By Super Special Guest Contributor, Pat Seskia
According to Blur, Modern Life Is Rubbish. But that was in 1994.
Life is much better now. Back in the draconian ‘90s you had to talk to people, make long-winded phone calls, visit the shops, ghastly things like that.
I find life so much more sedate, peaceful and enjoyable without encountering someone with bad breath, who has spots all over their face or repeats themselves all the time. And we all know people like that.
This morning, for example, I made an extra effort to avoid a fellow human being. At the supermarket the greedy owners have removed two-legged robots and replaced them with mechanical ones. You simply swipe your items and the machine then tells you need what you need to do. “Swipe and insert your card” a beautiful voice from my machine tells me. “Approval needed,” “alien item on the bagging table”, “hurry up you bastard”, the panting, automated voice might tell me.
Having to make a telephone call to my bank, there’s a sense of relief when I get a string of automated questions: “press one for your balance”, press two for more options,” “press three to wait 20 minutes before you’re cut off,” “press four for even more options,” etc etc.
And this modern efficiency continues unabated; at the petrol station where I can pay at the pump thus spending more time sniffing in petrol fumes; at the airport where I scan in my e-ticket to check in my bags; at the airport’s car park where I can pay at the ticketing machine and even on the bus I can escape the eyes of the dodgy-looking driver by scanning in my season pass.
Is there no end to this modern efficiency? One day I might be able to have workmates I never meet (hmm, work at home), have a diagnosis of a disease from howyouregoingtodie.com, buy clothes from a store only with changing rooms and no staff, buy a McDonald’s burger by shouting at a voice-activated till and swim in a pool which has replaced guards with detectors that tell five seconds in advance if someone is about to drown.
Nevertheless, there are some things that must be retained: parking attendants must remain so that I can abuse them, bell boys so that I can hand them the smallest coin I can find; teenage shop assistants that show some cleavage and security staff so I can challenge their intelligence.
Ah yes, some things must never change.