Dear Mr. Science Geeks,
I’ve got a bone to pick with you.
It has been 50 years and more since TV shows and movies foretold a future filled with life-altering, laborsaving devices. But none of them have materialized. What have you guys been doing – sitting on your hands all day?
Here are just a few of the inventions I have been waiting for:
Robots: The Jetsons had Rosie, the perfect maid, and Star Wars had C3PO, the gay BFF. But after all this time, there is still no Android Alice taking care of business at my house. Why am I still scrubbing my own toilets?
Flying cars: I really need a flying car, if for no other reason than that I would never again have to parallel park. Not only do we NOT have flying cars yet, you can’t even figure out how to make the earth-bound variety self-maintaining. I don’t think it should be up to ME to have to monitor gas, oil and tire pressure.
Replicators: These have been in Star Trek, and even kid’s movies like Babes in Toyland. I really, really want one of these. All you do is press a couple of brightly colored buttons on a console, and whatever you want pops right out. This would come in handy because you can get stuff without paying for it, and it’s not stealing. Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive explanation of how this all works, so it should be a snap for scientific-types to put one together.
Instant food: Pills, replicators – there have been lots of suggestions made for how to bring dinner to the table with no fuss or mess. All you’ve come up with was Tang. Although this was very cool at the time, it’s like drinking a water-logged orange sandbox. I know I would have no trouble sticking to my diet if all we had to eat were pills. This should be top priority! (Note to scientists: ix-nay on the Soylent Green research.)
Transporters: Having recently experienced the hassle and expense of getting a family of 4 from Chicago to New York and back, I could definitely use this. It would also allow us to avoid one of the few space-age devices the scientific community actually delivered on: the anal probe, deftly wielded by TSA operatives at every airport. In Star Trek, all you have to do is say “Beam me up, Scottie” and your molecules are whizzing through the air to their destination. How hard can that be to set up?
Garbage fueled cars: Back to the Future was made more than 25 years ago, so you’ve had plenty of time to get this into production. But instead of concentrating on something useful, like recycling garbage, you guys in Detroit have been working on making fuel out of perfectly good food. This has done nothing but jack up the price of corn and cost us taxpayers a mint!
Meanwhile, I am still shelling out a major portion of each paycheck to fill my Escalade with fossil fuel. And both my kids are understandably confused. They keep using their cars to store trash, no matter how often I tell them that garbage is not yet a fuel source.
Our great nation depends on a division of labor. Your job, Mr. Science, is to come up with cheap, laborsaving inventions to make my life easier. My job is to provide a running commentary on how you’re doing your job, along with anything else that strikes my fancy.
We can have the life of ease and convenience that Hollywood has promised, if only each of us does his job. I don’t think that’s asking too much.