Letter to the Bugle, Nov 2048

Dear Becky:

Surprise! Derfloss Spode here. Again. Much time has gone by since Noah Hagan exposed my alter ego back in 2006 and Spot and I left Rico for parts unknown. Note that the date on this letter is 40 years in your future -- yes -- my evil experiments have succeeded and we have time traveled to Rico to the year 2048. This is being transmitted to you using the obsolete e-mail technology of your day -- I hope it gets to you! Spot says "bark" too.

Rico in 2048 has changed from your day, so I thought I'd bring you up to date on happenings. When I arrived I was nearly run over by Ryan Fallon, minister at the Community Church, in his new Electro-Ford Bug (see picture).

All cars now are electric -- gas stations still exist though, selling bio-fuels and such, mainly for trucks and antique vehicles driven mostly in parades. Yes -- Ken Hazen's 1946 Jeep was featured in this year's July 4th festivities. Jimmie Stone, Rico's Chief of Police, drove it. Sarah and Avery Ireland managed the ducky race.

Other town dignitaries I ran into included Mayor Max Reeser, Fire Chief Wyatt Jones, Town Clerk Addie Jones, world-famous hunting guide Kaitlin Nunley, and Kelby Nunley, who manages the Bugle, now published daily. You and Derek have retired to Iceland, but still retain ownership of the Bugle, which now has a circulation of over 100,000 in Western Colorado. Lydia and Ava Hagan co-own the hotel. Alex and Sydney Ortiz are teachers in the Rico High School.

With the uranium mines now operating, Rico's population stands close to 1,000. Jordan O'Hara just opened a Dairy Queen, and the Mercantile is once again doing a prosperous business. Route 145 to the south is four lanes, and now that cars get an equivalent of 150 miles per gallon from electric batteries, traffic and parking are a problem. Cameron Ortiz runs an auto museum down the road, specializing in Corvairs.

Global warming did happen, of course; the Luddites on the right prevented any significant action until it was nearly too late for the planet. The effects on Rico were salubrious however; tourist season now extends from early March to late November. There is not as much snow as before, and it is concentrated in the winter months. Last year was the first year the temperature never fell below zero! Cortez is now a temperate climate, where orange groves thrive. Of course, much of Arizona is now uninhabitable and, due to the ocean's rise, large parts of Florida are missing. Canada and Greenland have prospered. The dikes around San Francisco and New York appear to be holding. With the Arctic ice gone, the Northwest Passage is a commercial success.

On the world front, a new Clonarium has opened in Denver, with real live dinosaurs. China is the world's first power, and Mandarin has overtaken English as the most spoken language on the planet. The "Young Earth" crowd is still around. In many ways, though, this is a nicer place. Three-day workweeks, predictive medicine, and the diseases of cancer and Alzheimer’s are about eliminated, with AIDS a distant memory. The earth's population has stabilized at 10 billion, and there are small colonies on both the moon and on Mars. Incandescent lights are museum curiosities; most people live till well past 100. Rico just installed the George W. Bush Memorial sewage treatment plant. Television is personalized, "any program, any time." Life is good.

Well, that's about all. I'm off to the Enterprise where they have a special -- soyburger plate for only 100 Euros. Fries are extra. Keep up good courage! -- Spode

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