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Is It The 21st Century Version Of "The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers"?

Aug 17, 2007
Where did all the people go?

When I go up and down the supermarket aisles, I see pictures of Paul Newman and Wolfgang Puck on almost everything. I've come to the conclusion both these men are missing and soon their pictures will be on milk cartons.

Supermarket cashiers are missing too. They've been replaced by self-checkout lanes. I'm supposed to scan the prices, weigh the produce and bag my purchases. Whom am I meant to blame for the flattened bread and crushed strawberries?

I don't know where supermarket workers have gone, but I figured out where telemarketers went. They went to spam.

I remember librarians with hair buns and soft-soled shoes. They're gone too. The library replaced them with self-checkout counters. I assume it's assumed if I can read books, I can read directions how to operate the checkout machine.

I remember when gas stations had attendants. They're gone and they took the sticks to measure oil and the cloths to clean windshields with them. Now when I put my credit card in the pump and put gas in the tank, the only person I see is inside a cubicle. Because I'm paying more than three dollars a gallon and buying twenty gallons, I want to see a floor show.

Baseball is seen as America's pastime, but not as many Americans are passing time seeing it. Because it's slow and non-violent, maybe it's not America's pastime anymore. Hockey wouldn't be. Its violence qualifies it as a cold war sport. Basketball is too uniformly shortsighted and having to use your head would disqualify soccer. That leaves football. Its short season appeals to our increasingly short attention spans; and because passing the ball is a necessary part of the game, it's politically correct.

Football's season's short, but TV's season is shorter. Actors are on hiatus more than butter is on bread. Shows used to make twenty-six episodes. Now many make thirteen. If the ratings go, the show's gone.

I'd call a government office to find out where all the people went, but I can't remember the last time a call was answered by a human. Instead, I'm referred from one menu to another. It's a game of menu tag. The reason for that is the men in menu - they don't like to talk on phones.

Soon all our jobs will be performed by machines. It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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