Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Will They Think of Next?

Sometimes I'm struck by the fact that, though I am not old by any stretch of the imagination - I SAID ANY STRETCH DAMMIT - I clearly remember being around for the introduction of every modern amenity that separates us from savages.

Remember your family's first microwave? Remember how crazy it was to be able to heat up food in a matter of seconds??

Remember when there were three TV stations (well, four, counting PBS, but that one never came in as well and was on the weird little auxiliary dial) and they went off the air after the National Anthem and sat there happily broadcasting static until morning, content in the knowledge that everything anyone could possibly want to see had been seen?

Remember when you got cable? Cable was awesome. Not only did you suddenly have a lot more channels, but because you paid a monthly fee for it, there weren't any commercials.

Around the same time you began to be able to record TV shows on a Betamax cassette (some less visionary people preferred the big clunky VHS tapes) and squiggle right on forward through commercials, too. It became clear that advertising on television was a thing of the past.

Then there were laser discs, big shiny silver phonograph records with movies on them, and then CDs, and then my dad's computer could talk to his coworker's computer across town, and then all hell broke loose.

Today I could ride my bike almost all the way to work in freezing drizzle, miserably cold, teeth chattering, soaked right down to the base layers, realize I'd forgotten my phone at home, and I would turn right around and go back and get it.

Not that it would do me much good. One of the hazards of biking to work in arctic temperatures is that, by the time you get there, you are unable to operate your smartphone because the touchscreen thinks your icy finger is an inanimate object.

All these innovations, though, pale by comparison to the greatest invention ever known to man. They've gone and invented - get this - a cat pill that tastes like a kitty treat.

I mean, I'm assuming it tastes like a kitty treat. I just know I have to be careful the fat young one doesn't steal the skinny old one's medicine. This invention alone, unsung though it is (I mean, I just stumbled across the bottle of brewer's yeast pills at the grocery store, read the description, snorted "Yeah, right" and then bought them anyway, because I don't always make smart buying decisions) must have saved countless human lives already.

And really I should go back and spend some more time in the pet aisle at the store. It's entirely possible they've come up with a cat shampoo that makes your cat think it's sprawled out on a sunny patio peaceably licking what's left of its harbles.

So forget flying cars, which were a terrible idea anyway, when you consider how incompetent most people are to handle earthbound ones. Your grandchildren won't even remember a day when you unquestionably paid a blood tribute for the privilege of caring for your furry friends. The future is now.

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