Apparently, modern day futurists are tired of being ridiculed about the ill-guided predictions of the past. Futurists these days are making more modest predictions. Mr. Bosmatic bristled when I asked him "how come we're not all zipping around in solar powered rocket cars, like you guys predicted?" He explained. "Hey it wasn't my prediction! That was back in the fifties Hell, I was in diapers back then." He continues: "And cars that will automatically drive to your destination, that's another one people nag me about Jeepers, give me a break already!"
Mr. Bosmatic does have a few predictions he will stand by. For example, he believes that well into the future, cars will continue to come in assorted colors. "Most likely blacks and silvers with maybe a couple shades of your deep greens." He also predicts that someday, a few of the higher end autos may come equipped with "on board" computers "But, hey, let's not hold our breath, that kind of star-wars gadgetry is nothing we'll see in our lifetime."
Impressed with his knowledge, and plus he was the only person that would talk with me. I, S. Lyle OConnor, decided to interview this visionary man for UNSPORTSMANLIKE COMMENT. He agreed, if I bought drinks. Fair enough. We hoofed it over to Curly’s Pub and nabbed a table close to the bar, where Kelly, a tall frosty blond honey with glasses served us honey blond ale in tall frosty glasses…
Q: We've already talked about car colors and on-board computers, what else do you see on the horizon for automakers?
A: Well, for one, I'm thinking they will continue to have upholstered seating, of some kind, inside the vehicle. Be it a man-made or natural material. Yeah, I don't see that changing Probably, the biggest change will be the rubber roads.
Q: Rubber roads, huh? That's funny, Mike, the editor of the KAM report says the same thing. He's been saying it for years.
A: Definitely true. The roads will be made out of rubber; it's the tires that will be concrete. Also the roads will be color-coded, with the color mixed right into the rubber! With this system, following directions and reading maps will be dirt simple. Imagine this: "Take the blue road south, till it merges with the red road, then continue along the purple road, when it turns mauve, get in the right lane, the exit for the gray road is coming up." You can't get much simpler then that!
Q: Ingenious! So, what is your feeling on gas prices?
A: Right now we are paying way too much. But, I see gas prices dropping in the next couple of weeks. I figure it'll be around 38 cents a gallon by the end of summer.
Q: 38 cents a gallon!!! That's unbelievable! Do you have information that supports such an outrageous prediction?
A: Yes. Yes I do.
Q: What do you think has been the most important development in automotive technology in the last twenty years?
A: Cup holders. With time delayed windshield wipers a close second.
Q: Cup holders? Windshield wipers? What about air bags, anti-lock brakes?
A: What? Anti-lock airbags? I'm not familiar with them
Q: No, I said "anti-lock brakes."
A: Nope. Not familiar with them either.
Q: Ah, ok (I'm left speechless.) So, what do you think of this beer? Greys honey blond ale.
A: Not much. Beer flavored water -- I'd call it. Can we get something with some hair on it?
I agreed. I noticed it was shift change for the wait staff. This time Genesia, a cool, stout but shapely black lady with glasses served us black stouts in cool shapely glasses. Ahh. That's better! Back to the interview:
Q: What's your stand on alterative fuels?
A: Glad you asked! An associate of mine has developed a real promising system. His car runs on human flatulence! Natural gas, if you will. There's special collectors built into the car seats, they filter out the impurities and process the methane. The collected "gas" is then transferred into a storage tank. With a few basic modifications a common LP gas engine runs quite well on these gases. Basically it's a forklift engine, with special carburetors. As a matter of fact, last year, I drove his prototype across the country, as a publicity stunt.
Q: Across the US? That's fascinating! How did it go?
A: It went pretty good, I am ideally suited for a vehicle like that. That's why I was chosen
Q: Yeah, I got wind of that Did you make good time?
A: Mostly, yeah, it depended on where I ate; McDonald's was pretty dependable. Some truck stops, especially when they served boiled cabbage dinner, -- that was always good for a couple hundred miles. But if you really needed to make good time, Taco Bell was the place. In fact in the last third of the journey, I fell behind schedule so it was exclusively Taco Bell for fuel.
Q: But you made it, all without petroleum! What an economical way to travel!
A: Well, no, I can't say it was all that economical. I spent over 2,700 bucks at Taco Bells alone. You really needed to keep yourself fueled up. And when I wasn't in the car Whew!!! I'm telling ya. They need to devise a carry along system, for storage when you aren't driving.
Q: Gee, alternative fuel guru and futurist! Is there anything else you do?
A: Futurist??? No, you misunderstood me; I'm not a futurist! I am from the future. From the year 2004.
Q: But this is 2004???
A: Yeah, it's June 11, 2004. I know because I set the coordinates on my time machine. But, I'm from July. July 3rd.
Q: Three weeks? You're from "three weeks from now"?
A: 22 days, 4hrs, 3 minutes.
Q: Ah, okay So Mr. Bosmatic, what kind of car do you drive?
A: Oh, no. I don't own a car. No place to park, where I'm staying...
A: Besides the Doctors and staff would never allow it
Q: Doctors and staff???
Just then, 2 men in white lab coats came to our table. One was tall, the other heavyset. The heavy one spoke. "Rodger, you've been very bad! You were told to stay with the group; -- you've missed your meds. This is going to look very bad on your record, I'm afraid there will be no more outings for you." The man gently took my interviewee by the arm. Mr. Bosmatic went along willingly. Then his partner added, while looking at me. "What about this one?" The big man replied. "Let him stay, he's not our problem." The tall man deadpanned. "Not yet, at least"
I wonder what they meant by that? Oh, well, my work is done! Feeling a bit awkward sitting at the table alone. I pulled up a stool at the bar, where Nicole, a red headed bombshell, cleared away the peanut shells and served me up a Jager Bomb, a tasty drink made with Red Bull. After the 5th one, it occurred to me. If I could borrow that crazy man’s time machine, boy oh boy, then I’d really have something…
If you feel the need, or have the desire, you may correspond with S. Lyle OConnor at email@example.com Please don't write me, I'm begging you. I mean it.