Washed Up by Sarah Juggins, November 3, 2015

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There was something on the local news the other night about an excavation that was taking place of an old rubbish site in King’s Lynn.

The idea behind the dig was to discover more about how the Victorians lived. The trailer to the story, which was being aired on Inside Out, showed someone holding an old bottle aloft, proclaiming “find out how your ancestors lived.”

Which made me wonder what would happen if the same sort of excavation took place 150 years from now.

It is almost without doubt that it will not be humans doing the excavations. Unless digging has by them become a trendy way of erasing self-doubt, instilling character and, obviously, providing a workout from an otherwise sedentary lifestyle, then it will be robots doing the work.

But what will they find, our grandchildren and great grandchildren? Will they be amazed at the number of diet coke cans that are uncovered. “How did they manage to drink so much Coke and still survive as a race?” And of course there will be the ironic question: “Diet Coke? But surely that generation had an average BMI of 45?”

How will they explain the fact that they dig up more smart phones than there are people in the population. “What did our grandparents do? Did they have a mobile phone for each ear and a spare in the car?”

“I’ve just dug-up an i-Phone 5 and an i-Phone six. Guess what, they are virtually identical.”

Old magazines will provide endless amusement for our offspring. “Look at the cover of this women’s magazine. It has a story about the film Suffragette on page three, but look at the model on the front cover – who is ever that flawless? Didn’t women’s liberation teach them anything?”

“I don’t know, but look at this viewing guide. Every programme in the evening seems to be a reality show where people have to bake a cake for a couple of grumpy judges; sing a song in front of some frankly very rude judges; dance in front of some very pretentious judges; or tell an extremely unpleasant man why they should work for him. These people are bonkers to go through that.”

Mind you, a quick trawl through the history books will certainly alert our offspring to the fact that we weren’t the sharpest generation. “Did Granny and Granddad vote for that strange man who took us out of the European Community; put millions in poverty through a single tax credit cut; destroyed the NHS and turned us from being a United Kingdom to being a small island called London and its suburbs?”