My Story About 2020 Written in 1996
This is another very OLD piece of writing that I had penned as part of an assignment in seventh grade when I was 13 in a special yearlong program called Watershed. My teachers, Mr. Springer and Mr. Silcox, helped build my confidence in writing creatively.
I remember at the time being so excited about that future year—it will definitely be incredible!
The year? 2020.
Obviously, no one knew what horrors awaited us in the new Roaring Twenties (or whatever people will call this scary time in our history now—The Polarizing Twenties before the fall of social media?), but I wanted to save for posterity what MY predictions were in the mid-nineties and how they've lined up with reality.
AMERICAN DIARY #7
Assignment: Using information you have learned from our reading, our discussions and our trips, describe as fully and as clearly as you can the experiences of a person living in our area in the year 2020. Imagine what it might be like here in the not too distant future, based on what it is like here now. Use sensory details to depict the region and your life style as realistically as possible. How has the area changed? Be sure to explain how major systems function in the future: water treatment, waste water treatment, solid waste management, energy, transportation, communication, and so forth. What will your home be like? What will education be like? What kind of job will you have? What will the major problems or concerns be then? [Ed. note: From 2023...HAHAHAHA]
*Note: I have corrected some spelling and punctuation errors I'd made as a teenager just learning grammar, typing on a computer (we had just gotten a new Hewlett Packard family computer recently) and other stuff, but I tried to keep it as close as possible to the content of the original work.
Bo has some thoughts about the future heh
"Get up, get up!" I wake up next to my husband, who is snoring heavily, and try to get up to shut off our annoying computer alarm, but I take a few minutes. My back aches as I lean forward and shut off our alarm.
"Darn, I forgot to put John's nose pads on again. Honey, wake up!" I said, nudging him out of bed, "time to get to the office."
I pulled John out of bed and pushed him into the bathroom. While he took his shower, I pushed the "make bed" button on the wall.
"You know," I told John, "I remember when I had to make my bed. Such a chore it was, so I always put it off and never did it. My mother, you remember her don't you, Julie? Well anyway, she was always mad at me, and I was always in trouble. I am so happy we now have buttons which take care of almost everything we do."
While John showered, I sent our robot Rosie (named after the Jetsons' robot) to start breakfast. I told her what we wanted, and she turned and headed to the kitchen. I got on the computer and connected to Jerry and Sherry's computers.
"Get up, you guys, or you'll be late," I told them.
After a few seconds, I knew they were still asleep. I connected again and this time shouted,
"If you don't get up right this instant, I'll make you stay home and be taught by Mrs. Hingle, your favorite teacher!" I said, the last part sarcastically. In one minute precisely, they rushed down and sat for breakfast.
"Oh, Mom," Jerry groaned. "Pills again?"
"Yes," I said, "It's healthy and good for you."
We ate in silence until I brought up a subject John and I have been discussing lately.
"John, I wonder if we should get a new school. I am for it and think since the population of Melgville is increasing, more children need school education instead of computer education."
"Oh, Jess. If more kids are on the computer, our kids will have a better chance of a better education and more attention. I say leave it the way it is."
"John," I whined, but suddenly I turned my head to the window and saw troops of kids heading off to school and Jerry and Sherry's friends waiting for them patiently.
"You'd better get going, kids. Don't forget your laptops."
I gave them their computers and they left.
"Well," I said to John, "I'd better get to work."
I got on my computer and connected to the office of the Melgville Times. I sent over a new editorial and was faxed a few articles. First I checked them manually, then I typed them up and faxed them back to the office.
I typed, "Is there anything else I need to do?"
I received: "No."
I got up, stretched, and told John I was going to run my errands.
"Is there anything you need?" I asked.
"Well, now that you mentioned it, I do need a golf-teaching chip," said John.
"Okay," I replied.
I went off to the station. In a few minutes, I got on the monorail. I looked around and saw Jane, one of my good friends.
"Hi, Jane. How's the new job you have?" I asked.
"Oh. It's so much better than before. Now you can't tell the waste water's stench from regular water," Jane replied.
"Fantastic. Where are you stopping at?" I asked. "I have to stop at the Comp. USA store."
"Me too! We can go together," Jane said.
So we walked to the different shops and looked around. We went to the computer section and saw new games, virtual reality equipment and lots of other new things.
We looked around a little more and then got back on the Melgville monorail.
"I am starved," I told Jane. "Let's stop at the Sealife Cafe."
We got off when we saw the claw arches, and we walked over.
"Mmm, I can smell the lobster cooking. Let's go!" I said.
We walked in through the sparkling gold doors. We went up to the reservation table and I told them my name.
"Oh, Ms. Lasak, right this way," Pierre said.
We followed him and got to our favorite table area.
"Thank you, Pierre. I would like a glass of your finest Crustacean Champagne," I told him.
"Very well. And for you, Ms. Smith?" asked Pierre.
"Oh, the Sproke sounds exquisite."
"Fine. I will be back soon."
The robot handed us our laptops and left.
"Hmm, let's see what the special is today," I told Jane.
I typed in "special" and in 5 tenths of a second I got back lobster in a butter sauce with clam chowder as an appetizer: $65.00.
"Oh, my favorite meal and at a relatively cheap price," I remarked.
"I think I'll get that too," Jane added.
"Okay." I typed in "2 specials J. Smith+J. Lasak table 5."
I sent the message and we waited. I kept looking down at my watch and by thirty tenths of a second later our food had not arrived.
I started to type up a complaint, and as I was typing furiously, I spoke to Jane.
"Goodness, you would think the service here would be faster here than those McDonald's," I said with disgust.
Just as I almost finished typing, the lobsters tantalized my senses.
"Oh, so here you are. The service here is so extremely slow; it's about the same speed as McDonald's service overall," I said to the waiter angrily.
"We're so sorry, Madams. Please, please stay and eat your food. Dessert is on la Maison."
"Alright. Just speed up your service, and we will continue to have our meal here," I replied.
"Anything you wish, Madam," the waiter said.
The robot waiter left and in front of our faces were two steaming plates of Maine Lobster (which was very plentiful and cheap now that pollution and overfishing don't exist) and melted butter and two bowls of magnificent-smelling clam chowder with crackers.
"Well, as the French say, 'Bon Apetit'!" I told Jane.
I drenched a large piece of lobster meat with my melted butter and ate it delicately. I then picked up my spoon and dipped it into the delicious chowder.
"Oh, this is great. Isn't it, Jane?"
"I have to agree with you this time, Jess!"
"Next time I think we should get the artichokes. One is enough for two or three people now with the super-sized vegetables growing everywhere. I love artichokes."
"Good idea, Jess. Let's get the robot waiter for our dessert."
"Pierre, I typed for dessert."
The robot came over and said, "Alright, ladies, for dessert your choices are Key Lime Pie, Jewish Apple Cake, or our special for today, Lemon Meringue."
"Ooh," we both said at the same time. "Key Lime Pie."
"Fine. I will try to speed up the service this time, Madam," he said and exited from our sight.
He came back in five tenths of a second.
"Good work. However...you never served us our drinks!!!" I said, raising my voice a bit at the end.
"I think you're right, Jess," said Jane.
"We will take our pies with us. Bill my account, here is my number, sir," I said to the waiter.
"Fine and good riddance," the robot said angrily.
We took our pies and stormed out of the cafe.
"I can't believe these robots. They are getting more and more rude by each hundredth of a second," I shouted to the world.
"Jess, calm down. Let's stop and eat our pie at the recreation area."
We both hopped on to the monorail and headed for the recreation area. When we got there, we skipped over to our favorite spot, a shaded tree area with a beautiful view of the land.
We ate the pie and talked about our childhoods, and how the world has changed since the 1980s and 1990s when we were little. How long ago it was!
"Oh, look at the time! I have to go, Jane. See you later."
I went to the monorail station and waited. It was very crowded because the monorail was used by nearly everyone since cars had become so unpopular. When it came, I hopped on and sat down. We soon arrived at the neighborhood station and I got off. When I had neared the house, I could tell that something was wrong.
I walked into the house and saw John yelling at Travis, the family dog.
"Why are you yelling at him?" I said.
"Travis got into the dinner pills and ate them all," John replied.
"Oh, Travis," I said.
"Rosie," I called, "Please go to the restaurant area and buy new pills."
Rosie rushed out and I asked John, "I heard there was a water treatment problem. Do you think it's affected our water?"
"No, that's too far away," replied John.
"We're back," Jerry and Sherry said together as they ran through the door.
"Hi, kids. How was school?"
"Great," Jerry said.
"Today we learned about Solid Waste and how we have greatly reduced the amount of garbage by having small breakfasts and dinners and lunch as the main meal," Sherry told me.
"Can we play on our computers?" asked Jerry.
"Yes, but only until dinner," I replied.
While the kids raced upstairs, Rosie came back with the pills.
I went into the kitchen and pushed the "make table" button. As soon as I'd pressed it, four china plates appeared with four glasses and napkins.
I got on the computer downstairs and connected to the kids. Both groaned loudly as I typed—What would you like to drink, Sproke or Orilk? I waited thirty seconds (they always take so long to reply) and received the message "two Sprokes." I sat up, went back to the Kitchen and pressed "2" and "Sproke" and "2 Spanchanes" for John and me. In two minutes, dinner was ready and the machine had poured the beverages. I hopped onto the computer connected to the kids and typed in—
Much quicker than before, the kids came and sat down. We always checked if we were healthy or sick by sticking one finger into a computer sensor. We all did so and found we are all healthy. After that, we sat down and ate our pills flavored to each person's taste. Mine was flavored strawberry. After we ate, we all gulped down our drinks and left the table. As usual, the kids left immediately while John and I lingered behind.
"Oh, John, I forgot to tell you that I got the chip that you wanted. Here you are," I said, handing him the chip.
"Thanks, Jess. I'm going to try it out right now."
John left, and I went and checked on the solar panels. This was one of my daily chores. After I checked, I went upstairs and took my shower. I was finished by 9:00 PM, which is the time the whole family goes to bed.
I slipped into bed, kissed John, and said,
These two teachers sparked my creativity in a way no one else had ever done in my life by offering me real encouragement. All of my writing is indebted to them!