And how do we know the Apocalypse is upon us? This is a trick question, of course. There isn’t merely one indicator that the world as we know it may be screeching to a halt.
Just for a single example — -and it’s true the word screeching made me think of this one first — look at what presidential campaign politics has descended into. Screeching and finger pointing, that’s what. HUGE screeching and finger pointing and lying and name calling and advanced incivility. Would it kill people to be civil? To be nice? It’s not as though we are asking candidates to tell the truth and stop being world-class jerks. We all know that is way too much to expect. But how about just ratcheting down the hate by fifty or sixty levels?
A second sure sign the times they are a’changin’ is that we have, at this writing, gone one week without Johnny Manziel, Kim Kardashian, or Justin Beiber being arrested for DUI, public indecency, or just being generally annoying.
But the truest proof that Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore, is cars now come equipped with WiFi. This is just wrong. I might be slightly — or even a lot — prejudiced. My car is a 2003 Honda Accord with 130,000 miles on it, a manual transmission, and upholstery which looks almost new. It runs like a top. The car is on its third set of tires, thirtieth oil change, and three hundredth cleaning out of the glove box. I, like my car, am no-frills. I think WiFi hadn’t been invented when this car was built. I could Google it but the irony is too strong.
The premise is pretty straight forward. If you have WiFi in your car, the miniature people in the back seat will be gainfully occupied and by that I mean they will not be asking “Are we there yet?” before you have, technically, backed out of your driveway. Instead the little darlings (and all little darlings are apparently issued iPads, iPods, iPhones and I-don’t-know-what-else at birth) will be eager visitors to Internet Land. There must be an engine to drive all these electronic marvels and in-car WiFi is it.
I am going to hate myself for admitting this but I used to be a miniature person myself. This was a long time ago, you understand, but still within written history. In that innocent time, family car trips were an opportunity to play License Plate Bingo, or I Spy With My Little Eye or asking my mom if we were there yet. Having just re-read this paragraph, I am starting to see the immutable value of a car that can channel Sponge Bob Square Pants. Family car trips, as I recall, also provided an opportunity to fight over who had to sit in the middle of the back seat (the best—-the very best—-argument ever made for limiting the number of your offspring), to fight with my sisters about their proximity to me and whether they had touched me or breathed on me or had otherwise invaded my personal space, to fight about the temperature in the car (“Too hot!” “Too cold!” “You’re touching me!”), to fight about the amount of breeze blowing through the windows (“Put the window up!” “Put the windows down!” “You’re touching me!”), and last but certainly not least, to get car sick. My older sister has always claimed to have a tendency towards car sickness. She didn’t fool me one little bit. She just said this so she could always stake out a seat by the window. But I do understand my parents letting her get away with this. The only thing worse than a back seat full of sweaty, irritable kids is a back seat full of sweaty, irritable kids drenched in their sister’s partially digested cream of wheat.
If plugging the kids into “Finding Nemo” or “Finding Dory” or “Finding Neverland” can help you find your sanity and keep the back seat a cream-of-wheat-free zone, more power to you. You’re gonna need it.
Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.