Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The shape, color and texture of things to come

If you're waiting for me to comment on the US election and Prop 8 -- call back tomorrow, when it's all over barring the shouting, and when I've thrown off the gastro I picked up somewhere. I spent the wee small hours of the morning in the bathroom, feeling like dying, and insufficient of my brain cells are in functional order today for me to say anything remarkable. Or even particularly intelligent.

But at least I can be interesting. As a science fiction writer, I always take a keen interest in what the near future is likely to look, sound and work like. And it's not always what you might be hoping for.

Get ready for cramped style and melted cool:

SF offers us flying cars and incredible aerodynes ... costing about a gazillion dollars each. In fact, this is Nissan's next generation small car -- ie., the one ordinary working stiffs (like you and me) will be able to afford. Now, let's see how much luck you have, cruising for coooool dudes (and/or babes, if you prefer) in this contraption. The last time you saw something like this, Roger Rabbit was driving it ... and it was a joke. This object hails from the '08 Paris Motor Show. Yeek.

If the Nissan Roger-Rabbit-mobile is just too far out for you (and I can't blame you), try this puppy. I call it Renault's little joke. They certainly can't have been serious. It has 93.7% less cool than the average Tinkertoy. This one is the automotive equivalent of Thomas the Tank Engine. Yurk. Also from the '08 Paris Motor Show, gods help us.

This is what you'll be wearing in 2017 for cleaning house.

By then, housework is tipped to be a tag-team event, where unisex partners like these take turns to invert each other through 180 degrees, dunk one another in the bucket of sudsy water, and I'd better shut up now before someone throws something.

But, really, the mop heads come in seven different colors, and are nanotech, where the filth and grime from those floors on which the cat threw up and the puppy forget he wasn't outside wash right off. The rest of the apparel is made in HypaStretch Spandex, so one size fits all, up to XXXXL ... though the manufacturers refuse to take responsibility for what their product actually looks like under such hyperextension...

All you couch potatoes will be zipping down to the grocery store for your chips'n'dips and pork rinds and deep fried Mars bars and beers and ice cream, aboard something like this.

The helmet comes in very handy when civilians panic when they see you going by; stuff 327lbs of blubber into one of these suits, put it on wheels and send it careening off to the store ... a certain amount of panic is perfectly understandable; and people *do* tend to throw things when they freak out.

So be sure to wear the helmet at all times; failure to do so will invalidate the warranty of the Gyroscoot Couchie-Moover.

As of 2020, human females are going to be genetically engineered to be bald and have humongous feet. However, until the necessary research has been performed and tested, you'll be able to get a jump on "the look" cosmetically, with designer head shaving and the new Bigfoot range of quality footwear coming soon to a mall near you. This "look" has been trademarked and patented by Asylum Boot'n'Shoobiz, who are currently thrashing out the third party liability insurance implications. Of greatest concern is how much is to be awarded when someone gets dizzy and falls of their shoes.

Meanwhile, if you thought the Thinking Guy was going to get away scot free and keep his kewl while the unisexers and the females of our species were looking like they just walked (or biked) out of a 1960s SF movie shot in ten days on a budget of $225.42 ... think again.

Just when you were thinking you'd be able to swan around like Captain Kirk, come 2017 ... the demigods of fashion have decreed that you'll be looking like a walking towel rack when you climb about your Gyroscoot Couchie Moover.

Just don't forget the helmet. Looking like this, you're going to need it, when people lob cartons of Nappy-San at you.

Think you'll opt out of the high-fashion end of the industry and try for the modest, conservative look? Good for you. But it's gonna take some doing.

You see, after decades of telling you that you gotta be in the gym, pumping away so you can look like Arnie, Sly, and the rest of 'em ... well, the fashion gurus of tomorrow are about to do a one-eighty on you.

By 2012, muscles are going to be verboten. They'll be like, so ten minutes ago. You'll be mailordering illegal products like Muscle-away, and Physique-buster, and Shoulder-squincher, to make your muscles vamoos, leaving you looking like ... a hills hoist wearing a tie and kewl shades.

The market leading product is tipped to be LuckyLegs (TM) -- "they'll be so skinny people will tell you, you're lucky they carry you around." This, of course it "the look" that's been foisted on young females for the last several decades, so why should they have all the fun? They'll into bald heads and humongous feet, so guys can exercise their rights to spaghetti legs and banana arms. And cooooool shades.

Of course, no one's actually going to notice what you look like, with or without your Bigfoot Boots and your green helmet ... or even your duds. Because we're all going to be living and working in towns where the buildings have had their shapes, colors and textures inspired by Nature. Welcome to Fungusville, population 788,941, where the buildings grow themselves to accommodate population blowout as needed, so long as you just remember to put plenty of (synthetic) cow poop in the basement, leave the roller doors up, and pray for rain. The bigger the population gets, the taller Fungusville grows. And then there's...

The bananascraper, which speaks for itself, and has been known to produce allergic reactions in certain residents.

People have have known to come out in hives from head to foot, so, before taking up residence there (where an apartment can be purchased for a measly $22,847,999.95), be sure to first perform a patch test, and make sure you won't be wearing your green Gyroscoot Couchie-Moover helmet so your fellow coworkers over at the office in Fungusville won't be freaking when they see your latest crop of, uh, hives.

Y'know, I think I'll stick with the bluejeans and sweaters, and keep on driving the old Holden beater, and live in the countryside. I might be an SF writer, but I don't think I'm going to want to participate in the more fashionable side of it!

Ciao for now,

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