We need a break from all that virus talk today so the following is a condensed version of something that has circulated around the internet for a few years.

Checking out at the store the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own bags because plastic ones are not good for the environment.  The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The clerk responded, “that’s the problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”  The older lady agreed that her generation did not have the “green thing” and then went on to explain:

"Back then we returned milk, soda and beer bottles to the store.  The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled so they could be used over and over.  So in reality they were recycled. Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that were reused for numerous things, including garbage bags.  But most memorable was the use of those bags as book covers for school books which ensured they were not defaced by our scribblings.

"We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator or elevator in every building.  We walked to the store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. We dried clothes on the line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts.  Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.  But of course we did not have the “green thing.

"We had one TV, not one in every room and it had a screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Montana.  In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.  When we sent a fragile item in the mail we used wadded up old newspapers and not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. We didn’t fire up an engine and burn gas just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.  But again, we did not have the “green thing.

"We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.  Kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 gas-guzzling SUV.  We had one electrical outlet in the room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And we did not need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint."

I guess we old people do need a lesson in conservation from a tattooed, multiple pierced, smart-aleck who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.