What’s this, a breach of the universe’s space-time continuum? Announced by an eerily familiar screeching noise followed by a repeating dial tone. Tattered, yellowed sheets of paper, one after another, float down into the holding tray of — wait for it — a fax machine.
The document’s cover page reads “From: Future Stu“; “To: Stu“; “Subject: Amazing“). A 10-point outline on the second page is cryptically titled “Things You Should Know [or Should’ve Known].”
The text begins with this ominous quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca, an observation made more than 2,000 years ago, before Christ and certainly pre-dating fax machines:
“There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them.”
Here are the dramatic revelations:
- The authenticity of literally every photo and post on social media is dubious.
- Reservations are required to pump gas.
- Candy scented gun smoke for assault rifles is attracting more youthful users.
- Tesla owners proudly sport MAGA stickers.
- The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upholds Trump’s guilty verdict for treason; the GOP en masse claim a decade-long bout of amnesia.
- Taylor Swift writes her first hit song … about not getting dumped.
- Countries respond to food insecurity by issuing households vitamin-rich crickets and tomato plant seeds.
- Personal fresh-air cannisters are as familiar as bottled water.
- Evangelical Christian voters back “Jesus” write-in campaign; Jews counter with “Sandy Koufax.”
- Florida secedes from the Union and [to save the flag] is replaced by Puerto Rico.
Foreboding, dark matter, right?! Evidently, as a civilization we are either remarkably arrogant or remarkably ignorant — or both — to believe we know/knew what is best for future generations.
Hold on? A third page is coming through. Scrawled across the page, “There’s still time to get your shit together, for your descendants’ sake.” With this footnote, “More instructions will follow.” * (Scribbled on, then off the edge, this numerical sequence: “10-33-41-47-“?)
* Credit for inspiration, this classic episode from “The Office”