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I thought by now, things would be different. Mind you, I’m not complaining. No, I’m perfectly content with the current state of affairs. I don’t mind in the least driving around town with the family in our Nissan Pathfinder (not so much in the Subaru, though). I still like dusting off the old Corey O’Brien deck, manufactured by Santa Cruz Skateboards in the late ’80s, and skating goofy-footed down my street, drawing strange stares from the local teens who figure that I might as well be riding a coffee table. I rather enjoy talking to the nice people working the counter at Café Express in Dallas when I go in and order a Pepsi. And as long as my elbows hold out, I don’t mind applying pressure on a door after turning the doorknob — with my hand — to open it.
Yep, perfectly content. But still somewhat put out. I mean, we’re less than three years away from the year 2015, and I’ve been anxiously waiting for that period in time because of an implied promise made to me by Marty McFly and Doc Brown. They showed me a future replete with all sorts of neato gadgets and gizmos and thermodynamics, and as a 13-year-old who watched Back to the Future Part II as if it were a candid glimpse into my own imminent future, I bought what the Hill Valley duo was selling. And yet, here we are.
I’ve tried unsuccessfully over time to bring about changes that I and all of Hollywood thought would be reality by now, according to the 1989 film. The last time I needed an oil change, I went to Bankston Nissan of Lewisville and kindly asked the service adviser if he’d mind — since he’d already be under the hood — doing a quick hover conversion so I could fly to my kid’s soccer games instead of driving on a road, like my granddaddy did in ancient times. He laughed. (I tried the same thing with the service adviser at Subaru of Plano. He didn’t.)
I took my skateboard to the Zumiez in the Town East Mall in Mesquite and asked the kid working the register if he had a hoverboard with the same grim-reaper-throwing-a-fireball graphic that my Corey O’Brien has. When he got done laughing at my skateboard, he asked me what a hoverboard was. I reminded him about the chase scene with Griff Tannen and his gang in Back to the Future Part II, and he stoically regarded me through his pierced eyebrows and simply said: “Never heard of it.”
Last week, I walked right up to the TV at Café Express and tried to order a Pepsi. Good thing the staff is nice, because I should have been bounced out of there the second I started complaining to Tim Allen about the service. And the last time I went to my buddy Scott’s house, I held my thumb on his doorbell, waiting for the thumb sensor to make his door slide open. I blamed the looping chime on my 6-year-old when Scott angrily answered.
Taken together, this doesn’t bode well for Marty? McFly and Doc Brown as soothsayers. Unless there’s going to be a new world order between now and Oct. 21, 2015, I won’t be able to do any of this stuff. And I probably won’t bet on the Cubs beating Miami in the 2015 World Series (that’d be impossible anyway, McFly). I’m swearing a new allegiance not to Marty or Biff or Griff or Doc or even to Goldie Wilson III, but to a man named Michio Kaku (page 32). If anyone on this planet can see into the future, it’s Kaku. He knows of some beyond-cool stuff that’s coming down the pike, and, luckily, none of it has anything to do with stuffed animals coming to life and taking back what’s rightfully theirs (page 48).
To that end, I just finished planning a family vacation. We’re going to Nashville because I’ve never been, and the feature on page 40 makes Music City sound like a great family place. Of course, I thought by now I’d be planning my family vacation to Neptune, but moving forward, I’ll stop awaiting a future that was conceived in the past.