Remember when all of the Western World was panicked about Y2K? Remember all that? A design flaw in computers was going to make planes fall out of the sky, buildings catch on fire, milkshakes lose their flavor and allow the zombie hordes to rise from the graveyards and eat the flesh of our slow-moving elderly and most Left-Wing Democrats.

For those who might be wondering, I would prefer flesh-eating zombies beating at my door to a country filled with Leftists. If that sounds strange, keep in mind that zombies don’t breed and you can legally shoot them in the head, — but I sense that I digress so I’ll simply remind everyone that nothing happened on 1 Jan 2000.

A new century began and I was glad because I knew we were entering a phase where we were only one year away from the glory of 2001. Science fiction films had promised me a lot over the previous four decades and I was ready for the big payoff.

I should have known that something was amiss when the moon wasn’t blasted out of orbit in 1999. I would have probably paid more attention to this discrepancy had Steve Martin not already explained that we’d all moved to a new Earth when the old one blew up. I figured since he was right about the whole King Tut thing, he certainly had this one covered.

 

So, I took it all in stride and looked forward to getting my first floating car. I’d watched them working on it and knew that if Luke Skywalker could cruise around in a pink one I had nothing to worry about. Did any of you ever notice that Luke Skywalker, the guy who fought Darth Vader twice and hacked aliens up with the coolest sword ever drove a pink car? I did, — but I didn’t care. It hovered and that’s all that mattered. I knew I was gonna get one in 2001 because the best techs on the planet were already working really hard on it.

Forget the guy”s haircut. He was still one of the best scientists we had and before you make fun of him, keep in mind that these were the guys who teamed up with Ronald Reagan and won the Cold War.

I was ready to shell out some big cash in 2001 for my own hovermobile with a bumper sticker that said “Eat this, George Jetson!”.

Instead, I now drive a Ford truck. Its a true guy vehicle but it certainly doesn’t fly through the air. In hindsight, that’s probably a good thing because had I given the finger to the Jetson family, they might have taken revenge and had Rosie convince my cleaning robot to hide my underwear in the wrong drawer.

In case you didn”t catch that rather subtle and smooth transition, I’m revealing that I was also going to have my own house cleaning robot. I spent a lot of my youth thinking about these sorts of things which is why I didn’t grow up to become a lawyer or a surgeon. Still, as far as robots go, I thought my standards were pretty low. My main criteria was that they didn’t try to exterminate me like the Cylons always tried to do. Given that parameter, I had my options narrowed down to a couple of potential helper designs.

I liked this guy because I figured he would also help work on my flying car when I wanted that extra kick from one of the blower fans that kept it in the air.

— or, I was thinking about going with something like the popular ED-209 series. Certainly the 209 had a couple of technical issues but it was still a bad, bad design, — and in 80s-speak, that means it was freaking awesome!!!

Instead, more than a decade after the fact, I’m still supposed to be impressed with my micro-wave. In actual fact, I am impressed with my micro-wave but I still want the robot with all the 50-cal machine-guns mounted on each side!

At first, these shortfalls didn’t really bother me because I knew that if a few things were lagging behind in development, such as most everything that had been promised to me, I could simply opt to use a sleeper chamber and snooze away for about 100 or so years until technology caught up to my expectations.

However, I’m still got me on the waiting list because this thing hasn’t shown up either.  I’ve made it clear that I can get my own silver suit but that didn’t speed up the process, which kinda bums me out.

“Bums me out” is another 70s term for those of you keeping track.

A lot of days, sleeping away for a century or so doesn’t sound too bad. Sure, you’d miss a few things, like watching your grandchildren grow up and associating with people who didn’t regard you as a Neanderthal that crawled out of his cave. Still, you need to measure that against the opportunity to put $20,000 in a good stock and then wake up super filthy rich with a hover car?

The more cautious among you might regard this as a foolish plan.

I want to assure each of you that I’m not a foolish guy. I recognize the danger of waking up in a world full of robots that look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and want to slaughter every remaining trace of mankind or being stuck on a planet ruled by apes but I think the odds are actually in my favor. My fear isn’t that nuclear annihilation will force me to drive a hot rod down the road and fight homosexual bikers wearing leather pants with their ass hanging out. In fact, the entire Road Warrior thing strikes me as pretty cool and I would get the chance to find out once and for all who really does run Barter-Town.

My bigger fear is that even after 100 years, the scientists still might not be able to get it together.

If that sounds pessimistic, keep in mind that I was also promised a holographic phone in 2001 and the techies didn’t deliver anything of the sort. Instead, I have this:

I’ll admit, the iPhone would have made Captain Kirk as green with jealousy as that Orion Slave girl that let me know that outer space would have its own share of fun and games but it is definitely not a holographic device and I don’t expect that there will be any sort of hologram application coming out soon so in my mind, this is another broken promise.

For those of you who are wondering, Facetime doesn’t count.

Since I’m already whining about how the American-Industrial machine has failed me, I’ll take a moment to add that I’m also disappointed in our Space Program. Admittedly, I already thought it was lagging but when President Obama directed that the primary mission of NASA was to make the populations of Muslim countries feel good about themselves (Read Article Here), I was sincerely shaking my head. I honestly couldn’t imaging Ronald Reagan telling the senior staff at NASA to forget the whole shuttle program and devote the remaining money to assuring Pakistan that we think they’re cool.

But beyond the madness of transforming the National Air and Space Administration into a giant Islamic outreach center, the whole shuttle program was SOOOOO 80s. It was cool but I want to know where they’ve been hiding the space planes that were supposed to guard our orbital platforms.

I remember seeing this painting hanging in a hallway of a military command building a few months after I joined the service. It had a lot of text describing how this plane would be in operational development in the 1990s and would be defending our nation by the turn of the century. I was pretty happy about that because to me, this looked like it could really kick some ass and I figured that we could give the Russians some good payback for that whole Sputnik thing.

I now recognize it as yet another of the broken promise.

Not that I’m entirely unhappy about how things turned out.

We have the Internet and if you think about it, it really is an invention that shouldn’t be wasted on normal humans. You can think up any concept you like and be learning about it in 20 seconds. YouTube and Netflix alone are worth giving up my hover car, especially since I can access all of it from a laptop or an iPhone. I can carry an entire library of information in my pocket and that’s not an embellishment.  I can literally carry an entire library in my pocket!!!

Seriously, how bithcin’ is that? And yes, for any young folks reading this, “bitchin'” was a phrase I used a lot in the 70s.

And while I’m ranting about little boxes whose names start with a small “i”, my iPod still remains one of the neatest things I’ve ever owned.  I order documentary series and load them up so I can watch them while working out on the the elliptical machine.  I restrict my viewing to some pretty geeky stuff, like the Discovery Channel show “Dogfights” and “Digging for the Truth” but that’s just my boring personality. Normal people can immediately access more viewing than the richest American had available to them in an entire year in the 70s. All this can now fit on an 80 gig internal drive and that same device can also be used to call your spouse and tell them what you want for dinner.

Further, everyone in America buys stuff off of Amazon but have you really stopped and thought about how incredible this is?

Can you imagine if you’d told someone in the 70s that they would be able to sit in a coffee shop with a magic book that flipped open and connected to the entire world. Imagine their face when you said they could think up anything they wanted to purchase and have it delivered to their front door and the whole transaction would take less than three minutes. Further, they wouldn’t have to take a single dollar out of their pocket.

They would scoff in your face but that is our modern reality.

Amazing!

I used to think the transporter on Star Trek was pretty fantastic but Amazon beats it hands down. I can get whatever I want and not have to worry about my molecules being scattered halfway across the galaxy. Plus, I never have to fear getting lost again.  While I”m on the Trek mode, do you remember that episode where they were trapped on the planet and the Enterprise couldn’t figure out where they were and because of that, they couldn’t rescue them? If you can’t, don”t worry because that was every episode of Star Trek ever made. Except now, I wouldn’t be one of those poor schmucks, even if I were wearing a red shirt, because I have a GPS and it can tell anyone looking for me where I am to a fidelity of ten feet. If someone comes looking for me now and still can’t find me, all I have to do is take one step forward and punch them in the face.

Yet, despite all the developments, I still miss the world that was promised to me.  I don’t know why but somehow, I still feel something is missing. I always thought the world of silver and gleaming chrome would have something really special about it. I just can’t quite put my finger on it anymore, although if I didn’t have a non-chromified woman of my own waiting at home, I’d sure as Hell would like to try.

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