David Carroll

As I reminisce about days gone by, I realize that there are many things I will never do again. I have decided to make a list.

I will never again pump gas into a car behind its license plate. Or for you classic Volkswagen Beetle fans, under the hood. Or behind the tail light (for those of you who remember the fabulous ’56 Chevy Bel Air).

I will never again ride in the bed of a pickup truck, or with no restraint in the back of a station wagon. Somehow I survived many long trips despite the fact I was a loose projectile.

I will never again eat twelve Krystal cheeseburgers at one sitting. When I was a teenager, that was considered a late night snack. If I tried that today, it would be a 911 emergency.

I will never again get to enjoy a true summer vacation. Once upon a time summer consisted of thirteen weeks. Along the way, someone decided summer begins around June 1st, and ends in early August. What’s the hot-weather term for, “Bah, humbug!”

I will never again change the ribbon on a typewriter, making my hands an inky mess. I can’t say that I miss that part, although I do miss the charming clackety-clack sound of my old Royal typewriter. A 7th grade teacher friend has a manual typewriter in his classroom, as a conversation piece. Upon seeing the relic for the first time, many of the kids are stumped because they cannot find the “start” button.

I will never again have a glorious vinyl record collection. When compact discs came along, I got rid of almost all my records. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Turntables were disappearing from the earth, and I thought no one would ever buy a record again. A word to the wise: don’t ask me for advice.

I will never again call the customer service line when my electronic devices are down. It has taken me twenty years, but I finally get it. Wait for thirty minutes on hold, while a recorded voice tells me how important my call is to them. Then a guy named “Rick” who learned a few words of English yesterday, will tell me to unplug my device, wait ten seconds, and plug it back in. That will usually fix it, and I actually knew that already.

I will never again put a quarter into a gumball machine. Honestly, I see my dentist often enough as it is, without making him ask, “Did you buy another one of those gumballs the Pilgrims brought over here?”

I will never again answer a phone call if I don’t recognize the name or number. I actually used to enjoy the surprise of learning who was calling me. Scammers, it’s your fault. You’ve taken the fun out of answering the phone.

I will never again order macaroni and cheese as one of my vegetable side dishes. Oh, I’ll still eat it now and then. But I will no longer try to convince myself I’m eating healthy by ordering country style steak, accompanied by fried okra, and a slathering of mac and cheese.

I will never again buy a major appliance after being lured by a $100 rebate. I will ask the store for that money immediately, instead of being turned down by the manufacturer because I failed to include one of the 14 receipts or rebate forms.

I will never again do business with an auto repair shop that charges me for two hours labor on a job that took a half-hour to complete, because “that’s what it says in the manual.”

I will never again take a ride in a hot-air balloon. Yes, I did that once. Missed a power line by ten feet. There’s a reason I was spared, and I believe it was to warn you about hot-air balloons.

I will never again book a hotel room, or buy a product online because “There are only 3 left!” Trust me, if you make that purchase, and then check the site an hour later, there are still “only 3 left!”

I will never again buy clothing that seems a bit snug, saying to myself, “After I lose a few pounds, it’ll fit just fine.”

I will never again use the term, “His line may be busy.” No one under 25 has any idea what that means.

I will never again climb a ladder to the roof. I have not yet fallen off a roof, so I will quit while I’m ahead.

Speaking of which, I will never again gamble. I played a slot machine once in Atlantic City. The first time I pulled the lever, it started shelling out $150 in quarters. Kenny Rogers was right. “You gotta know when to walk away.”

David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best columns, available for $23 on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com, or by mail. You may contact him at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405 or 3dc@epbfi.com.