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Rat Race Predictions from a Cracked Crystal Ball
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
Jan. 5, 2012
Ringing in the New Year, we consulted our crystal ball for the most
likely rat-race developments of 2012. Unlike other famous balls, such
as the ones used by political experts or various public figures we are
too discreet to name, ours doesn’t work perfectly. It got cracked
in a traffic incident just before Christmas, when we threw it at a
driver in Northern Virginia who texted through 37 green lights at the
Tyson’s Corner Mall.
With that caveat, here are our best guesses for what 2012 holds in
store for people who would like to de-stress their lives, spend more
time with loved ones, get off the gerbil wheel and work from home.
1. Rickshaws will become big in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
As Los Angeles and Washington -- aka the Capital of the Free World of
Sheet Metal -- continue to jockey for the coveted spot as the most
gridlocked city in America, rickshaw use will soar.
In Los Angeles, the long white limousines so beloved of eco-minded
celebrities, worthy of King George IV or of any successful madam in a
cosmopolitan locale, will go out of style as passengers realize their
inherent limitations as immobilized thrones. Elaborate rickshaws, some
as long as a city block and pulled by teams of unemployed news
executives and print journalists, will rapidly take their place.
In Washington, much more modest rickshaws, their commuter passengers
seated by twos to qualify for HOV status, will dart nimbly between the
tract houses and apartments which now form the shoulders of the
Beltway. This will conveniently bypass the vehicles abandoned in the
Beltway’s two lanes and 743 construction zones.
Public officials in Washington, for their part, will rely more heavily
on helicopters, private planes and yachts. These will also be used on
occasion to visit their offices to address their staffs on the
importance of constituent
2. Telework will explode.
The automobile, oil, ethanol-agriculture, highway, airline and
commercial real estate lobbies will spontaneously band together to
promote home-based work. Recognizing the positive impact that telework
will have on stress, obesity, insomnia, depression, heart disease and
other pathologies, the pharmaceutical and medical lobbies will rapidly
3. Birth rates will plummet.
As Latino families realize that North America just isn’t worth
the trouble, and the American middle class sees that its own days are
numbered, adults will stop procreating. Club Med will be reborn as a
destination for swinging singles, and Playboy Clubs and singles-only
apartment complexes will once again dot the land. Disco balls, whose
prices on eBay have been artificially depressed for so long, will
skyrocket in popularity, igniting an investment fever that will make
the Dutch tulip craze look like an AARP forum on funeral
Otherwise, things will be pretty much the same as they were last year, except there will probably be more or less of it.
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM