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Thursday, February 10, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 92

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Future doesn't live up to Jetsons reruns

Margaret Mitchell

Ah, the important questions: How did life become so frustrating? Where did all these annoying people come from and why are they annoying me ?

When I was a kid, I remember thinking that things would be much easier in the future. I remember watching cartoons like The Jetsons and thinking how awesome it would be to be able to just push a button and zing! -- have dinner magically appear on the table, or have a flying car where you just push a button and it folds up into a nice, easy-to-carry briefcase (wouldn't you kill for one of those at UH?), or how about that three-day work-week that is just murder for George?

OK, so it's a cartoon. I've also seen the "way of the future" segments on television from the woman in the June Cleaver dress and pearls who presents a perfectly cooked roast and coos about how much easier her life is thanks to all the modern appliances.

Yes, things are much easier on television and in the movies. At the very least, when the going gets tough, the tough can say, "Cut!"

Oh, the possibilities! Picture this: You're cruising down the freeway when all of a sudden traffic comes to a grinding halt. "Cut! Rewrite!" And in the next scene, you are flying down Interstate 45 doing 85 mph, and there's not a cop in sight.

How about the next time you get a past-due notice from that credit card company? No money in the bank? Just say the word, and someone in the prop department will scurry forth with a suitcase full of cash.

OK, so this has nothing to do with anything, but it sure beats thinking about (or worse, dealing with) all those annoying people who seem to be swimming through my part of the river this week like piranhas in the Amazon.

It seems that in addition to the fine folks at the automotive harassment squad (who seem determined to make sure I never make it anywhere in this city), I am a magnet for all sorts of brilliant people who demonstrate an incredible ability to muck things up by working extra diligently at the task of transforming things that are relatively simple into things that are totally screwed up. How'd I get so lucky?

But it isn't just people "out there;" it seems that there is no escape from them in here either. Like the credit card people who are calling me, not because there's anything wrong, but because they want to offer me an amazing opportunity for credit protection, life insurance, travel club membership, magazines, inflate-o-dates, etc.

The way I feel about it is that if you're going to call me up and bother me, at least offer me something I could really use, like a permanent one-half percent APR on my Visa, liposuction or the answer to 14 down in last Tuesday's crossword puzzle.

I know we all have to make a living, but does that living have to include bothering me? Is this the real "way of the future?"

Did I miss the episode where George Jetson was buried under an avalanche of those little paper advertisement thingies like the ones stuffed into my bills every month? Maybe I also missed the episode where Jane couldn't finish her phone conversation because call waiting kept beeping with various callers wanting to offer amazing merchandise or services for incredibly low prices.

I'm looking forward to the episode where the telemarketer is disintegrated for calling during dinner or a favorite TV show. Let me know when that one comes on.

Mitchell, a junior political science major, 
can be reached at smeggie37@compuserve.com.

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