(Originally for Comedy Central, June 2015, as evidenced by the sadly dated reference to the price of Space Raiders)
1. You can have a cup of tea on a plane.
Even this second there are thousands of people daintily swirling milk into mugs with one of those little plastic stirrer things, then taking a relaxed sip while they hurtle blithely through the middle of a cloud at 500 miles per hour and watch The Lego Movie.
2. We’ve turned wolves into Chihuahuas.
It’s taken thousands of years, but through vision, persistence and allowing only the cutest, tiniest wolves to bang each other, we have turned a once proud species of dangerous pack hunters into this:
3. You can eat a pineapple on Christmas Day.
By all rights, you should have to spend 8 months sailing round the world and risking death to get a taste of this topical fruit. Not sitting at home in Doncaster in the middle of winter playing Monopoly. You can even get them with all the spiky bits cut off so you don’t do an ouchy on your fingers.
4. You can buy a £10 phone with the internet on it.
It used to take years to collect a proper encyclopedia set. Now you can give a surly teenager £10 and walk out of a shop with the sum total of human knowledge in the pocket of your combat shorts.
5. People swim in the sea like it’s no big deal.
The same sea that contains every wild shark in existence, as well as inumerable jellyfish, squids and other terrifying blobs. But every summer millions of people push pink lilos into this aquatic minefield, dangle their legs above an infinity of unseen peril and call it a holiday.
6. You can have Chinese food delivered to your door.
For a pittance, you can actually make strangers bring exotic foods to your living room and you don’t even have to talk to them. Not even medieval land barons had it that good.
7. Doctors can upgrade your immune system for free.
You can amble into a clinic and get a free add-on for your immune system that will render harmless diseases that have been killing humans in their millions since the dawn of time. Then you can stroll out 10 minutes later with a tiny plaster on your arm and buy an ice cream with a chocolate flake and strawberry syrup as if you haven’t just laughed in the face of death.
8. You can insult someone on the other side of the world before you’ve even had breakfast.
It now takes about 10 seconds to ruin the day of someone in Argentina, just because they disagreed with your assertion that a video of a dog walking on its hind legs was the greatest event in human history.
9. They can build entire rail networks under massive cities without knocking them down.
Those guys in The Great Escape couldn’t even tunnel 50 feet without everything collapsing and Charles Bronson having a panic attack. Somehow we’ve managed to drill out whole cities under cities without so much as a hipster falling off their unicycle. New Delhi’s flipping massive and they built theirs in 2002.
10. People regularly live for more than 90 years.
At any given moment you’re only one stupid decision away from death. Yet literally billions of people have somehow resisted the urge to lick a tramline or high-five a speeding bus for over 9 decades. But we still don’t have the self-control to only eat half a tube of Pringles.
11. Space Raiders are only 20p.
In every single shop you go in. What is their profit margin, like 2p a pack? How is that a sustainable business model?