Monday, August 25, 2008

Living in the Future

We're driving past where the new Target is supposed to some day open here in Pork Smith (I have ceased to believe this day will ever come) and while we're waiting for the light to change the kid asked me to explain why time travel* can't happen -- paradox issues, this is what she does not understand -- and I am attempting to explain, given my limited grasp of chaos theory and math in general, and all of a sudden her attention is caught by the new giant HD billboard which has come to our city, the first we have seen in these parts, which is right above that intersection, and showing -- well, who CARES what it is showing?

"Ooo!" she says, as though at a fireworks display. "Aah!"

"Yes," I say, because I have seen it a few times before. It shows an ad for Arvest Bank, and one for Wal-Mart. It says Life in Pork Smith is Worth Living! It's Huge and bright against the coming dusk, and like the big screens in Blade Runner, except it's the only screen in our world, and very pretty.

"It's--" the kid stuttered. "It's..."

"Ooo," I said. "Shiny."

She giggled and flung herself backwards in the seat. "Yes! Shiny!"

We're living in the future.

*Time travel in fiction, obviously, not time travel really. I have no hope of getting a handle on actual time travel.

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