Opinion: The future is moving on, one slice at a time


Where’s my flying car? When I was growing up, my dad talked about the sky being full of flying cars in the future.

It’s the future. Where’s my flying car?

I guess I shouldn’t complain. I’ve seen plenty of what people call “advancements” in the 64 years that I’ve been stomping around. Starting with using a vice grip to change channels on our five-channel black-and-white television, things have been moving along at the speed of time since as early as I can remember.

Of course, there has always been a television in the house. Color television arrived when I was in elementary school. It was such a breakthrough innovation that my parents invited two church folks – who happened to be the parents of my best friend, Bobby – to watch “Daniel Boone” and “ooh” and “ahh” over the new-fangled TV console.

I remember the evening distinctly because while my parents and the church couple were watching Fess Parker split that make-believe tree with a tomahawk, my brother and I would dash back to my bedroom and watch “Batman” on the 12-inch black-and-white. The caped crusader didn’t have a big following in the women’s Sunday School class at First Baptist Church.

Probably the hugest advancement did I never really noticed was air conditioning. It was always on, so I just figured it was a part of the scenery. It would get hot outside, so you’d go inside, flip a switch and turn a dial.

Magic! Cold air started blowing in your face. There was nothing better for 10 months out of the year.

As time marched on, those innovations became more advanced and made life easier for the average person. Think about digital watches, which are now so cheap they are disposable. Or digital cameras (see a pattern), which don’t need to be sent off at the drugstore to wait three days before the prints come back.

With the days of Facebook and social media now, innovations are actually advancing beyond their usefulness. In the past 20 years, there have been pet rocks, Beanie Babies, clackers, fidget spinners and Justin Bieber.

Nowadays, what irks me most is when people start playing with my food. Somebody always has a better way to make food, prepare food or present food. The simpler and quicker, the better.

Recently, a company started selling Mayochup – mayonnaise and ketchup in the same bottle. We used to call it “French dressing” when I was growing up. The fact that the ketchup would start out runny wasn’t that big of a deal.

But, no. It is a big deal to a company that went to Kickstarter to get funding for its sliceable ketchup.

Yep, just cut off a slice of ketchup and lay it on your hamburger. It comes with no runs, no drips, no mess. In fact, it requires no refrigeration.

So, sliced ketchup will be on store shelves in a short time because the Kickstarter goal has been met and more. It will include sheets of barbecue sauce and other flavorful choices.

You can just innovate so far. But I guess it’s just another slice of things to come.

Buster Wolfe is a senior staff writer for The Lamar Times and its sister nespapers, The Hattiesburg Post and The Petal News.