Friday, February 19, 2016

Back To Which Future?

Pitchers and catchers report this week for all Major League Baseball teams, which means that it is just about the time for those of us who call ourselves Cubs fans to start making excuses for the 2016 season. Last year was a nice ride, and for a moment or two, I even started to believe. I blame this on Marty McFly. Back in 1989, Marty went back to the future where he encountered a time stream in which the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. That was last year. It was one of the things that Robert Zemeckis predicted that did not happen.
He got some things right. Hands-free gaming consoles. Video phones. Personal drones. But not that big win for the North Side of Chicago. I wouldn't expect perfect precognition from something that came out of the coke-fueled eighties - pardon me - Pepsi-fueled, but this is the kind of thing that can really stick with a person. Especially when you add in that whole hoverboard thing.
I remember the first time I saw a hoverboard. That's what they call those little wheeled devices that people stand on to roll them about without having to expend any real effort. They don't hover. They creep about at speeds just below the average pace of human beings walking. Slowly. The first one I saw gave me pause because I was trying to discern what method of locomotion I was seeing. It wasn't a skateboard, since there was no one-leg kick to make the wheels turn. It crept forward like a Segway without a handlebar that was low on batteries. I decided then and there that I would never own such a machine. It was de-evolution. It was most definitely not the zippy piece of hardware shown off by Marty McFly as he raced about the town square. This one moved at a pace more suited to those scooters that get folks from slot machine to slot machine in Vegas when they are too old or drunk or both to perambulate themselves.
I have this vision of a different time stream in which none of what was predicted came true, and here's Marty McFly, staring at his "hoverboard." The one that will burst in to flame without any notice. No Cubs World Series. No life of leisure because daddy struck it rich with his science fiction novels. Just a series of name-tag jobs and a bunch of leftover payments from that truck he always wanted. All those pretty dreams are tattered and torn. Except for those hands-free video games. Feel free to dance around your living room to your heart's delight, miming the pennant chase. The one where the Cubs win. Oh yay.

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