Everything old is new in the post-COVID world

My Sentiments Exactly

As the world tries to reinvent the way the humans work, play, function, maneuver, entertain and even feed ourselves, it’s clear: Some stuff just ain’t ever gonna be quite the same as it was before, a’ight?

I mean, it’s obvious that distancing — or what Pop used to call living under his roof and playing by his rules — is likely to become more and more commonplace here on the third rock.

That might sound daunting. However, maybe it could offer some really unique opportunities as well?

For instance, maybe some beloved but long-gone traditions, practices and even occupations could make a post-COVID comeback?

Family game / puzzle night, daily home-cooked and shared meals, and old-fashioned joint hobbies such as gardening, canning and even wine-making seem to be all the rage again, don’t they? And why should the renaissance stop there?

I’m thinking, in no particular order, here are some passe pastimes and positions we should seriously strive to revive:

First of all, there’s the drive-in movie theater. I know there are technically, like, seven still operating in America, but it’s high time for them to return in force. I mean, who wants to sit in crowded movie theater (even if the seats DO recline) after spending $457 for your family’s tickets then shell out another $87 for a miniature bag of Milk Duds when you could zip into the drive-in, open the hatch or jump into the truck bed, pop that crazy-looking speaker into your window, pull out your own cooler of, um, sodas, and a picnic basket brimming over with candy and chips you stocked up on at the Dollar Store. Voila!

And speaking of drive-thru eats and treats, why should Sonic get all the glory? Shoot, I think every restaurant start offering this awesome, limited-contact option.

Remember the old A&W drive-ups? Man, those were awesome — and so much fun! Well, for the consumer, they were. Sure, there’s the whole bad weather factor and the making-it-super-hard for the servers. But I really think it could work? Ta Da!

Oooh, and what about one-stop shopping options, say, at the drug store? As I’m given to understand it, soda fountains actually started — many moons ago — as makeshift pharmacies at first (back when Coca Cola was “medicinal”— likely as a painkiller since it contained actual cocaine) and later as ice cream counters located within pharmacies.

Now that makes PERFECT sense for today, since pharmacies already have drive-thru windows. I can see it now: “I’ll take my 800 mg ibuprofen, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and a banana split, please.” Bam!

Man, I LOVED stopping at the soda fountain (of sorts) at Woolworth’s when I was a kid. I’d always get a Hot Sam (soft pretzel) and a large Frozen (the solid form of a Cherry Coke). I digress.

And since putting people back to work is another big benefit of resurrecting once obsolete occupations, why not bring back full-service gas station attendants (all gloved and masked, of course)?

Or lectors? Back in the 1930s, people actually got paid to read newspaper articles to cigar shop-goers or factory workers.

Hey, why not have the lectors on roller skates shouting out updates from their smartphones to drive-in eatery patrons?

What about those kooky 19th century wonders, the “knocker ups”? Pre-Industrial Revolution (read: no cell alarms or clock radios), they would rap on strangers’ windows to rouse them from slumber lest they become late for work. As so many work from home, this could be really relevant today when it’s so easy to oversleep because your bed is next to your desk, you dig?

I’m just sayin’. Happy entrepreneur-ing, y’all!

— Kimerer is researching the average pay for leech collectors. Contact her via www.patriciakimerer.com.


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