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101 Old School Things

Posted by on August 23, 2011

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How many of these do you do?

This is a list of 101 Old School habits, practices, actions, people, things and events. Not all of these will apply to everyone. And some will seem downright arbitrary. Some of these will be obvious. Some have been chosen because I have discussed them in other posts or have plans to discuss them in future posts. Some will need an explanation but won’t get it because there’s not room with a list this long. You’ll have to take my word for it or, better yet, disagree with me vociferously on our facebook page. You can also post any grievous omissions from this list.

This list is by no means intended to be comprehensive. Just fun.

  1. Don’t let the sun catch you in bed.
  2. Carry a handkerchief.
  3. Make a fire pit.
  4. Have breakfast with your son.
  5. Have guests over.
  6. Drink an evening cocktail.
  7. Go to a drive-in movie.
  8. Carry a pocket knife or a Leatherman multi-tool. (My preference for every day? The Leatherman Juice CS4)
  9. Pee in the woods. Being in the woods is Old School and peeing in the woods indicates that you have been there at least long enough that you need to pee. You just can’t argue with this Solomon level of reasoning.
  10. Get a haircut at an Old School barbershop. I didn’t say “get a haircut at an Old School style barbershop”. There are metrosexual pseudo Old School shops designed to capitalize on men who have wisely left the salon and are seeking an Old School barber shop. You want Floyd the Barber, not a salon with manly decorations.
  11. Go to a county or state fair.
  12. Cut and stack a cord of wood.
  13. Spend a half hour plinking.
  14. Smoke a cigar.
  15. Fly the flag.
  16. Watch an episode of The Andy Griffith Show with your kids.
  17. Make a guitar from a cigar box,
  18. Have a late Saturday morning Bloody Mary.
  19. Go to church.
  20. Make a pot of chili.
  21. Prepare an emergency kit for your car.
  22. Make some Scotch eggs.
  23. Get married (Already married? See #66.)
  24. Assemble a house manual. (Binder that contains manuals for all your appliances as well as instructions for monthly and annual house maintenance responsibilities.)
  25. Landscape that part of the yard you know the neighbors are too polite to mention.
  26. Bacon.
  27. Read Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.
  28. Build a tennis ball mortar.
  29. Shave with a safety razor.
  30. Eat three square meals and no snacks.
  31. 25 pushups.
  32. Hunt.
  33. Keep a 100 feet of cordage in your vehicle.
  34. Punch a heavy bag on a regular basis.
  35. The next time you are about to call someone to pay them to do something for you (painter, landscaper, contractor) put down the phone and do it yourself.
  36. Wear a tie.
  37. Have a family game night.
  38. Walk your dog. (Don’t have a dog. See #52 )
  39. Road trip!! If you do Route 66, stop at #80.
  40. Start using an affectionate nickname for your spouse. I call dibs on Smokin’ Hot Wife a.k.a. S’H.W.
  41. Instead of visiting Starbucks in the morning, make a thermos of coffee in the morning and take it with you.
  42. Garden (Yes, it’s a noun and a verb.) Don’t have a yard? See #68
  43. Little boys in suits and ties.
  44. Install a dinner bell on your porch. (If you live in an apartment, this idea won’t work. If you live on a few acres like I do, surprisingly useful for gathering the boys.)
  45. Have real oatmealnever instant oatmeal — for breakfast.
  46. On Memorial Day attend your community’s Memorial Day service.
  47. Clean your firearms.
  48. Go to a church potluck or, better yet, organize a church potluck.
  49. Good-naturedly make fun of a metrosexual. Or maybe in away that you could later justify as good-natured but in reality is a little more biting than that.
  50. Raise chickens.
  51. Build a tree house.
  52. Get a dog. (Already have a dog? See #38)
  53. Longbow archery.
  54. Have a crockpot meal after you get home from church. (Don’t go to church? See #19) The crockpot is Old School potpourri.
  55. Watch Army of Darkness with your kids. Screen first for age appropriateness. (Bruce Campbell. He’s not Robert Conrad, but he’s all right.)
  56. Watch The Wild, Wild West with your kids. (Robert Conrad. He is Robert Conrad.)
  57. Smoke a pipe. (If you think cigar smoking is a skill set, pipe smoking is some kind of Zen master, be one with the pipe, use the force Jedi mind trick.)
  58. Play this drinking game: Put a copy of the U.S. Constitution on your wall and watch a U.S. presidential debate (any year, either party). Throw back a shot every time a candidate suggests something violating the constitution. Do this with milk, not booze or you’ll die in five minutes.
  59. Little kids love capes and should be allowed to wear them.
  60. Spend 15 minutes wrestling your kids for the World Living Room Wrassling Championship.
  61. Journal (It’s a noun and a verb, too.) Do it on paper. Not online for the world to see. An Old School journal is for you and your heirs to see.
  62. Change your vehicle’s oil at least once.
  63. Buy something used.
  64. Getting into the Bible at your kitchen table with a cup of coffee at five in the morning because that’s the only time you have.
  65. Sock aside some cash.
  66. Ogle your wife and let her catch you doing this. (Not married? See #23.)
  67. The M1911 pistol
  68. Plant strawberries, tomatoes and anything else that will thrive in a large planter.
  69. Wash your car with your kids. (You get a free car wash AND the kids get a free trip to the water park.)
  70. Grill (Yes, it’s a noun and a verb.)
  71. Teach your sons to sew, especially mending. This does two things. It teaches them to sew and it teaches them a lesson about pseudo-macho stereotypes.
  72. Adopt.
  73. Drop the pounds you need to drop.
  74. Make a pot chili. (That’s right. It’s here twice.)
  75. Trick-or-treating if the kid is ten or under. NO trick-or-treating if the kid is eleven or older. (Whenever I see a fifteen year old trick-or-treating, I think, “You’re not trick-or-treating. You’re panhandling for candy. Go home and ask Mom & Dad to teach you shame.”
  76. The Ten Commandments. (The tablets and the Charlton Heston movie.)
  77. Short engagements. (You love her. She loves you. Pull the trigger now, Nancy Boy.)
  78. Scouting. A fat middle-aged guy in a scouting uniform is more Old School than a twenty-something in a Rat Pack wannabe skinny tie.
  79. The book of Proverbs.
  80. Lilo’s Westside Cafe in Seligman, Arizona. If you ever drive Route 66, stop and order the carrot cake.
  81. Pump iron.
  82. Toy guns. (Toy guns don’t encourage kids to kill people. Parents who don’t rear their kids right do.)
  83. Prepare your homestead for emergencies — flashlights, candles, lantern, kerosene heater, generator, zombie grenades, etc. Here’s a book and here’s a website to help.
  84. Punch a Nazi.
  85. “Men wear trousers. Boys wear pants. Women wear slacks.”
  86. Batman, Zorro and Sherlock Holmes. In that order.
  87. Shine your shoes and iron a crease in your trousers.
  88. Ridiculous deep-fried food at a fair. If I have to hear one more TV “expert” decry the evils of deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies, and even deep-fried butter, I’m going to give them a broken pencil and say, “Hey, mook. What do you have in common with this pencil? You’re both missing the point.” It’s a fair. You go there one day a year. Live it up. Have some fun.
  89. Mr. Bruno Sammartino. He’s 75 years old and still tough and strong. Lift weights three days a week and does “roadwork” (his term) three days a week. He’s so Old School he even describes his running with an Old School term.
  90. The Jackalope.
  91. Supper as a family at the supper table.
  92. Illegal fireworks (But you didn’t hear that from me.)
  93. The Christmas Story (The actual, true one that happened about 2,011 years ago AND the movie with Ralphie, but for completely different reasons.)
  94. From my dayjob, The Expert at the Card Table
  95. Not cussing.
  96. Horseshoes and, for Italians and those that want to be, bocce ball. Both games can make #95 harder.
  97. The octogenarian who used to work out at the McKeesport YMCA in 1979. Sure, my teenage buds and I were somewhat weirded out by your pale skin and semi-braidable ear hair, but the fact that you were willing to get in the gym and work out every day is awesomely Old School and deeply respected now that I’m pushing fifty. Long overdue Old School kudos to you, sir. You’ve earned them.
  98. Pixar movies.
  99. The Far Side.
  100. The Amphicar. LBJ had one.
  101. SPAM luncheon meat

Keep it Old School my friend,

The Old Man, Chris Dixon

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