Periodically, my future self sends me a letter. So far, I’ve received mail from 2036, 2024 and 2019, all of which I’ve shared with my cherished readers. The one from 2019, by the way, actually told me that Donald Trump was going to be elected president this year, but I thought I was kidding!
Anyway, I’ve just received the most recent future letter yet, along with an issue of Entertainment Weekly from last October, which demonstrates how the United States Postal Service works in mysterious ways.
January 1, 2018.
Dear Slightly Younger Me,
You thought I was kidding, didn’t you?
In the letter I wrote next year, I told you Trump was going to be President, and I remember how you pooh-poohed future us. Well, who’s deep in the poo now?
Actually, I’m kidding. The first year of the Trump presidency has gone swimmingly, at least for those folks who have been jumping off the piers in Miami to dog paddle to Cuba. I’m not talking about illegal immigrants; they want to stay in the U.S. These swimmers are mostly millennials who are leaving America in droves (and, sometimes, in boats) simply because, with Fidel’s death (which I also told you about in my next letter), Cuba’s wide open for young capitalists who are finally ready to stop living with their parents.
Trump might not be the most tactful guy, but it turns out he had a lot of things right. The whole climate change hoax, for instance. He called the scientists on it and they immediately admitted that global warming wouldn’t have any major adverse effect on the planet for at least another five years. President Trump tweeted, “I’ll worry about it in my next term.”
Canceling all our international trade agreements worked out great, too. President Trump really told the Chinese where they could go. (Trump’s tweet: “Go to hell, General Tso.”) The stock market is heading toward 3,000 (as I remember I told you it would in the letter I’ll write in 2024), although it now costs about $7,000 for an iPhone.
Believe it or not, nothing much happened in 2017. After the inauguration, everybody calmed down and went back to ignoring everything outside their own little lives. To show you how little has changed, 14,933 people were killed by guns in the U.S. in 2017. Do you know how many people were killed in 2016? Go ahead–look it up. I’ll wait.
(Until you get back, I’ll be here humming Taylor Swift’s latest hit about a former boyfriend, “Can I? Can You, Kanye?”)
Okay, you’re back? Yes, that’s right: 14,933 Americans were also killed by guns in 2016. How’s that for consistency? That’s a fatality rate you can count on! And you thought everything would deteriorate under Trump! He had a great tweet about this: “More Americans die from peanut allergies than gun violence, and we don’t ban peanut butter.” I’m pretty sure that statistic wasn’t true, but it is now that Trump has tweeted it. (Present Mark’s note: I looked it up. 150-200 deaths a year from peanut allergies, so not quite accurate.)
Enough about Trump. Let me tell you about some of the really important stuff that happened last year:
- The #1-rated TV broadcast of the year was a special episode of Jeopardy in which an Amazon Echo, a Google Home and an iPhone competed. Google won because Siri and Alexa just ended up shouting at each other the whole time. (All three contestants blew Final Jeopardy. The answer was “Because we’re more pleasing,” and the correct question was, “Why are most computer voices female?” Siri was particularly wrong with her answer, “Why do Asian women make the best massage parlor workers?”)
- The 1917-18 NFL season almost didn’t happen because the players threatened to strike unless there was more protection from concussions. The league caved, but then it turned out nobody really wanted to watch a bunch of 350-pound behemoths play touch football. The average price of a 30-second ad on the 2018 Superbowl is estimated to be about $500.
- More people died from getting hit by privately-owned drones falling from the sky than from peanut allergies.
- Elon Musk announced the launch of a completely solar-powered Tesla car. However, it comes with this warning: “Do not park in your garage.”
- Over 400 people have already announced their candidacy for President in 2020*. (After each announcement, President Trump tweeted: “Bring it on, Bozo.”)
- There is a bi-partisan effort underway in Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would prohibit presidents from having a Twitter account.
- Speaking of Congress, a special commission determined that, while Russia did, in fact, hack into computer systems in an attempt to affect the 2016 presidential election, ultimately, Americans are just idiots.
- The biggest movie of 2017 was not Wonder Woman or Justice League or Star Wars Episode XIII. It was Baywatch.**
- A few airlines began allowing passengers to make calls on their cell phones. Other passengers showed some incredible ingenuity. You’d be surprised at the common, seemingly harmless objects they managed to weaponize in order to get the cell users to shut the hell up. Long story short, you can no longer have soap-on-a-rope in your carry-on.
- No change on the Kardashian front. Or back.
Have a great year. (I’m not going to tell you if you do or not.)
Well, that’s all I had to say next year. I hope you have a great 2017, too. See you soon.
*Yes–more people running for president than died from peanut allergies.
**Just kidding. Turns out people won’t pay to watch girls in bikinis running along a beach in slow motion when they can watch Internet porn for free. The real #1 film was The Batman Lego Movie.