As we come to the close of another decade, I decided to take a look back at the past decade, and one thing is pretty clear... if I could tell my "1999 self" about what would happen in this past decade, I don't think I'd believe a single word of it. So sit back, dust off that "Blur" CD, and take a trip with me back to December 23rd, 1999!
2009 Me: Hey there, former me. Nice Radiohead T-Shirt! You know, I still have that!
1999 Me: And you've put on a few pounds, too, didn't you...
2009 Me: Hey, cool it! I was a real jerk ten years ago! Anyway, I'm here to tell you about the decade you're about to live through. I don't think you're going to believe this stuff!
1999 Me: Okay, well, I'm talking to myself from ten years into the future, so I think I'll believe just about anything.
2009 Me: We'll see. Well, where do we begin? Okay, well, I guess we should start with George H.W. Bush's son. He's going to become President.
1999 Me: Oh? Well that sucks. But I guess Jeb wouldn't be that...
2009 Me: No no no... not Jeb, the other one...
1999 Me: Junior?! No way!
2009 Me: Yes way! How do you think he did?
1999 Me: Like a coke-head?
2009 Me: Wow former me, you're really perceptive! Yeah, it was terrible. We got attacked by terrorists, but we never found them. New Orleans got wiped out by a hurricane, but he didn't do anything about it. I could go on, but I'm talking to you so I can write an article, and it's supposed to be a funny piece.
1999 Me: Well, I don't vote for him, do I?
2009 Me: Heck no! You vote for Al Gore. He wins the election, but Bush becomes the President anyway. But he gets a decent consolation prize, he makes a hit movie and wins a Nobel Prize.
1999 Me: Al Gore was in a movie? Who else was in it?
2009 Me: Just some flow charts and polar bears. So anyway, that's not even the crazy stuff! Every week Bush had a new controversy and did some stupid thing! But I can't really get into him choking on a pretzel or any of the wacky things he says or does because we don't have much time. I'll end the Bush stuff by telling you that he waves to Stevie Wonder.
1999 Me: Well, yeah, I can see him doing that. Hey, what's technology like? Do we have flying cars yet?
2009 Me: Nope, no flying cars, but TV's are going to become as thin as a book, you'll be able to store thousands of songs in a music player the size of your thumb, and Ed Begley Jr. is going to start driving around in a hybrid car.
1999 Me: A hybrid car? What is that? Like, a mutant car?
2009 Me: No, not quite. Hey, speaking of actors and mutants! You won't believe this one! Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes the governor of California!
1999 Me: Holy... are you serious?! What do they call him... the "Governator?"
2009 Me: Actually, they do! Yeah, it's awesome. He's a Republican, but he's really a democrat in disguise, and he pronounces it "Cal-ee-forn-ee-uh" a lot. He almost lost to Gary Coleman, but whatever, let's talk about entertainment. Okay, what's the very worst ride in Disney World?
1999 Me: Uh... "It's a Small World After All?"
2009 Me:: No no, the other worst ride.
1999 Me: Oh, duh... Pirates of the Caribbean.
2009 Me: Yeah, that one... they made that into a movie! And it was a box office smash hit!
1999 Me: Dude, you're so full of it!
2009 Me: I'm serious! And they remade Willy Wonka but it was like a bad drug trip, and Batman is all moody and serious now. Martha Stewart was sent to jail, Tiger Woods and David Letterman had affairs, and Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar!
1999 Me: Reese Witherspoon? That chick in Cruel Intentions? The one who can't act? Man, this entertainment news is making my stomach hurt! Okay, I'm assuming this all gets sane again, right? What's been going on for you in the past year or so?
2009 Me: Well, 2008 and 2009 were some crazy years, too, former self. Bush makes it through eight years without getting impeached -- I know, crazy right? -- and then we get our first black President.
1999 Me: Oh man, PLEASE tell me it's Morgan Freeman!
2009 Me: Nope, not quite. His name is Barack Obama.
1999 Me: What did you just call me?
2009 Me: No no, that's his name. He's young, charismatic, and full of great ideas, but his first year doesn't go too well.
1999 Me: Well yeah, the first black President, I'll bet people made it pretty hard for him... I'd imagine Republicans aren't too keen on the guy.
2009 Me: They question his birth certificate's legitimacy, they call him a socialist, they claim he has ties to terrorism, and they spread a bunch of crazy, racist emails amongst themselves. Doesn't matter though, he wins. In his first year the economy starts to turn around, he sets end dates for our two wars, and he spends a lot of time fighting over healthcare, like how Clinton did. But it doesn't matter, his poll numbers drop because people expect immediate results... you know how they are.
1999 Me: Wait, back up a minute... did you just say two wars?
2009 Me: Yeah, we invade Afghanistan over the terrorism stuff I mentioned earlier, and we go into Iraq because... well, to be honest, I don't know why we went into war in Iraq. Some think it was oil, some think it had something to do with Saddam Hussein threatening Bush's dad in the first Iraq war. I think it happened because Bush is a moron, but hey, everyone has their own opinion, you know?
1999 Me: Gotcha. So, who does this Obama guy run against?
2009 Me: John McCain from Arizona. His running mate is hilarious! Her name is Sarah Palin, and she makes George W. Bush look like a poet laureate! She's from Alaska, and she says she'll be good with foreign policy because she can see Russia from her front porch. Oh, and when someone asks her what newspapers she reads, she stumbles on it, and then claims it was a trick question. And she winks... a lot.
1999 Me: She sounds special. But hey, at least the Republicans tried to break new ground by running a woman, eh?
2009 Me: Nope, Hillary Clinton lost in a primary battle with Obama. She becomes a Senator in your home state of New York, but it isn't that exciting. Hey, speaking of New York, go smoke in a restaurant now, because you won't get to soon!
1999 Me: What? They're outlawing smoking in restaurants?
2009 Me: Yep. Bars too. Everyone is all health-conscience in the future, but they're all fat as well. Heck, I'm one of the fit ones!
1999 Me: Man! What a joke! You're just a bundle of bad news, future me! Well, I guess you're standing here talking to me, so at least Y2K doesn't happen... right?
2009 Me: No, it doesn't happen. But hold onto your gas mask Matt, if the next decade is anything like this last one was, I think you might need it.