Column: The future may come as a shock to many

Do you ever feel like you are missing the joke, that everybody else is having a laugh at your expense?

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:11 am
Life on Tapp with Blaise Tapp SUS-160516-112125001

That was something I related to until I took the decision that I would join rather than beat them. Since a very early age I have been the punchline to many a lame gag: be it about my shambolic appearance, the comedy moniker or my inability to finish sentences before….

But, like many others, I get a kick out of being ridiculed which is why I was officially school clown for four years running and probably why I am neither bilingual or living in a penthouse with a sea view. Laughs and not taking oneself seriously are much more fun than good grades and learning. When you are fifteen.

As a consequence I have always considered myself to be something of a student of laughter - not that I am particularly funny myself, more that I appreciate all types of humour and am never the one left scratching their head following a punchline.

The future? SUS-160520-132919001

That was until the joke was consistently outdone by reality. The most obvious example of this being America facing the real possibility, if Donald Trump becomes the 44th President, that it could easily resemble the dystopian world of Back to the Future II after old Biff steals the Grays Sports Almanac and becomes a betting tycoon. It could happen.

But what has really convinced me that I am living in a parallel universe is the unveiling of a technology which gives would-be shoppers an electric shock once their bank balance starts to tumble.

This concept is so hard to fathom that one leading internet bank introduced the idea to the public on April Fool’s Day this year - maybe they knew what was coming and it was their way of ridiculing the techno geeks responsible. Apparently, a specially produced wristband will administer 255 volts to the wearer should they be in danger of going overdrawn, although there is an option to enable to technology to turn down the central heating as a far less painful alternative.

It has been even suggested that one day the system could be sophisticated enough to instruct cars of the future to drive at a more fuel efficient pace, therefore saving even more cash.

It may sound as far fetched as a bucket of elephant dung from China but there seems to be a marketplace full of kidults, devoid of any self-control and to whom the concept of ‘I can’t afford, therefore I won’t have’ is alien, that this device appeals to.

This form of shock tactic is also in great demand from those who want to quit fags, fast food, sugar, not to mention the bone-idle amongst us who really struggle getting out of bed in the morning.

We should take our hats off to these very clever people who have refined this technology to the point that one of these wristbands is yours for less than £150.

There are concerns that linking up bank accounts to other gadgets via the Internet of Things (yep, it really is a thing) will leave our own digital worlds even more vulnerable than they already are.

As someone who can remember a time when a remote control that wasn’t connected to the telly by a wire was considered cutting edge, I regard the progress of the past 10 years mindboggling.

The future is bright but I’m not sure it is particularly funny.