Life Matters

Predictions from 'The Jetsons'

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I am one of the "older folks" who has daydreamed about the year 2020 and had the cartoon “The Jetsons” as a template. How much of that has come to fruition?

People do talk on videophones, and with the commercial push for the Grandpad, it is easier than ever even for us non-technical folks. More sophisticated people do have the option of a video chat on their Apple watches, reminiscent of how the Jetsons communicated. My daughter who is deaf calls me on the IPhone to chat at the most inconvenient times, generally in the evening when I am in the bath, or getting ready to go out. My hair is usually disheveled, and I am either in a bubble bath or a bathrobe.  For some odd reason, she never calls when I am nicely dressed and coiffed. I tolerate the videophone with her because we communicate in ASL, a visual language. Fortunately, no one else who calls wants to see what I look like.

Much to my disappointment, cars do not fly like they did on "The Jetsons.” Although the dynamics of air traffic control would be daunting, (picture many random crashes,) it would still be fun. Cars are still very much confined to the roadways; in most cases, on the same roadways that were in existence 50 years ago, add many years of potholes and patching. Although they are making progress towards automatically driven cars, they still stay on the ground. Car doors these days still do not automatically open upwards like George Jetson’s car or the DeLorean in Back to the Future. In fact, they do not open automatically at all, still requiring a push and a grunt. A nice, gentle ejector seat would be appreciated to get me up and out of the car more easily. However, I do enjoy the heated seat in my car and give that a nod towards being a futuristic car.  

We do not have robot maids like Rosie, although there are iRobot Roomba vacuums. According to the website livescience.com, a robotics company in New York City is working on a personal robot that can perform a variety of daily functions at home or at work – everything from turning on lights to managing social calendars. “She’s a personal assistant, photographer, butler and home security guard all in one. The robot can even read a bedtime story to your kids, and adjust the color of the room's lighting based on the story's mood.” Ah, something to look forward to in the future. By the time such a robot becomes affordable and widely available, she will be bringing me Metamucil in a cup and telling ME stories to keep my mind alert.

My brother, who was deaf/blind, was always fascinated with the moving sidewalks described to him from “The Jetsons.” He would have been in his glory riding the moving sidewalk from the airport rental car facility to the airport in Warwick. And back again. I am sure he is disappointed in his celestial resting place that such a mode of transportation isn’t more widely available.

Mechanical dogs like Astro are only available as children’s toys, designed to bark and move by remote control. Compared with our elderly dog, which cannot always make it outside to do her “business,” such a dog would be welcomed. However, it would also need to be designed to melt into one’s lap when pet to be truly valuable for stress relief.

Perhaps my biggest disappointment we are not more like the Jetsons is in the food preparation area. George's wife Jane easily conjures up a full meal in seconds, something it takes Hubby an hour to do. Alas, there is no easy answer in the food preparation area, except to purchase prepared meals, such as at the Dockside or Dave's Marketplace, but that takes an actual trip to the store.

All in all, we have fared well so far in 2020. I wonder what marvelous "new inventions" will be in place in the year 2050! I will be sure to stick around to find out.

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