Our gluten-free future-The New Yorker
July 21, 2012
A VISION OF THE FUTURE
The New Yorker: July 18, 2012
It’s the year 2367 and all food is gluten-free. No restaurant, grocery, or bakery serves anything with gluten in it, and guess what? Everything still tastes great. This is because a consortium of scientists of all nations, now united under the umbrella of the “Socialist States of America” and led by their leader, “The Obama-Tron,” have devoted millions of hours of research and effort into eradicating gluten in food. But that’s not the only thing that’s changed.
The amount of time people save by not having to ask, or answer, the question, “Is that gluten-free?” when ordering food has lengthened every individual’s life span by an estimated fourteen hours. This extra time is used by most people to write negative reviews of things they see, or hear, or have heard about, on their twitter-think devices, and these negative reviews are instantaneously circulated to anyone else who has paid the monthly fee for that service.
Any distance can be travelled in seconds by any individual using a “personal atomizer,” so people can be just about anywhere at any time. Still, many people are often late to appointments. Gluten cannot be blamed for this lateness, as it has been eradicated. It’s simple thoughtlessness—clearly they just don’t care.
Cars run on gluten-free fuel, which is an improvement on the green fuel that replaced gasoline completely in 2056. The original green fuel was a combination of wheat, seaweed, and curry powder. It was loaded with gluten, and then there was the fact that everything smelled like curry. I mean everything—the whole outside. People got used to the curry smell and now, even though it’s not necessary, they can choose curry-scented fuel—and there’s also patchouli. Does that sound awful to you? Just remember, there’s no gluten in it, so … gotta take the good with the bad, eh?
Shoes are extinct. In place of shoes, people—who now have four toes due to a genetic alteration that also cures all cancer—are wearing crocs. Nothing is different about crocs except that they are not as wide at the toe end. They don’t need to be—fewer toes.
A race war is raging. African-Americans are losing. Caucasians are losing as well. Latinos and Asians are kicking butt. This has been going on for centuries, causing billions of deaths and untold pain and sorrow, but, thankfully, it did not slow the effort to reduce the amount of gluten in food.
Jerusalem is at peace. Israel is back to its 1967 borders, and the Palestinians and the Israelis are best friends. Palestine has petitioned countless times to be annexed by Israel, but so far the vote is not going their way. There are more bar mitzvahs performed in Palestine than anywhere else on earth. At these bar mitzvahs only gluten-free food is served. But you knew that already.
The scientist who, in 2345, finally figured out the way to remove all gluten without losing flavor or consistency was named Dontaurius Morgan. Fresh out of high school he played half-back for the Liverpool Beatles American-style Football team. He had a full career, playing for the maximum eight concussions. He then attended Harvard-on-the-Moon University, a division of the University of Phoenix, the world’s most respected institution of higher learning. In a laboratory in his basement he discovered the perfect genetic recombination that would replace all gluten in all food forever, making it still taste the same. Statues of Dontaurius are all over the place. It’s considered good luck to rub the statue’s belly and pinch its nipples. This is kinda weird, but … what can you do?
A spaceship called the Starship Enterprise has been travelling through time and space for nearly a hundred years, exacerbating conflicts and instigating quarrels. Experts suspect that the crew is attempting to reintroduce gluten into the food supply. They must be stopped.
People, on average, live to be a hundred and thirty years old and they live well. My wife can eat anything, anywhere, without calling ahead to check on what they serve, or if it’s gluten-free. We go out a lot, so, yeah, life is pretty great, except for the intense racism.