2020: A Brave New World
I look forward to the day sometime way in the distant future (most likely in July, on a Thursday, in the year 2040) when our present will be nothing more than a hazy passing dream, and I’ll sit down to read all about the historical events that happened right under our noses while we were out watching chickens cross the road.
LITTLE BILLY: Grandpapa, do you ever have nightmares?
GRANDPAPA: Well, my boy, have you ever read the book about 2020? No? Then sit down and listen. You don’t get scared easy, do ya?
I don’t know who’ll write the book — it won’t be me — but I’m sure it will be a best seller full of never-before-told stories that will enlighten us on what exactly is going on at this very moment; or it will be a financial flop because nobody reads books anymore, or because all the never-before-told historical novels are outright banned.
I, of course, will have my own secret copy, hidden behind a secret panel in the wall, covered by a huge picture of my Big Brother.
GRANDPAPA: We had to wear masks practically everywhere we went to keep us from getting the 2020 Virus.
LITTLE BILLY: Are you telling me a story? GRANDPAPA: No, it’s true. Go ask your grandmama. We had hundreds of them, and she’s probably kept them all. You know how she can’t throw anything away.
And it’s true. My wife (the future grandmama) will most definitely keep every single mask that we ever bought or were given, all of them crammed into a Ziploc bag thrown under the bed, with “2020 masks” written on the outside of the bag in black Sharpie just in case we find it one day and can’t remember why we have them at all (our memory not being as young and agile as it used to be).
GRANDMAMA: Here we have my favorite flowery one; and then a blue one that was a little too small for me; this one scratched my nose a bit; and this one was your grandpapa’s favorite – he was so handsome in it.
LITTLE BILLY: Oh, gross, grandmama.
GRANDMAMA: He was indeed. It covered his entire face, making him oh so handsome.
I have a feeling that future junior high history students will get only a cursory glance of the events of 2020 (the schools having to divvy up their day with important things like PE classes, bathroom breaks, and lunch) leaving their future selves to say things like, “They didn’t teach us THAT in school” when they eventually learn the full story.
LITTLE BILLY: Grandpapa, I learned in school that you were a part of the “Greatest Generation of All Time.” I don’t know what that means, but was it true?
GRANDPAPA: Oh, my boy. The things you learn in school. No, that was MY grandpa’s time. We were members of the “I Could Sure Use A Snow Day Generation.”
Speaking of: I’ll be extremely unhappy in 2040 if there’s no more snow in East Texas – and I’m talking about an absolute close-the-highways-down mini blizzard, not just some raggedy-old dusting.
GRANDMAMA: Long before you were born, your mother and your grandpapa built a snowperson as tall as they were.
LITTLE BILLY: They did not. Did you, grandpapa? GRANDPAPA: Yep. It was the winter of 2010. The last big winter storm that I can recall. One side of the snowperson was a man smoking a pipe, the other side was a girl wearing a bikini.
LITTLE BILLY: That’s just gross, grandpapa!
GRANDPAPA: Not at all. They were very beautiful, and I think of them often.
The book will be titled “2020: A Brave New World.” I’ve already pre-ordered mine with the hopes it’ll be delivered long before I’m dead. I’ll be more than happy to let you borrow it, but hush, hush – just between you and me. Right?