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Futurama Redux
by Andy Cowan
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Andy Cowan, an award-winning writer, whose credits include Cheers and Seinfeld, regularly contributes humor pieces to the Los Angeles Times and the CBS Jack FM Radio Network.

Welcome, 1964 World’s Fair enthusiasts, to General Motors’ Futurama, a glimpse at the awesome world of the 21st century! By then, “awesome” will describe nearly everything under the sun, which, incidentally, will warm our planet even more effectively, thanks to the fossil fuels nourishing your General Motors Sports Utility Vehicle. Yes, in the world of the future, hovering over the vehicle in front of you will be a “sport” enjoyed by the sports who also enjoy shelling out $35,000, the cost of two 1964 homes. Imagine being high enough to easily stare down the cleavage of the driver next to you, and thanks to the popularity of super-sized “fast food” of the future, such cleavage won’t be limited to women.

As for the windows in homes of the future, their views will change whenever you wish – thanks to the mobility of the vehicle many of you will be calling your “homes,” after your stationary one forecloses before plummeting in value to the cost of two 1964 homes.

In the world of the future, superhighways will enable a sea of computer-guided vehicles to reach points of destination at accelerated speeds, during the five minutes of the day not considered rush hour.

During a 21st century road trip, children will no longer be forced to gaze out the window to observe actual life and endure rudimentary games like counting license plates or trees. Instead they’ll gaze at computer windows and miniature video screens to savor “virtual” life! The opportunities for interaction with one’s siblings or parents will consequently be minimized, hastening the peaceful coexistence of the entire family.

Not only will children no longer ask “are we there yet,” thanks to the congestion that tells them they aren’t. They’ll be so immersed in their own electronic cocoons that they won’t even notice! Meanwhile, their parents will be able to communicate with others outside of the vehicle, through the miracle of cordless and wireless telephones, ensuring that wherever they aren’t is given priority over wherever they are.

The modern convenience of selective communication with those you wouldn’t ordinarily kill time with unless stuck in traffic will be readily available. As will global positioning systems that announce when you’ve reached your destination, not that you ever will.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of a consumer advocate who will one day keep running for president, 21st century American cars will keep running, when not in the shop, with seat belts, head restraints, air bags and antilock brakes that save millions of lives. But not even 21st century minds will be able to figure out how to prevent 21st century bumpers from protecting your wallets.

Before we end our journey, notice the other world of the future: An invasion from all corners of the globe, in which the enemies’ oddly aerodynamic and nimble vessels, with exteriors that shun the look of ice trays, infiltrate our arteries like cancer cells. As they taunt our hard-working oil executives with engines that have the audacity to sip fuel rather than drink it, their interior stitching has the further temerity to remain stitched.

As for General Motors’ world of tomorrow, a twenty-five billion dollar bailout will leave our top executives of tomorrow in stitches, and their private jets. Till at least the world of the day after tomorrow.

Published: Dec 12,2008 17:41
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