After 50 years of bragging about how much harder it was to attend school when he was a kid, Arthur Stevenson became confused when his “uphill both ways” exaggeration no longer impressed his grandchildren.
“I just can’t believe, after all these years, that my classic line has no effect on this generation,” said Stevenson while reclined comfortably in his La-Z-Boy. “Could it be possible that today’s kids might actually have it harder than I did growing up? I refuse to believe it.”
Stevenson first saw the diminished impact of his classic hyperbole after his grandson, Billy, cut off one of his regular attempts to show off his toughness. Billy wasted no time rattling off several actual hardships he faces today, including having to wear a bullet-proof backpack, trying to make sense of Common Core, and being forbidden from engaging in any form of direct human contact to avoid death.
“Coronavirus means that I can’t even have a girlfriend!” said Billy. “I mean, I’m only nine and girls have cooties, but still, how am I supposed to pull her pig tails in a misguided and emotionally stunted attempt to show her that I like her? It’s not fair!”
Grandpa Stevenson made one final attempt to recover from the rhetorical schoolyard beat-down administered by his grandson, deploying a previously unchallenged claim that back in his day, he had to walk 12 miles to school in three feet of snow while barefoot. But Billy easily put the contest away with a simple two word retort: “Betsy Devos”.