In the future, we’ll all own bomb-proof pods that we can move about the landscape in. The pods will be made of material designed to be invisible, but over time dings and dents and street goo will accumulate on their surfaces, and the shell encasing each of us will become apparent. It will also become apparent when we go to hug each other and end up colliding before we get close enough, ricocheting off one another like bumper cars, and falling on our asses.
Yes, it will be difficult to ride a bike, but this is the price you pay to be in a protective, impenetrable pod. And at the end of the day, you can enter your garage and park your bomb-proof pod, go inside your bullet-proof house with its not-quite-invisible protective geodesic dome, exchange a few hugs, shower up and hit the sack! When you leave again the following day, it’s back into the pod.
As my friend Mark likes to say, “That’s Freedom.”
The pods will be heavily-used by school children, who must never venture out without a protective shell, needless to say. There are many dangers out there, and our spineless leaders would like to help but they have a long list of moments of silence to attend to before they can eliminate dangers. It’s one of the oddities about being a leader.
Keep in mind that these pods are on back order for a couple of decades.
If I were a genius, my aim would be to be very stable, as those are the kind of geniuses that my data tell me are in short supply these days.
Unstable geniuses? They’re everywhere. You can’t walk down a country lane without encountering an unstable genius. You find them encamped in the local greasy spoon in West Podunk, VT, seemingly normal until you sit down beside them and order poached eggs over corned beef hash, whereupon they start ranting about string theory and shake you down for your opinion of it. But the only theory you have related to string involves cheese, your theory being that string cheese is actually not cheese, but almost-edible plastic.
Watch out, because your average unstable genius will get ticked off when s/he attempts to explain the nature of matter, the relationship between particles, and the origins of our universe, only to be confounded by your mind-numbing references to a dairy product.
If I represented you in the court of public opinion, I’d say, “Look, where is my client, the average dunce, supposed to have heard about string theory anyway, in the fake science books?” And then I’d make references to your coming to this country via chain migration from some shithole, which will tick off your long-form birth certificate-wielding American mother.
As I write this, I realize that while I’m not, personally, a genius, I nevertheless am becoming more and more unstable by the minute.
Heading back to my own personal shithole to see if my long-form Canadian citizenship documents are in good working order.
Do you know the difference between you and me?
Well, first of all, I have a bigger nuclear button. I mean my nuclear button makes your nuclear button look like a split pea. For example, I’m told your button can wipe out one of my cities. When I hear that, I can’t stop giggling.
Because I can wipe out two of yours. More!
My button can wipe out your whole country and several others at the same time. In this sense, I am the clear winner, having wiped out a greater portion of the world’s inhabitable space than you did, and contaminating the surrounding region for several generations. How ya like me now?!
It’s clear that you are an unhinged egomaniac, but I am prepared to overwhelm you with an even greater degree of unhinged egomania than you possess. Because I have that. And also, I am planning to emcee the upcoming MOST UNHINGED AND EGOMANIACAL AWARDS OF THE YEAR ceremony, which I declare is a “must not miss!”
If you attend the awards ceremony, be advised that the dress code is creative unhinged egomaniacal black tie.
Eventually, I’m going to retire from my current role as a quiet player in backroom diplomatic negotiations that foster world peace, and when I do I’m going to open a shop called “Pat’s Bike and Brew.” I’ve always wanted to open a shop that combines two of the things I most love in this crazy, mixed-up world of ours. This will be a place where you can get your bike serviced, purchase tools and parts, and get maintenance advice. Or just shoot the breeze over a couple of Belgian golden ales, brewed right there on site. Needless to say, I’ll brew the beer. It’s not like I don’t have significant experience with it.
It’s just occurring to me, and probably already occurred to you, that authorities may not be so pleased with a bike shop serving beer. Can you imagine a car dealership serving beer to patrons while they wait for their alternator to be replaced? I’m sure you can, and so can lawyers who have made a career out of suing car dealers.
So I have a better idea: “Pat’s Watch and Clock. And Beer.” As a person with many watches and clocks, several of which don’t work, I’m just the right person to show enthusiasm for your love of old mechanical timepieces, which are easily outperformed by cheap plastic devices with Disney characters on their faces. As we talk about the beauty of grandpa’s old Illinois Regulator watch and all its little gears and springs and jewels, we can uncork a couple of Abbey Ales. Just don’t spill any droplets into the movement, because my Abbey Ales have a fair bit of unfermentable sugars in them and will make a sticky mess of grandpa’s precious pocket watch.
With this in mind, it may be best to go with “Pat’s Radio Repair, and Good Beer.” I like old radios, especially when you can find a baseball game on them. And I like good beer when I’m listening to baseball. In my radio repair shop, you can bring in an old Telefunken tube radio that used to play The Shadow in the 1940s. I will find the offending dead tube and get a replacement from an online supplier that has purchased the whole world’s remaining supply of radio tubes. And then you and I toast me with a glass or two of my dry-hopped Hefeweizen while listening to the staticy a.m. signal, until you, as a lightweight, get drunk on my beer and pissed off that the radio only plays “traffic on the 3s” and foreign language radio programs instead of The Lone Ranger. And then you throw the radio across the room, smashing it to bits.
Maybe I’ll just open a beer tasting room instead.