' Pope warns of "demographic winter," urges action to boost birth rates '

Toulouse42

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I assumed you were talking about humanity continually improving their situation despite the older generation saying the younger generation is no good from time immemorial.

The girl has some valid points, like the fact housing didn't cost a huge fraction of an average paycheck when boomers were starting out. My parents lived through all those things. Yet they were still able to buy a house with just my father working for most of my childhood (mom went back to work when I was about 10 but she went out on disability about ten years later). Both of my parents had pensions also. Common for older baby boomers and my parent's generation, almost unheard of these days except for government jobs.

Most of the criticism from her generation though is that the boomers are the greediest generation in history. Everything they did which advantaged them they got rid of for the next generations. Some examples:

1) They spent their youth getting high but once they got in power they passed draconian drug laws, even for small amounts of pot.
2) Many didn't bother repaying their student loans but they made it virtually impossible for the following generations to get out of that.
3) As youths they fought for a social safety net. Once they started making lots of money they resented paying the taxes these programs cost. Enter trickle down economics, which is really just a way to convince average working stiffs to support lower tax rates on the wealthy.
4) When they got in charge of businesses, they systematically got rid of pensions, let compensation grow slower than inflation, etc.
5) They killed many viable companies by cutting to the bone in exchange for short-term profits which made them look good to Wall Street. By the time these companies went under, they moved on to the next victim.
6) They cut funding for public transit, forcing people to own cars even in places where one wasn't needed at one time. Their formative years may have been spent on the open road with little traffic. Once everyone started driving, it became a lot slower and less pleasant.

There's a lot more than that actually:


In sector after sector, as boomers took ownership of the economy's assets, they essentially pulled up the ladder of investment in favor of maximizing short-term personal gains.

So yeah, while some of what this girl is saying is BS, she does have a point. The boomers even ruined things for the tail end of their own generation, namely those born from 1960 to 1964.

The recent gains workers have made are good news. The reason most likely is the fact boomers are slowly but surely losing their grip on power as they age out.
I'm from the generation you mention. My country (UK) is in a mess too. BUT, I never got to vote for or against all the things you mention. Our governments for all my adult life promised cake for breakfast, dinner, lunch and tea. Then each and every one of them contributed to the mess we are in.

It's all to easy to blame the boomers but we were all too busy holding down jobs, paying a mortgage and raising children. My parents' generation were the same. My father started work at age 12. He was a farm worker looking after horses. It was all he was qualified to do. And yet my mum and dad put a roof over our heads, fed us, loved us and ensured we got a decent education. That's all you can hope for (as a start) in life. The rest is up to you and I refuse to apologise for the fact that my "success" in life is actually down to the hard work and sacrifice of several generations.
 

bykfixer

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^^ bravo

0D73DEFE-1734-4D02-B57E-3F9F3B4DD6AB.jpeg
 

turbodog

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Now that the angry twitter users, which were the first to pile onto her 'poor me' thread have burned out, the more rational posters are arriving.

stagflation
gas rationing
20% interest
vietnam draft
etc

She's an idiot w/ no appreciation of history.
 

jtr1962

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I'm from the generation you mention. My country (UK) is in a mess too. BUT, I never got to vote for or against all the things you mention. Our governments for all my adult life promised cake for breakfast, dinner, lunch and tea. Then each and every one of them contributed to the mess we are in.
OK, but in the US (don't know about the UK) the boomers are the largest voting block. They also make up a majority of elected officials. Unfortunately, by and large boomers have voted for policies which enrich them at the expense of future generations. This wasn't always so for elected officials. I remember the so-called Greatest Generation, who had been through the Depression and WWII, planned much more heavily for the future. I'm sure they were plenty of potential elected officials among the boomers who cared about the future, but the voters didn't choose them. So in the end, while I'm not blaming every boomer directly as some didn't vote, or made different choices, collectively they helped get us into the mess you mentioned.

EDIT: One important difference here is those of the boomer generation who are in charge have refused to step aside like prior generations did. I remember the generations of my parents and grandparents would typically make way for the next generation when they were 55 to 65. Now much of Congress is over 70. So of course a generation that wants to remain in power until they die is going to exact a disproportionate influence on power.


It's all to easy to blame the boomers but we were all too busy holding down jobs, paying a mortgage and raising children. My parents' generation were the same. My father started work at age 12. He was a farm worker looking after horses. It was all he was qualified to do. And yet my mum and dad put a roof over our heads, fed us, loved us and ensured we got a decent education. That's all you can hope for (as a start) in life. The rest is up to you and I refuse to apologise for the fact that my "success" in life is actually down to the hard work and sacrifice of several generations.
Sure, the average working stiffs were too busy to see the rug being pulled out from under them by their elected officials. By the time the chickens came home to roost, meaning average people started to notice how bad things were, the damage was already done.

Also keep in mind the older boomers (those born before about 1955) were the last generation who could raise a family on one salary, and for whom hard work (and a college degree) were almost guaranteed to have an eventual payoff. Most people will work hard if there's a clear, definite outcome they know they can reach. Once that goes away, you end up with what psychologists call learned helplessness. Basically, people just stop trying because they already did try and saw no results. Good example is people trying to buy their first home. It's virtually impossible to save up for a house when prices are rising faster than you can save. Prior generations who rarely experienced residential real estate rising faster than inflation didn't have this problem. You knew if saved a certain percent of your pay for x years, and invested it so it at least kept up with inflation, you could buy a house. One of my great aunts bought her house that way.

Or putting things more succinctly, the issue is far too many of those in positions of power essentially sold the family jewels for a night on the town. I'm not blaming you directly. I'm blaming those in power who could have cared about the future more, even if those who elected them wanted short-sighted policies like lower tax rates, divestment of R&D, less funding for public schools/transit/hospitals/ etc.

And sure, the boomers went through hard times as well, like any other generation. The difference is the things they had at their disposal to deal with those times, such as a robust social safety net, they dismantled for future generations.
 
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nightshade

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Freedom isn't free. It has a very deep and profound cost. A unrelenting and intense sacrifice of those that share it's immediate existence.
Reality is a ruthless debt collector, blaming a demographic and age group is a act of cowardice.
 

jtr1962

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Freedom isn't free. It has a very deep and profound cost. A unrelenting and intense sacrifice of those that share it's immediate existence.
Reality is a ruthless debt collector, blaming a demographic and age group is a act of cowardice.
So is blaming certain religious/ethnic groups but that seems to be all in vogue these days.

Talking to some of these people is infuriating. For example, I've been caretaking my mother for the last 7 or 8 years. It's a huge drain on me mentally and physically. I recall a conversation with an older boomer a few years ago. They told me you can get free help so you have breaks taking care of your mom like I did. Sure, that's among the programs that generation helped kill. The same person said today's kids have a racket, starting jobs at the grocery store for over ten bucks an hour. "My first job was 85 cents an hour". Yeah, ever heard of something called inflation? Then there were the ones who tipped my brother "a quarter for ice cream" back when he did deliveries for a local pharmacy. At the time ice cream was at least $2.

Again, not all members of any generation are the same. But sometimes enough are to cause huge problems.

Small shoulder, BIG chip. You live in a system that you are smarter than? I sense entitlement, not enlightenment.
What I'm seeing here doesn't sound like entitlement so much as the younger generations wanting a similar deal to what those who came before them got. I don't agree with everything they complain about, but just as an example housing and college shouldn't cost multiples of what they used to, even once adjusted for inflation.

And a college degree, provided it's not in "underwater basket weaving", no longer opens the doors it used to.
 
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M@elstrom

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It's not even about sacrifice. It's about the fact with the cost of living, I couldn't have afforded them even sacrificing. I never owned a car, period, live in a 71 year old house, and never traveled overseas. Why? I couldn't afford these things even being single, although in truth living in NYC I wouldn't have a car even if I was rich. You don't really need one here.
I was curious enough to look into the cost of living differences between the USA and Australia, oddly enough Australia is more expensive overall however you did state you were in NYC which was significantly higher than the Nation's average, so it would cost more if you remained in that City however relocating is a possibility and many do for a better lifestyle (or pace of living), I haven't lived in a City since the 90s.



To raise children well costs a lot of money. I'm not even talking about giving them lots of expensive stuff. Just education through graduate school, possibly a doctorate, costs a ton of money.
Education is important but is not everyone wants to attend higher learning and even if they did there are Student Loans Programs & Community College, I paid/earnt my own way through both a Diploma & Community College, I would never have dreamt of asking my Parents to pay for any of it, perhaps that is a Cultural/Societal difference between the USA & Australia?



I know we all age, but not putting a wife through child bearing makes it much more likely they'll continue to look like the person you originally married, instead of a cave troll.
Cave Troll? Gravity & time apply no matter what precautions you take (just look at Hollywood Celebrities trying to outrun old age), I am not so sure I would have felt the same initial level of attachment with a surrogacy pregnancy, I don't know anyone who has chosen that path it's a lot less common here.



Even with those conditions, I'm not so sure I'd have wanted children. There's a world of other ways one can spend their life. Also, the enrichment you mention may never come. A fair number of people I've known are estranged from their children.
Sadly estrangement happens even amongst siblings but life still goes on, a Parent can only ever do their best, the rest is out of their hands.
 
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jtr1962

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I was curious enough to look into the cost of living differences between the USA and Australia, oddly enough Australia is more expensive overall however you did state you were in NYC which was significantly higher than the Nation's average, so it would cost more if you remained in that City however relocating is a possibility and many do for a better lifestyle (or pace of living), I haven't lived in a City since the 90s.
At this point NYC isn't significantly more expensive than a lot of other places where jobs are. Not needing to own a car here often more than makes up for more expensive housing. Also, the cost of living depends upon your living arrangement. If you live in a paid for house, like I do, you can get by for well under $2,000 a month for everything.

Relocation isn't a viable option for lots of people. It costs money. They're losing contact with their circle of friends and family. It wasn't for me. I'm a city person. I don't drive. I get car sick on all but the shortest trips, so living in place I have to drive isn't even a realistic option.
Education is important but is not everyone wants to attend higher learning and even if they did there are Student Loans Programs & Community College, I paid/earnt my own way through both a Diploma & Community College, I would never have dreamt of asking my Parents to pay for any of it, perhaps that is a Cultural/Societal difference between the USA & Australia?
First off, I'll grant that far too many people are getting college degrees who really aren't college material. For them, trade school would be a far better option. Or community college.

Second, even when I started college in 1980, paying for it myself wasn't a realistic option. At the slightly more than minimum wage jobs which I could have gotten while in college, I would have had to work north of 2,500 hours a year. Student loans were limited, so they didn't cover the full cost. That left my parents to pick up what loans and scholarships didn't cover. And no, working wasn't an option. I had a work-study job my first semester. I hardly made any money, but the time it took away from my studies meant my grades suffered, plus I was staying up until 4 AM every night studying. Come summers I was burnt out and really needed three months off. Besides, I looked and couldn't find any summer jobs. It didn't make much sense anyway. Kill my summers, and maybe I'd make enough to cover 5% of the costs of college.

No, people who are very smart don't go to cheaper community colleges, or city/state universities. They go to the best school they can get into, Ivy League if possible. That's what we were all doing in my high school. Yes, their parents have to help them, but if your parents believe in education, that's exactly what they'll do. Yeah, I guess it's a cultural difference. Most of my high school friends were Asian even though I wasn't. To their parents not helping pay for school would be unthinkable, except in cases where they just didn't have the money. However, most financial aid systems in the US are need-based. They base the parental contribution on the parent's income. If the parents can't afford as much, generally you get more scholarship.
Cave Troll? Gravity & time apply no matter what precautions you take (just look at Hollywood Celebrities trying to outrun old age), I am not so sure I would have felt the same initial level of attachment with a surrogacy pregnancy, I don't know anyone who has chosen that path it's a lot less common here.
True but I'm talking about avoiding doing a few big things which really make the aging clock move faster, like having children. Other things include poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise, too much exposure to sunlight, etc. We can't stop the clock, but by making good lifestyle choices we can slow it considerably.

The Hollywood crowd is a bad choice to make comparisons to. Sure, they have money but many spend their youth partying and getting high. Then when it takes its toll, they spend a fortune to try to reverse it. Madonna is a great example. She looks like she's wearing a mask. Maybe if she didn't do the hard living in her 20s and 30s she would look a heck of a lot better naturally.
Sadly estrangement happens even amongst siblings but life still goes on, a Parent can only ever do their best, the rest is out of their hands.
You're right. I'd just rather focus my effort on stuff that's more likely to be a sure thing. Children aren't. Besides estrangement issues, you might get a child who is chronically ill.
 
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idleprocess

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Education is important but is not everyone wants to attend higher learning and even if they did there are Student Loans Programs & Community College
While this is true, American society has - for something like 80 years - fixated heavily on a university education as the singular pathway to a better life. This is of course not true and the trajectory is changing, but this cultural narrative still has a powerful grip on the populace ... and primary education ... and corporate human resources / hiring managers (whom themselves in the broadly desirable white collar fields are considerably more likely to be the product of said system).

Insofar as the financials go, read on...

I would never have dreamt of asking my Parents to pay for any of it, perhaps that is a Cultural/Societal difference between the USA & Australia
Perhaps. Also worth noting that American universities are increasingly expensive to attend (I've no immediate basis for comparison to Australia) and assuming 5 figures USD in debt for a bachelor's degree (4 years) is rather the norm immediately after graduating from primary school where it's a proverbial job hunting license in a number of white collar fields. Ergo it's seen as a necessity that's out of reach a great many primary school graduates without parental assistance of some sort - either in the form of parents paying tuition directly or footing some of the responsibility for student loans. Scholarships and grants exist, but they're difficult to secure in the case of the former and a tad limited in the case of the latter.

Once one has secured a position in corporate America, ironically, tuition assistance is a common benefit. Had I not had such a benefit available my secondary education may have ended with Community College rather than my employer footing the bill for 100% of my bachelor's degree and ~half of my master's.

I am not so sure I would have felt the same initial level of attachment with a surrogacy pregnancy, I don't know anyone who has chosen that path it's a lot less common here.
It's not particularly common in the United States either as best I can tell.

No, people who are very smart don't go to cheaper community colleges, or city/state universities. They go to the best school they can get into, Ivy League if possible.
Eh ... while the prestigious schools do indeed attract very smart people, they by no means capture them all and probably not even the majority.
  • There are more very smart people than there are slots to prestigious universities, largely due to the enormous financial accessibility mismatches that exclude otherwise-capable people
  • The primary education system is not as well-prepared to identify the smart people as it would have us think it is for a wide variety of reasons
On the latter point there are legions of capable young adults that had terrible academics in primary school - and likely struggled in university if they went right out of high school - that prove similarly capable to graduates of the prestigious schools. These people are generally identified years later after launching their careers and after having acquired valuable working experience. Many do not have a degree and those that seek one tend to find that it's not particularly essential to their career progression. Industry seems to be getting better at recognizing these candidates and - as secondary education prices its way out of reach of a growing slice of the populace - the requirement for that sheepskin will decline.

Related - when I was in grad school it was quickly apparent that the 20-somethings progressing directly from high school to undergrad to grad school without significant work experience were going to struggle when they landed that first 'real' job. They would absolutely fumble the practical exercises that simulated interactions with front-line people for lack of experience in workplace and organizational dynamics. Their appreciation for the general workings of business also tended to be highly academic. While many of these folks would no doubt acquire this experience and wisdom after five to ten years of employment they would represent a genuine hazard to their organizations and direct reports if hired into a management leadership position directly out of business school.
 

turbodog

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One overlooked socioeconomic benefit of attending college is finding a spouse with your similar traits: education, delayed gratification, etc.

You're not going to find that in the brochures, but it's there and it's _VERY_ important.

If this interests you I suggest 'coming apart, the state of white america from 1960-2010'. P.S. It covers black and other colors also in case you're wondering.

And to address the OP: we're not going to reverse the macro trends which have led to declining birth rates: birth control, education, infant mortality, etc (well maybe unless you live in a red state).
 

jtr1962

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One overlooked socioeconomic benefit of attending college is finding a spouse with your similar traits: education, delayed gratification, etc.
Bingo! If you're a person like me, the chances of meeting someone similar if you don't meet them in college are virtually nil. Hence the reason I've been single all my life. Don't even really meet people I'd want to date, never mind more than that.
 

bykfixer

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I met Mrs Fixer at a 7-11 convenience store.
I was preparing a cup of coffee while she wiped down the counter nearby. Suddenly several local police officers walked in. I mumbled to myself "bad time to say this is a stickup". She heard me and whispered "or worse, we're out of donuts".

The rest as they say is history.
 

M@elstrom

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No, people who are very smart don't go to cheaper community colleges, or city/state universities. They go to the best school they can get into, Ivy League if possible. That's what we were all doing in my high school. Yes, their parents have to help them, but if your parents believe in education, that's exactly what they'll do.
I have to say this is a particularly elitist stand point, in reality only those with the financial means can readily attend higher learning, a "smart" person would maximise their options by attending whatever further education was accessible to them, Einstein, Thomas Edison & the Wright Brothers didn't complete their education, thus higher learning IMHO is more about acquiring the "skill set" you require for your chosen career (life path) and making you an attractive proposition for prospective employers (influenced somewhat by School prestige).

Bottom line... what is smart? Emotional intelligence? Mechanical aptitude? Photographic Memory? Artistically gifted?

You're right. I'd just rather focus my effort on stuff that's more likely to be a sure thing. Children aren't. Besides estrangement issues, you might get a child who is chronically ill.

There's only 2 sure things in life... death & taxes 🤣


I met Mrs Fixer at a 7-11 convenience store.
I was preparing a cup of coffee while she wiped down the counter nearby. Suddenly several local police officers walked in. I mumbled to myself "bad time to say this is a stickup". She heard me and whispered "or worse, we're out of donuts".

The rest as they say is history.

Physical chemistry/attraction (aka LOVE) works for me, conditional mate selection could cause you to overlook your "soul mate" (y)
 

turbodog

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Bingo! If you're a person like me, the chances of meeting someone similar if you don't meet them in college are virtually nil. Hence the reason I've been single all my life. Don't even really meet people I'd want to date, never mind more than that.

It kicks starts things, but if you're letting that stop you, then you're giving up on life.

If only there were like an electronic database of people, their interests, etc that one could access from the comfort of their domicile. Then maybe electronic communication could take place. Perhaps this will exist decades into the future.
 

Stress_Test

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Yeah, I was mainly just being a wise-acre! ;)

Though I had to google the name since I didn't really recall anything about him.

I always find it interesting how celebrity and pop-culture references really highlight generation gaps. Try making a reference to some famous but old TV series like "Dallas" or "Sanford and Sons" to a 20-something kid and see what reaction you get! lol

I did enjoy watching a few episodes of "Have gun, will travel" though.
 

jtr1962

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I have to say this is a particularly elitist stand point, in reality only those with the financial means can readily attend higher learning, a "smart" person would maximise their options by attending whatever further education was accessible to them, Einstein, Thomas Edison & the Wright Brothers didn't complete their education, thus higher learning IMHO is more about acquiring the "skill set" you require for your chosen career (life path) and making you an attractive proposition for prospective employers (influenced somewhat by School prestige).
In some fields, notable STEM, a better school typically gets you a better starting position. Of course, where you go from there depends upon your ability to learn and adapt.

Also, some of the top schools now, like my alma mater Princeton, are giving full scholarships. Their endowments did well, so they want their students to graduate without loans on their back. Now sure at what incomes they expect a parental contribution as well. Perhaps had I attended now, neither me nor my parents would have had to pay a dime.

Ideally, those with ability should have the best educational option open to them regardless of ability to pay. That's simply a nation maximizing its intellectual assets. All benefit from this.
Bottom line... what is smart? Emotional intelligence? Mechanical aptitude? Photographic Memory? Artistically gifted?
It could be some or all. I think all abilities should be discovered and nutured. You left out athletic ability. While not "smart" in the conventional sense, it should be developed as well.
Physical chemistry/attraction (aka LOVE) works for me, conditional mate selection could cause you to overlook your "soul mate" (y)
Physical attraction is a must for me. No matter what other boxes a person checks, if the attraction isn't there they'll never be more than a friend. The other stuff is somewhat important also. I want someone close to me in intellectual ability. Even smarter than me would be fine. I want someone who shares are least some of my hobbies, like cycling. Not all of them. Also, part of the fun might be getting the other person to enjoy at least some of your hobbies. I don't want a clone of myself, but I want enough in common so we get along.
It kicks starts things, but if you're letting that stop you, then you're giving up on life.

If only there were like an electronic database of people, their interests, etc that one could access from the comfort of their domicile. Then maybe electronic communication could take place. Perhaps this will exist decades into the future.
Lack of meeting people is what stopped me. In the circles I run in, I just never meet that many females, never mind ones I might be interested in. It's much harder once you're out of school. The nice thing about school, besides the higher possibility of finding a person you have much in common with, is the fact it costs virtually nothing to spend lots of time with them. You can study together, eat in the mess hall together, etc. Compare this to conventional dating where spending an hour or two with a person might cost you three figures. Not to mention you're not seeing the person unfiltered on a date. In school you are. Seeing a person in good and bad times tells you a lot more about them.

Agreed on the electronic database. I also think random encounters shouldn't be dismissed. You cross paths with lots of people in big cities just living life. I might see someone I'm attracted to on, say, the subway. Perhaps it's mutual. Nothing wrong with exchanging contact info. I know about so-called "stranger danger", but lots of people have a sixth sense that can tell them if someone is OK. That said, just my luck I'd end up with a fatal attraction case.
 
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Stress_Test

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Oh, and as far as meeting a mate during college; good luck with that if you're a guy going to engineering school!! lol

Sure in the freshman classes there were lots of girls, but once I was into the hardcore classes like Thermo, Statics/Dynamics, etc, I could count on one hand the number of females who were taking the same classes. That was my experience anyway.

Didn't matter, I wasn't there to chase tail, I was nose-to-the-grindstone all the time because I was never a naturally talented student so I had to put a lot of effort into it.

It all worked out though. College I mean, not marital status (still single!) heh
 

bykfixer

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Yeah, I was mainly just being a wise-acre! ;)

Though I had to google the name since I didn't really recall anything about him.

I always find it interesting how celebrity and pop-culture references really highlight generation gaps. Try making a reference to some famous but old TV series like "Dallas" or "Sanford and Sons" to a 20-something kid and see what reaction you get! lol

I did enjoy watching a few episodes of "Have gun, will travel" though.
One year my wife's boys brought home an Eddie Haskell type kid who said all the right words at all the right times and just put on quite the act for her and I. The fellow visited his mother on some weekends. So the boys ask "can we stay over at his place tonight?" I said "yeah you can stay at Eddie Haskell's place". "Who's Eddie Haskell?" they said.

Edit:
I had to look up have gun will travel. Leave it to Beaver re-runs came on after school on cable in my town in the late 70's. That's why I knew of that one.

Edit again:
Man, I used to work with this cool guy who was an absolute chick MAGNET. I literally saw him a number of times just say hello to a gal he'd never seen before who'd give him her phone number right then and there. I mean like one day a gal at the walk up ATM was done, walks past dude who says "hello" in a near Michael Jackson voice and the girl stops, asks my man if he has an ink pen, and writes her phone number on the ATM receipt. I saw it in restaraunts, and stores, once when we found a rabid kitten and called animal control, the dog catcher lady gave him her phone number. And she told him "I prefer girls but for you I'll make an exception". Some guys just have a charisma.

The kid at the check out line I was in recently did not. Unkept hair, nose hairs all flowing out of his nostrils and when I said "how's it goin?" He replies "sigh, well I'm tired and I have to drive all the way home by myself and my parents aren't home". I just paused and thought for a few ticks. Then quipped "hope you make it".
 
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