Reminiscing about the good ol’ days

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Las Vegas was a far more customer-friendly destination in 1953 (above) than it is more than 60 years later. | AP

Like Donald Trump, Couch Slouch wants to make America great again. It’s simple: Just do what America was doing before, like in 1789 or 1946. Boy, those were good years, particularly if you were a white guy with a rich father.

Anyway, whatever happened to . . .

υ Doubleheaders and double features. There’s nothing like sitting in a sunny ballpark on a Saturday afternoon and watching two games or sitting in a darkened theater on a Saturday afternoon and watching two movies. And there was nothing like two-for-the-price-of-one, a concept buried underneath the rubble of Wall Street rolling Main Street for every penny in our pockets.

There are no scheduled doubleheaders nowadays, only two games on the same date made necessary by a rainout. And it’s always a ‘‘day-night’’ twin bill — two separate traffic-clogged commutes to the stadium, two separate sets of outrageous parking fees, two separate admissions, two separate encounters with overpriced concessions. It’s like going to the dentist’s office to get your wisdom teeth removed at 1 p.m. and going back for a root canal at 7 p.m.

As for the loss of double features, at least some of us get around that at the multiplex by sometimes wandering out of one movie and wandering into — also known by its street term ‘‘sneaking into’’ — another movie.

Now that’s old-fashioned American ingenuity at its finest.

υ The neighborhood bookie. There’s no question that, for the sports-betting savant/gambling devotee, online bookmaking sites are an unparalleled source of convenience and anonymity. With a couple of not-so-smart clicks on your smartphone, you can wager on an in-game line during a Diamondbacks-Padres tilt, essentially doubling your losses for the last hour or so.

But technology can’t replace character, and your old-school, non-online bookie had character — and a credit line. When you wager on the World Wide Web, you have to cover your losses immediately, as opposed to your flesh-and-bones bookie, who might let you slide for a week or two on occasion.

Your neighborhood bookie was like the country doctor who makes house calls.

And remember the old expression ‘‘A cop’s never around when you need one’’? A bookie is always just around the corner — at a saloon, in a fire station, even at newspapers. Plus, calling a bookie is easier than calling 911. They usually answer after one ring, and they don’t need an ambulance to take care of you.

υ ‘‘Wide World of Sports’’ on ABC. This was 90 minutes of bliss, with the comfort of Jim McKay’s voice, preceded by 90 minutes of the Pro Bowlers Tour, with the comfort of Chris Schenkel’s voice, making Saturday afternoons feel like a Norman Rockwell painting on a 19-inch screen.

You’d turn on ‘‘Wide World of Sports’’ and not only find track and field and boxing but also wrist wrestling, barrel jumping, cliff diving and log rolling.

But ‘‘Wide World of Sports’’ was swallowed by a sports world too wide and loud for its own good.

So we no longer find the finest broadcasters ‘‘spanning the globe to bring [us] the constant variety of sport — the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat; the human drama of athletic competition.’’ Instead, we find Skip Bayless.

υ Las Vegas as a customer-friendly town. Low-cost flights and rooms. Cheap all-you-can-eat buffets. Steak dinners for $4.99. Free cocktails. Comped shows. They used to give away the farm in Sin City because they knew they could buy back the farm from all the money we lost to them at the slots and dice tables.

But now they don’t just want the shirt off your back, they want your pants and shoes, too.

They’ve gone from free Bacardi-and-sodas to $5 bottles of water.

It’s cheaper to marry, divorce and pay alimony to a circus clown than it is to go see Cirque du Soleil.

They’re even charging for parking now on the Strip. Heck, if I wanted to pay for parking, I’d just drive to Trump Taj Mahal and help make Atlantic City great again.

Ask The Slouch

Q. On TV, you encourage gambling. In print, you discourage gambling. I know you can spell ‘‘poker,’’ but can you spell ‘‘hypocrite’’? (Greg Chambers, St. Paul, Minnesota)

A. 1. I think you’re being a little harsh on me. 2. I might’ve misspelled ‘‘hypocrite’’ before, but it’s in your question, so I’ve got it down now.

Q. In a month of Sundays, I can’t figure out for the life of me why Kevin Durant would want to leave Oklahoma City for San Francisco. (Ian Gallagher, Mesa, Arizona)

A. Better public transit.

Q. Analytics are all the rage in baseball. Have you estimated the WAR on each of your ex-wives? (Mike Cortese, Pittsburgh)

A. That’s a big number, considering I always marry out of my league.

Q. In what year did the last MLB team turn a double play in which the player had the ball in his hand and his foot actually touching second base at the same time? (David Kravitz, Fairfax, Virginia)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail If your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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