Time Bandits Bureau:
As you know, Off-Kilter is one of only two syndicated
columnists in the world with access to Caltechs
experimental time machine. The other is Dr. Joyce
Brothers, but she uses the time machine for evil, not
good. Or maybe were the columnist who uses it for
evil; we forget.
Anyway, the point is, we recently sent our time-traveling
journalist to the year 2400 to pick up some groceries
that havent been invented yet, such as Pillsburys
Poppin Fresh Soylent Green and I Cant Believe
Its Not Partially Hydrogenated Trisodium Methyl
Phosphate With Yellow Dye No. 345.
Unfortunately, our correspondent is now stuck in a
massive time-travel traffic jam. Apparently, many
citizens of the future live in other eras and commute to
work via time machine. For instance, some live in the
1950s because housing is cheap and schools are safe. But
during rush hour, it can take them hours to travel a few
centuries, especially if theres an accident in the
On the day our correspondent departed, a nuclear-powered
big rig overturned in the year 2218, forcing traffic to
detour through the Middle Ages. During the backup, our
driver pulled over in the year 2005 and filed a report on
several news items from the near future:
-- July 2001: Flexing some political muscle now
that the Republican Party no longer controls the Senate,
Democrats introduce a bill to increase the number of
three-day weekends by making all holidays fall on Mondays.
Beginning in 2002, New Years Day will be on the
first Monday of January. Other holidays switching to
Mondays are the Fourth of July, Ash Wednesday and Easter.
-- December 2001: As the recession deepens, TV
networks cut costs by firing high-paid actors and
replacing them with spliced-in characters from old shows
and films. The reconfigured series include Dharma
and Greg Brady, Buffy the
Flintstone Slayer and The Wild
Wild West Wing (in which President Bartlet is
attacked by an 80-foot-tall mechanical tarantula). In
related news, concert promoters announce a reunion of
Crosby, Stills and Nash Bridges.
-- August 2003: Riots erupt in major U.S. cities
after reports that the FDA is testing a new drug that
gives people more patience. As soon as the story leaks,
demonstrators pour into the streets demanding that the
drug be approved for sale. We want patience
and we want it now! they chant.
Alarming Trends Bureau: A website called
HQ20 is selling bottles of water filled from office water
coolers at Yahoo, Wired and other high-tech firms.
Weird Polls Bureau: People who eat
popcorn at movies are three times more likely to cry
during the flick than non-popcorn eaters, according to a
survey by Screenvision Cinema Promotions, which also
attached free samples of Lever 2000 antibacterial hand
wipes to each popcorn bag. The survey then asked what
other free products people would like to see attached to
popcorn bags. But the answers were pretty unimaginative:
a CD, breath mint, coupon or beauty product. How about
popcorn bags attached to Cadillacs, blimps or Fort Knox?
Groupie Barbie: Mattel, which is
obviously on drugs, has just released N Sync #1 Fan
Barbie, a doll that sports a tie-dyed N Sync T-shirt
and waves an I Love N Sync
Apocalypse Now: June is National
Accordion Awareness Month. Will Mattel introduce an
Accordion Awareness Barbie?
Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week:
Rooster Kills Four in Petting Zoo Rampage!
(Weekly World News)
Internetwire.com, Wireless Flash News Service, Chicago
Copyright © 2001 by Roy Rivenburg
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