Hovering, then slowly descending, the ship lands in a small hidden rear Maine farm field.
Underneath, the craft’s intense wash of blue light stops. The alien crew inside away from planet Earth for thirty years. It’s mission to return. Study, observe and document the day to day changes, advances, attitudes of the inhabitants.
Like a sponge, the on board computers like none known on planet Earth begin to whirl, hum. The inner cores glow. Collecting, analyzing current broadcast on air signals. Using something a tad more sophisticated than Western Auto rabbit ears.
Tapping into search engine data banks to access historical information.
Filtering the bracket, the data slice to showcase the last three decades only. Quickly making observations from speed of thought scans of newspapers, magazines, industry trade journals.
Accessing cell phone conversations of all the carriers. Monitoring right down to local diner lunch counter stool chit chat. As locals talk it up. Ordering, butter and jamming their home made toast. Having their breakfast eggs fixed, served up just the way they like them.
Advances in medicine, check.
Duly noted. New technology making life easier in someways but at a price paid in others. The population like polar cap ends of distinction. Either high school skinny as a rail and obsessed with fitness, weight, appearance. Or let it all hang out, with you gonna eat that last piece of thick crust pizza Bub attitudes.
And aerial scans of big box shopping centers shows another development.
Parking lots heavily dotted with empty, abandoned wire shopping carts.
Left kitty corner, here and there sporadically around the empty angled painted lined slots. Instead of returned to cart corrals.
For eventual round up retrieval by a store clerk. To be escorted, taken in tandem mass with a rear engine pusher wearing a revolving red warning light. To avoid flattening pedestrian shoppers, colliding with motoring shoppers with the wire cart crazy train. (Cue Ozzy song, up and under blog post.) The shoppers in one major hoof hurry. Fast paced, coming and going looking stressed, rushed, not smiling.
Thirty years ago the shoppers returned the carts themselves.
After the unload of merchandise into the vehicle they drove. Left with the keys in the ignition. A clerk more than just offering, actually pushing the cart through the automatic doors with the electric eye. To help elderly, the frail in the escort outside. To saddle up, hit the trail with their purchases.
In the report, the shift from 99% of the shoppers returning their carts to the entrance of the store thirty years ago so noted. To present day where few ever marched, pushed the cart back to the handy dandy, conveniently located galvanized pipe holding pens. Pending the exodus in mass back to beginning store shopping lane’s staging area for consumers.
More handicap plates, lots of cars parking in those designated slots that did not have the little wheelchair designation on them.
Or hanging from inside rear view center dash mirrors. The report on the blue green third rock from the Sun notes the shift from hard working, industrious and happy. Have more than enough, content. To overweight, unhappy and just too much free time on their hands. Lots of retail therapy self medication going on. Never having enough to satisfy the craving artificially.
Lots of ailments, plenty of whining. But thinking leaving those carts helter skelter is creating a job for someone to round them up. That they are helping stimulate the economy by abandoning the carts the further from the store the better. And the rolling around in the wind causing more parking lot dings and dents is good for auto body collision repair shops too. You have to wrap your mind around this from a different angle people.
The purchase of a product more practical, done slowly, methodically.
Because it was needed three decades ago. To now buying for the show, luxury. The effect on others even more important in what you want, gotta have and right now in specific colors, styles from the vast array of what’s in aisle five. And flying off the shelves as what’s hot today.
Maine is home made, not so much store bought. The alien ship observed hope for the folks in the upper right hand corner of the country. That sticks up like a thumb, almost into Canada. Insulated from the ills of the city, the urban jungle of concrete, traffic, crime and smells. The powerful grip of marketing has less of a spell in Maine. Not so important.