who may actually live at the restaurant (making it their &lsquohome&rsquo). But too often you see the word &lsquohomemade&rsquo attached to foods in larger or even chain restaurants. There is just no way this food is in any conventional sense of the word, &lsquohomemade.&rsquo Perhaps it is &lsquoprepared by hand.&rsquo You see that a lot too, but at least that accurately describes the process by which the food you are eating was prepared. Made not by a machine, but by hand. Too often the word &lsquohomemade&rsquo is used interchangeably with &lsquohand-made.&rsquo

One of my all-time favorites, the word &lsquogenerous&rsquo is usually added to the word &lsquoportion&rsquo &ndash describing the sheer volume of food that is about to be laid before you to eat. But just what is a &lsquogenerous portion&rsquo of food? Very subjective wouldn&rsquot you say? It is meant to imply that we (the restaurant) are going to pile it on! Sometimes this is the case and truly American-sized portions of food, so huge no human could eat all of it, arrives on your plate. Sometimes, not so much. The &lsquogenerous portion&rsquo turns out, upon close examination, to be pretty much the same portion of the food you would get from any similar restaurant. Have you ever seen anyone return a meal for lack of generosity in the portions? Or, can you imagine somewhere, someone wanting to return their meal and saying to the waitress &lsquoI specifically requested the miserly portion.&rsquo

I am old enough to remember when restaurants didn&rsquot care if they served &lsquohealthy&rsquo food, nor did they try to convince you the deep-fried greasy thing you were eating was anything other than what it was. People ate eggs and bacon and potatoes for breakfast, and that was that. Life was simple then. You ate food, whatever it was, in whatever portions you wanted. You worked, you smoked cigarettes, and you died. Then along comes the 1980s and all of a sudden, scientists were telling us eggs were bad! Steak was bad! Anything from a pig was really bad! Overnight &lsquoMr. Steak&rsquo turned into &lsquoFinley&rsquos.&rsquo &lsquoKentucky Fried Chicken&rsquo morphed into &lsquoKFC.&rsquo The words &lsquosteak&rsquo and &lsquofried&rsquo went from being simple descriptions of what food was being served, to words that described a perception of an &lsquounhealthy&rsquo eating lifestyle. In other words &ndash the kiss of death for chains in the 1980s-1990s when all of a sudden, people wanted to eat &lsquohealthy.&rsquo Therefore, all manner of new buzzwords had to be invented to tell you the food you were eating off the menu was not going to kill your heart and liver, it was actually good for you! Examples included &lsquowholesome,&rsquo &lsquofresh,&rsquo and &lsquonatural.&rsquo

Of all the recent food buzzwords you can find on restaurant menus, the most buzz-worthy has to be &lsquosignature.&rsquo This word is meant to imply, to the diner, that what they are selecting off the menu and about to eat and enjoy, was made by someone who put their signature to it. OK, maybe not actually made as in prepared. The cook is not going to sign your food. But someone, somewhere, maybe came up with a new recipe or a new way to prepare the food, and as such, is personally certifying, through his or her signature, that what you are getting is, well, &lsquosignature.&rsquo To be honest, I don&rsquot know what this is meant to imply really.

Premium is a buzzword used to describe all manner of things, but at least here in the USA, we associate the word &lsquopremium&rsquo mostly with gasoline. &lsquoPremium gas.&rsquo It&rsquos the most expensive button on the gas pump, the one we seldom push unless we are driving a car with an engine that requires it. Just what does the word &lsquopremium&rsquo describe when I see it on a restaurant menu? Top-of-the-line? OK. The very best? OK. But how do I know what is being served to me is in fact &lsquopremium&rsquo beef? What exactly is it that separates this chunk of cow meat from all the others and makes it deserving of the title? There was a time, not long ago, when the government decided, and enforced through regulation and inspection, certain grades of food, especially meat. To call meat &lsquoGrade A&rsquo or &lsquopremium&rsquo really meant something then. There was a described and quantifiable method to ensure that what you were getting really was &lsquopremium&rsquo (as opposed to just, run of the mill and ordinary). But today you see the word &lsquopremium&rsquo attached to all manner of food.

The word artisanal literally means &lsquoa worker who practices a trade or handcraft&rsquo or &lsquoone who produces something, usually a food, in limited quantities using traditional methods.&rsquo Wow. The word brings to mind real artisans: potters, barrel makers, monks cloistered away somewhere making beer, shepherd&rsquos churning butter and making cheese. But today, you open a menu and there you see &lsquoartisanal&rsquo cheese, or &lsquoartisanal&rsquo beer. Even &lsquoartisanal sausage.&rsquo The word &lsquoartisanal&rsquo is now somewhat interchangeable with the &lsquolocal&rsquo or &lsquoslow&rsquo food movement. Where food is prepared by hand, in small amounts, using traditional and sustainable methods. See, I used several buzzwords to describe a buzzword. But really that is what we are being sold when we pick up a menu and select an item with the word &lsquoartisanal&rsquo on it. An image that in all likelihood, is a phantom. Was the cheese you are eating really made from hand-milked cows, and hand churned? Maybe. Was the &lsquoartisanal sausage&rsquo ground up from the meat of a pig fed, well, fed what exactly? Pigs will eat anything. What makes the meat from a pig (sausage) &lsquoartisanal&rsquo? Did the sausage come from a pig that was &lsquofree-range&rsquo? Pigs are not free range animals. It does get a bit confusing. And I do not mean to make fun of the actual local food movement which I believe is a great thing and a more sustainable lifestyle would do all of us, and this world, a great favor. But really. &lsquoartisanal sausage&rsquo?

I live in the tomato capital of the world (how is that for a geographical food description buzzword?). Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and to be specific, the little hamlet of Washington Borough, PA. Some of the very best tomatoes in the world are grown right here. Come visit the annual Washington Borough tomato festival some summer and see for yourself. I would have called it the &lsquoWorld Famous&rsquo Washington Borough tomato festival, but it isn&rsquot. That would be using an inaccurate buzzword to try to get you to come to the festival. I would not do that to Listverse readers.

Now, back on topic. I am no farmer, but having grown up here, I can attest to one undeniable fact about tomatoes. You need the sun to grow them. Yet, for some reason, restaurants everywhere want me to know that the tomatoes they are serving me are &lsquosun-grown,&rsquo or &lsquosun-ripened.&rsquo Well smack me upside the head in the county square! You don&rsquot say? These tomatoes I am eating were &lsquosun-ripened&rsquo?! I am impressed. I am even more impressed when I find my tomatoes were &lsquosun-dried,&rsquo or the coffee I am drinking was made with &lsquosun-roasted&rsquo beans, or the lettuce on my salad was &lsquosun-grown.&rsquo

One of my personal pet peeve restaurant menu buzzwords. I know what a food award is, or at least is supposed to be. Some products, like certain beer and whisky brands, actually print the awards and medals they have won right on the can or bottle. Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is named after its award for goodness sake. It&rsquos right there, on the can &ndash a blue ribbon! So when I see &lsquoaward-winning salad&rsquo on a restaurant menu, I ask &ndash &lsquowell, where is the award?&rsquo &lsquoIs it hanging on the wall somewhere, maybe next to the rest rooms?&rsquo &lsquoWhat was the award for?&rsquo &lsquoGreenest colored lettuce?&rsquo Call me a skeptic and a cynic, but I won&rsquot believe the salad won any award, or at least not any award that counts, until I see it.

My #1 choice for overused food buzzword. Tuscan. Tuscan. You see it everywhere. Tuscan this, Tuscan that. What is it supposed to mean? I think it is supposed to implant in my mind some sort of vision of a sunny Mediterranean villa, with the light glistening off the sea and open air markets of fresh produce &ndash the Tuscany region of Italy and the various Tuscan forms of cuisine from that area. But does what I am ordering off the menu have anything remotely to do with the Tuscany form of cuisine? And thus, more and more things on the menu bear the title &lsquoTuscan.&rsquo Deserved or not.

Advertising is a cruel game. Especially in the fast food chain restaurant business. People want, or expect, something new from these chains, all the time. And marketers and advertisers are challenged with coming up with these new food choices. One of the latest developments I have seen, mostly on pizza and Mexican fast food advertising is the proliferation of words to describe the food, or food titles that simply make no sense at all. What is &lsquogreen tomatillo sauce&rsquo? A Pico de Gallo? An Enchirito? What is a P&rsquoZolo? Or a P&rsquoZone? Who comes up with these words? They are tossed out there at you, in the fast-paced TV advertisement, usually with the food literally flying through the air too! They sound Mexican, or pizza-like, so they must be actual foods, right? Quick, did you see it? Flying across the TV screen through a perfect sheet of flowing vertical water. It was a P&rsquoZone!

California Pizza Kitchen: West Coast Burger

Courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen

If you think getting a burger at a place that specializes in pizza might be a fun idea, you might want to think again. This burger clocks in at more than 1,400 calories and way too much sodium for one sandwich. Plus, 25 grams of sugar? There are no upsides here. And none in the 50 Most Caloric Dishes in America either!

The Epicurious Blog

We would love to say goodbye to these trends, fads, and movements, but we&aposve been around for a while, and know these are probably here to stay. Our unanimous picks, in no particular order:

Macho Fast Food: There&aposs no reason to consume an entire day&aposs calories in one breakfast burrito from Hardee&aposs.

Vanity Vodkas: The minute Donald Trump got his own vodka, the clear spirit had jumped the shark.

The Ubiquitous $40 Entree: Rising prices make great food inaccessible to the masses.

Hot Spots You Can&apost Find: Life is too short to dine at a "restaurant" where you have to go through an underground tunnel and then know the password, or, the owners refuse to reveal the eatery&aposs address or phone number.

Truffles the Size of a Softball: These fancy tubers have their fans, but they&aposre the Paris Hilton of ingredients--expensive, overexposed, and bring little to the mix.

Restaurants "In Preview:" They charge the same prices, but aren&apost accountable for the food because they&aposre in "preview" mode. Restaurateurs need to own up to what they&aposre putting out and the level of service.

Want to throw in your 12 cents? We want to hear what you think are the worst food trends.

After 9 years of owning three separate independent upscale American cuisine restaurants I find it disconcerting but expected all the same at how clueless the average consumer is with regard to what is driving trends and prices and how each effects the other on so many levels.
Rarely can a non-fine dining restaurant win - you offer smaller plates w/smaller portions, people complain and say you&aposre being cheap - you offer larger plates w/larger portions and people say you&aposre trying to kill them w/food. You mix it up and offer what the restaurant can afford to buy and put your twist on it and the customer says you charge too much.
My husband, a chef for 18 years, prefers the American cuisine as another post related, cooking simple, regular food for people that they can enjoy. If you&aposre eating anywhere but NYC or LA/San Fran and you "keep" seeing foie gras and foams, you are truly missing the point of dining out and have been spending way too much money on senseless, not meant to be eaten regularly occasional entrees just so you can say you do.
W/reference to the post about costs and the worth of the US dollar - the majority of food costs and consumption of food in the US is domestic. Any price hikes you are or will be seeing are from the shortage of corn being planted this year and corn unfortunately effects everything - grain, meat, produce, frozen foods etc.. Tomatoes have been going up in price as well and neither of these do we get from a European market or have shipped here - that post was curious.
Eat well, try new things, experiment with what interests you but don&apost allow yourself to fall into trend traps because w/food, you&aposll be eating it a lot longer than any trend will last so focus on your personal interests, likes and dislikes and you&aposll find happiness in the wonderful world of food and dining.

Over priced food is almost always due to inflation. The dollar is week so any thing from Europe has about a 50% mark up plus the price of the gas to get it here makes it a fortune. We want quality ingredients and a quality menu people can afford. Say we want to sell a nice piece of PRIME beef or organic humanely raised veal, a restaurant would have to sell a nice portion for say $70. No veal tastes that good so we sell it for $50 and raise the price of the fries to $8. THis may sound crazy but we want people to eat better and we work hard so we do need to get paid also. there are alot of other factors we could talk about for hours but the reality is until we as a country figure this out and totally rethink how the foreign policy and government in general is run, the tougher things will become.

As a banquet cook I say sliders, those mini cheeseburgers, are the bane of my existence.

27 Things '60s Kids Did That Would Horrify Us Now

It's a miracle that any of us survived childhood in the 1960s!

It's pretty much a miracle that any of us survived childhood in the 1960s! Parents exposed kids to secondhand smoke and let them run wild in the streets. Sugar was in everything and hazards lurked everywhere. Given today's hands-on style of parenting, it's hard to believe some of the things that were "normal" for kids in the '60s.

Mothers everywhere may have been decreasing your oxygen and brewing fetal alcohol conditions while you were still in the womb. If you made it out in one piece, you probably later found yourself sitting on mom's lap or crawling around under the table while she was having an afternoon swig and a smoke with a friend, while pregnant with your little brother. Of course, our mothers weren't trying to hurt us, but no one really knew the damages these things could cause.

Little kids would sit in the passenger seat without a seatbelt. The "safety method" was this: Mom or Dad would fling an arm in front of you if they had to stop short. Infants rode sometimes in unattached baby seats. They were kept up front in the seat next to Mom&mdashor in someone's lap! Bigger babies or toddlers rode in in shoddy car seats. Seat belts just went across the lap. Serious seat belts and appropriate car seat regulations did not arrive until the '70s and airbags in the '80s.

Cigarettes hung from adult lips everywhere&mdashin stores, on planes, on television, and at the kitchen table. Aside from being constantly exposed to secondhand smoke, it was modeled as healthy. Cigarette ads featured babies and parents together. Mom and Dad thought it was adorable to pose toddlers with unlit cigarettes or pipes in cutesy photos. Teen smoking was sometimes considered a sign of maturity. Kids were routinely sent to the store to buy cigarettes for their parents, and no questions were asked.

In the '60s, pediatricians encouraged moms to let babies sleep on their stomachs―which we now know is not a great idea. Plus, cribs had few of the safety measures in place today. Dangerous drop rails, slats so wide an infant's head could get stuck, places where tiny fingers could get caught, and choking hazards were just a few of the problems. Sadly, it took infant tragedies to lead to more manufacturing regulations.

It seemed like a free and easy way to have fun, but without nets, there was a risk of many different injuries, including sprains, breaks and falling on your head when one of the neighboring kids jumped hard enough to bounce you off of the trampoline. Of course, the things kids climbed over and played on in parks were also questionable and were not always built with safety standards in mind.

Parents would childproof by taking a baby out of his crib and sticking him in a playpen. Or maybe a larger gated area. But once he got on all fours and crawled around, everything was fair game. Mom let little ones play with pots and pans while she cooked, but she didn't worry too much about the chemicals under the sink where you played. There was no such thing as childproof medicine bottle lids, or special latches for every cabinet, drawer, and door. Electrical outlets were there for stabbing with a fork, and small choking hazards abounded.

There was no carpool. Even first graders were sent off to school on their own once they learned the way. Sometimes you tagged along with a sibling or a neighborhood kid who walked the same route so that you weren't totally by yourself, but parents did not worry about bad people lurking along the way. Dawdling on the way home was allowed, so you could stop off for a snack after school of course.

These days it takes a whole lot of planning to get a child to a play date (and a detective to check out if a location or home is safe). But in the '60s, you just called out to Mom: "I'm going to so-and-so's" and then walked to your friend's house alone, or hopped on your bike. Closest pals lived in fairly close proximity and you did not have to have an appointment to see them. You showed up, hung out, and sometimes stayed for dinner, too.

Sugary gum and candy were a '60s childhood staple. And blowing bubbles so big they break over your nose was a big thing. Sometimes kids had bubble blowing contests. The bubble would break and you'd start on a new piece. Gum was not allowed in school but you'd sneak it in anyway, and if you brought enough for other kids you'd make new friends for life. Cavities ensued!

Cereal was breakfast. It came in multiple forms of wheat, corn, or oats. Some cereal was pre-sugared, like Trix and Cap'n Crunch. Others, like unsweetened corn flakes, needed vast amounts of spooned sugar to taste good. The sugar bowl sat on the table and you could probably spoon in four tablespoons before Mom warned you about getting a bellyache.

If you went to Catholic school, you were generally exposed to several discipline techniques. The classic was having a ruler smacked against your knuckles if you spoke out loud, rough-housed, or did not have your homework. Another favorite was pulling you out of the room by your ear. These punishments today would likely result in an irate mother in the principal's office, but back then they were just business as usual.

At local candy stores, you could go and, for pennies, buy all the sweets your mom didn't allow you to eat at home. You could sneak it home in small paper bags. You could also hang out and get an ice cream soda, malted, and egg cream, or soda loaded with sugar, and sit at a counter and drink the way adults straddled up to a bar. Kids often went in packs after school and no one worried too much where you'd been as long as it didn't spoil your appetite.

Since moms did not chauffeur kids around, you had to make an older sibling drive you places or you rode your bicycle. One of the first rites of passage was the day your father taught you to ride a bike. Parents expected you to fall and made you get back on and stop whining about scraped knees and elbows. Once you got the hang of it, you could leave the house and meet up with other kids on bikes and ride around together. No one ever thought of wearing a helmet―including our crazy big brothers who rode motorcycles―but now it's a law.

Hitching was a popular mode of transport and people in the '60s didn't worry about the kinds of scary things that have since made many give hitchhiking a thumbs down. Young adults, hippies, and transients hitched long distances. And kids used their thumbs to get free rides too. Sometimes it was to school, or to run away from home. Other times it was to get to somewhere a parent refused to take you, or didn't want you to go. Kids also hitched rides for entertainment and to meet new people.

It seemed like mothers couldn't wait to kick their kids out of the house in the morning so they could get on with their chores or socialize with friends. They called you in when dinner was ready and let you back out, telling you to come inside when the street lights come on. As Jerry Seinfeld once said, "We were like wild dogs." Kids wandered around in packs, looking for stuff to do. Adults often had no idea of their kid's whereabouts for long stretches of time.

The '60s were all about teens having fun in beach movies. The whole family would go to the ocean together. Kids were water babies. As your parents were setting up beach umbrella and chairs, you would immediately beg to go to the water. And they let you, with the command, "stay where I can see you." But really, the lifeguards were like babysitters.

The '60s was the golden age of the tan&ndashand no UV protection. Mom may have slathered you with suntan lotion, but to help your tan along not to protect your skin from harmful rays. Older kids would use baby oil with iodine in it to prevent burns and would use a reflector to bake themselves in the sun.

Big cities were not filled with parks and green spaces like they are now. Stickball, street hockey, Ringolevio, Marco Polo, and hide-and-seek were just a few of the games that kids played on high-trafficked streets in the '60s. They also played with marbles and aimed them into the small holes in manhole covers, and there were hopscotch boards written with chalk on the asphalt. Everyone moved out of the way when cars came and when the cars drove off, games resumed.

Bottled water wasn't even a thing in the '60s unless you had a canteen. The hose, yours or a neighbor's, was how children stayed hydrated while playing outside. Hoses were not regulated the way drinking water inside the home was, but no one ever dreamed that unsafe levels of lead were coming through. (Also, the brass nozzle was a danger because it could leach lead.) It was also common to drink from public water fountains, which were later determined to be more of a health hazard.

There was a time when officials opened hydrants for kids to cool off in the summer and they knew how to turn the water pressure down lower or put on a sprinkler feature. But that never stopped someone's clever older brother from opening it full force. Aside from wasting water, it had such powerful force it could easily knock down small children.

Kids would promise loyalty and friendship―or to keep a secret about something bad they did together―by making a small cut on their fingers and pressing them together. In the spirit of the ancient practice of blood oaths, it was considered a cool way to be friends forever. No one had any clue they could be exchanging bacteria and diseases.

There were no cell phones or devices of any kind to entertain kids on road trips. It was boring. You had to read a book, if your eyes could tolerate it while in a moving car, or sing. A favorite was "A Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall." Kids would take turns sleeping in the back window of the car while it was moving, since above the seats in the back window was a place small bodies could stretch out.


  1. Shak

    Absolutely agrees with you. I think that is the good idea.

  2. Kigajind

    your sentence is incomparable ... :)

  3. Camero

    And something similar is?

  4. Bralmaran

    this message is incomparable))), I like it very much :)

  5. Antton

    I think you are not right. I offer to discuss it. Write to me in PM.

  6. Faubei

    S U P E R !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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