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In the ’70s, when I was a kid living in Radcliff, dry cleaning was available through a special house call service.
Whenever Mom had to have something dry cleaned, she would place an orange cardboard placard in the living room window. It was like Commissioner Gordon using the bat signal to call Batman.
An employee of the dry cleaning business constantly drove his van in neighborhoods to drop off clothes and would stop by any house that had a placard up. Seeing one, he knew someone was in need of the special dry cleaning superpower of the business.
I’ve occasionally thought of that signal and how different it is from our experiences these days. So much is instantaneous, do-it-yourself and disposable. Businesses and services have changed and adapted.
Not that this is news by any stretch of the imagination. Every generation progresses to new levels of providing goods and services based on need or perceived need.
In fact, home dry cleaning products are available to those who want to go that route. Instant dry cleaning.
Movies can be ordered through your television or video gaming system. Instant entertainment.
Do-it-yourself help is available via television programming, websites and even YouTube videos, which show you everything from how to cook low-cost meals to how to change the oil in your lawn mower.
If you’re reading this on your home computer, that is a case in point. Or maybe you’re reading this on your smart phone at the park or while sipping coffee in a cafe.
Then again, you might still enjoy the feel of a newspaper in your hand.
The product is available in all these formats.
Disposable items range from razors to automobiles. Yes, I’ve heard some referred to as disposable cars.
A lot of this means more convenience for the consumer and, in some cases, lower cost. And I have no qualms with that.
Though so many things are bound to become instantaneous and do-it-yourself, there are too many things I will never consider disposable.
Here, in no particular order, is a list of just some of the things that I don’t consider disposable:
Pastries of almost any kind.
OK. I’ll just say any good food.
A good fishing day.
Advice from family and friends.
Family and friends.
Even bad memories that came with lessons.
Hugs and kisses from loved ones.
Any time with loved ones.
Anything that makes me a better person.
Anything that makes the world a better world.
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743.