All kinds of people collect all kinds of different stuff. Some folks collect stamps, some collect video games, and some even collect really stupid things like expensive guitars. Collections like these can all also be accumulated by one person, and in case you aren’t sure who I’m talking about, my house always looks like something you’d see as bonus content from an episode of Hoarders. I just love collecting all matters of stuff, as I am firmly convinced that the powers of nostalgia are the magical force keeping me young and beautiful (or so I’ve been told).
For reasons beyond my control, I always have to be logged onto eBay keeping my eyes peeled for the next shitty Hayabusa. Whenever that niche well runs dry, I will often search for anything I vaguely remember from childhood. At some point, I decided I wanted to hunt down all the old Trapper Keepers from my elementary school days. Patience is a virtue, and I’ve successfully bid (and won) several auctions for Trapper Keepers that have plenty of sentimental value. They even smell the same as they did 30 years ago, and a deep whiff of a well-kept Trapper can instantly take me back to the days of school lunches, unbridled happiness and the way all school hallways smell like that vomit containment stuff. You know, those days when your only concern was having enough Micro Magic french fries nuked to properly soak in every beautiful frame of the Disney Afternoon.
I’ve gotten all the Trapper Keepers I could really want (or use) as I am not pumping out nearly the same amount of scripts and notes since our podcast has gone belly up. For curiosity’s sake, I still check the listings just to see what’s out there, and to be honest, I’m kind of amazed that this many people decide to hang onto this crap for three decades.
Last week, one uniquely weird Trapper Keeper motif caught my eye for two distinct reasons:
a) the terrible, terrible artwork, and
b) it was supposedly illustrating a day in the life of a pre-teen in 2020.
Look at this thing! It’s insane in all the good ways, and I’m not sure if a future like this is supposed to be comforting or horrifying. I just know this whimsical future would be a fun diversion instead of having to about learn fractional long division or suffer through long-winded explanations of photosynthesis.
It’s funny when a mass-produced throwaway piece of fantasy art gets its prediction of the future so horribly wrong. While I don’t think this artist had any idea we’d be staring down a pandemic that was being mishandled by an orange reality show host, they totally whiffed on a lot of the content depicted on this Trapper Keeper. What guesses did they get right, and what did they completely miss when it comes to living in the year 2020??
Prediction #1: We live in Jetson’s style housing
Well, this one was clearly wrong. In the The Jetson’s, humanity lives inside bubble housing that looks more like Justice League villain lairs sitting atop giant telescoping poles. Instead of doing anything proactive about combating all that man-made pollution, people in the Jetson’s universe just move the houses further up above the smog and just play stupid. Since this idea was based on everything humanity had done so far, this “solution” seemed like a pretty safe bet. Houses that rise above pollution is great, but all I really want from the Jetson’s universe is a flying car I can fold into a suitcase or a dog walking treadmill that is suspended hundreds of feet in the air.
Prediction #2 Compact Discs are still a thing
This one was mostly accurate. While it is finally starting to fall out of favor against digital downloads (and fuck GameStop), we still consume plenty of entertainment on compact disc-based media. Within our advanced civilization of the year 2020, to this day it turns out we still buy plenty of DVD-ROM’s, Blu-Ray movies and America Online boot disks. The kid in this picture might just be a collector of older media, or maybe he just rips off boomers on eBay selling and shipping them bootlegged copies of Italian Spiderman instead of the two VHS tapes containing Titanic. I never thought I would live long enough to see Blu-Ray pornography become obsolete, but here we are.
Prediction #3 3D Televisions
This turned out to be true! Unfortunately, this was not “good” 3D that you’d find with a Nintendo 3DS or one of those cool Legend of the Sphinx slot machines. Instead, we got a three dimensional television that only works when you are wearing an electrified version of the same kind of glasses Rivers Cuomo wears. It’s a shitty 3D experience that requires wired glasses that cost $200 bucks a pair. Breathtakingly bad 3D reality that makes sporting events look like Paper Mario Basketball. I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of reasons the 3D TV’s have already fallen out of grace, but we will still have to wait a few more decades before we have genuine three dimensional images that actually blast out at us. By the time that happens, we will have television implants that are powered by our butts that we can watch as we drive our HUMMER 5000’s across the Atlantic Ocean Trash Bridge. A man can dream, right?
Prediction #4 VR Glasses/Gaming Headsets
True! If VR gaming is your thing, there are currently plenty of available options with Playstation VR, Occulus Rift, and Viewmaster. These may not have the graphical power of the Virtual Boy, but they are still pretty good. Our current VR headsets don’t look nearly as cool as bright pink Pizza Hut promotional sunglasses, so they got that part wrong.
We also have audio gaming headsets that started off as fun ways to communicate with your friends and other players around the world to help devise strategies and plans. That went as planned for about 5 minutes. After that, we’ve found microphone headsets only good for screaming racial/homophobic slurs at each other and for playing extremely low fidelity hip hop tunes during NASCAR themed racing games. Gaming headsets only come in second after the Moon landings as far as scientific human achievements are concerned. Speaking of all this online gaming fuckery, I still need to get a hold of G1ANTxD0NGx2558 to see if he’ll be on tonight.
Prediction #5 We have floating game pads!
False? While the game controller in the picture looks strikingly similar to a Phillips CDi demonstration unit, this layout never really caught on. There’s a bunch of ugly buttons and dials on this thing, which would be frowned upon by the current touchscreen generation. There’s no way to make something like this float around the room, either. The only thing we’ve managed to make hover in the modern day are plastic “hover” boards that have a nasty tendency to explode (or at least the first 23,000,000 produced did). The future may be here already, but it turns out we aren’t any smarter.
Prediction #6 Text messaging is a real thing!
True! This Trapper Keeper is almost thirty years old, which even predates digital pagers (these were little plastic rectangles we used to get callback numbers and/or sell drugs with). The notion of being able to send full messages over an electronic signal was pretty forward thinking, even for 1987. We knew stuff could be sent through the phone lines via BBS back then, but there were only twenty or so of us nerds were into that sort of thing. The only thing that this futuristic text message string from the 80’s is missing is the eggplant emoji, but who could have ever thought in the future that we would use that as 2020’s Bat-Signal for requesting dick pics?
Prediction #7 Food is magic!
False? I’m gonna chalk this one simply up to failure to understand perspective/distance, but in order for this slice of pizza to be four times bigger than an entire pie at waist height scales this kid to being around 15 fucking feet tall. I understand that food had to be shoehorned into this picture because future technology is cool …but what about the future of food? Is it space pellets or recycled cow slurry? We may never know the truth since the addition of this dimension bending pizza may be nothing more than a false flag operation. This kid is also tossing around chips and drinking from something that looks like a deranged sex toy, so the pizza might actually be the best food-related part of this marvel of clairvoyant artwork.
Prediction #8 Most of our windows are actually TVs!
Mostly False! While we mount our sweet 4K flat screens directly to our walls, we have yet to use them to replace our windows in the future world of 2020. While it would be decently inexpensive to put UHD TV’s in place of windows, being surrounded on all sides by a deluge of Survivor, The Masked Singer, and the Panda Channel would kick off the downward slide of our de-evolution as a species (as if the existence of The Masked Singer wasn’t proof enough). If I ever attempted this setup, I’d only use window televisions to display nature scenes since I have forgotten what an actual tree looks like. The concept of fake panoramic nature windows was clearly lifted from Back To The Future II, so it’s nice to see that the crime of plagiarism doesn’t pay.
Of course I have a winning bid (for the time being) on this funny and mostly false Trapper Keeper at this very moment. While the overall accuracy is lacking, deep down I would rather be frolicking in this version of 2020 as opposed to our current hellscape dumpster reality. I’d be down for these weird electronics and 80’s aesthetics instead of fighting folks at the grocery store for the last pack of toilet paper, nervously waiting for a killer virus to infect my household. That shit sounds like a science fiction fever dream to me.
That got dark, sorry. Stay safe. stay indoors, and dream of a future that looks like this.
Teh Ben is a fashion blogger and crafts custom Ninja Turtle codpieces. If you’d like to know more, be sure to check out his platform for destroying the system, his semi-informative YouTube channel, and the place where he posts all his pretty pictures.