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Humor June 2017

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I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better

By Anne Ashley

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete dolt. I know the difference between a noun and a verb, aisle or isle, their, there or they’re. I got some smarts … just none that relate to anything particularly useful to future generations.

I wasn’t born under the great or intellectual achievement astrological sign (if there is such a thing) – nor were titles or laudable designations for my brilliance on my future path. As a student, and as I grew into an adult, I was average at learning, at best. I wasn’t gifted with instinctive intelligence or going to invent, cure or solve some universal dilemma by the age of 20 – no wunderkind genetic factors in my DNA, I can tell ya!

I didn’t have the concentration, for a start! I mean, truth be told, I could hardly get through elementary arithmetic without whimpering about being bored and begging to be released from the classroom. My grades throughout school were so middling that my teachers could be forgiven for mistaking me for the spare desk in the corner. 

Nevertheless, all this bragging aside, I summarize my averageness to pose a question …

Is it just me or have the few who are brilliant, intelligent, inspirational and the prodigal missed a step? Because, if I can see the illogicalities for society, it must be blatantly, unequivocally obvious to the types who can (and do) look at ancient hieroglyphics and automatically laugh at the joke scribed by a prehistoric joke-teller named Sphynxy! 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete dolt. I know the difference between a noun and a verb, aisle or isle, their, there or they’re. I got some smarts … just none that relate to anything particularly useful to future generations.

No, my query is this: since we now have automated self-drive cars that can parallel park while, the advertisement assures us, the driver looks lovingly at the back seat passenger in the rearview mirror, space travel for the laymen imminent, or spaceship-shaped vacuum cleaners that roam the house while you sleep...

(Just a comical aside here – my neighbor was house-training her puppy by letting it out hourly throughout the day and closing the pup up in the kitchen during the night, prepared to clean up any mess each morning. However, the pup escaped the confines of the kitchen on night three of the training. Not that bad, I hear you rationalizing … except that my neighbor, so used to magnificently clean floors without her efforts, had forgotten about her pre-programmed robotic vacuuming device that she’d scheduled to sweep while she slept. On this occasion, it not only attempted its assigned task, it also managed to evenly distribute the puppy’s inevitable “messes” throughout the entire downstairs by morning time! The neighbor said it was like walking into one of those horror movies but instead of blood everywhere –  well, you get the picture. I swear, I laughed so hard at her predicament that I practically added to the puddles on her floor.)

... Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, progress and the problems it’s producing. We have cameras on glasses operated by a mere blink of an eye (literally) and digital and 3D EVERYTHING. And not only the digitalization of everything but the simultaneous detection of everything I attempt to look up online. I no more search the WWW and I'm instantly bombarded by pop-up advertisements for that very item on all my media platforms. Also, I barely arrive at a restaurant and I'm being asked to add a “review” of my meal to their homepage. Last week I was in the drive-thru line at a hamburger chain when I’d just ordered my modern progressive burger meal (this lofty title is the latest attempt by the fast-food industry to reduce the use of the words “fast food” in association with their, um, fast food) and was immediately prompted to give their website my thoughts on their menu selections (from my phone). I dutifully obliged by writing, “Your steak tartar was amazing, the potatoes au gratin, perfection, the wine was superb, the flambé to die for. Just kidding … why don’t your burgers look like your advertisement?”

Well, I ask you, how was I supposed to respond? I'm at a fast food, progressive meals window at 11:30 p.m., paying for bagged grub and having to remind the cashier to include straws this time. Clearly, I wasn’t expecting Le Cordon Bleu!  Yeah, I'm sure I won’t be receiving appreciative e-coupons any time soon – as was offered by the invitation. 

Anyyyyway and yet, somehow, inexplicably, unaccountably we also consume food that is no longer food, drinking water that is no longer drinkable or water, for that matter, and adding insult to injury, the residents living in the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Water area are being sued to pay for the undrinkable, unusable and lead-ridden fluid that runs through their contaminated pipes! I’d be tempted to pay with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Money!  

What good is all this technology and progress if we aren’t using it to healthily feed or fuel our bodies? Why are we so impressed with not having to perform commonplace tasks but turning a blind eye to the most basic of human needs being ignored, nay, abused?

I’d be more impressed if the eye-cameras, self-driving cars, progressive meals and self-vacuuming contraptions lead to improved mortality. Even I'm smart enough to realize that all the technology in the world hasn’t amounted to a bucket of water when it comes to … a bucket of drinkable water!


Be sure to follow me on twitter@anneashley57.

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