Hey, Pop, How Old Is the World?

I look at my grandson and say, “well, it’s a lot older than me.”

“Yes, but how old, exactly?”

“Old, old,” I say, hoping he will go away. I hate these conversations that always end up with us discussing my age.

“Is it as old as you, Pop?”

“Nah! I’m not really old. Just a bit bent.”

“Was it history when they landed on the moon?”

“No, that was in 1969. That’s not history. But they made history…”

“As old as when President Kennedy was shot?”

“No that’s not even 50 years ago. That’s not history.”

“As old as World War II?”

“No, I was around in World War II. That’s not so old.”

“Why can’t you tell me how old the world is?”

“I told you its real old. Like when my grandfather was your age.”

“What year was that?”

“About 1880.”

“Wow! That’s old!”

“There were no cars or planes, no movies or radio or TV.”

“No TV? I suppose there were no iPhones either.”

No answer required.

“The world must have been a hard place without all those things.”

“Well the people didn’t know that they didn’t have those things so they didn’t miss them.”

“That’s funny!”

“Yep, it’s hard to understand.”

Thinking back on the conversation a few days later, I realized that my grandson and I had covered a period of about 130 years. No way can he connect to my childhood just as I cannot connect to his world.

So how old is the world, anyway? I too, don’t know the answer.


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