Coming Soon: 2015!

In 1989, Back to the Future Part II gave the world a prescient preview of the future—2015, specifically—and today there’s no doubting that director Robert Zemeckis et al. (will have) got(ten) it just right! Consider the evidence:

September 2011—Nike Inc. announces the official release of the Nike MAG, a limited edition high top sneaker featuring glowing LED lights and an electroluminescent Nike logo—just like Marty McFly wears!

February 2012—Toy manufacturer Mattel issues a press release stating that it will be manufacturing a “totally awesome 1:1 replica of [Marty McFly’s] hoverboard” in time for Christmas!

(And of course there’s the Garden Center fruit dispenser, which has been around for years already.)

So it’s only natural that we’d be asking, “What’s next?” now. The 2015 revealed to us in BTTF II showed so many wonderful, incredible devices—technological marvels that almost have to be actually used to be believed—and we want them all. And yet one stands out as an exemplar of bold innovation even among the cadre of astounding items exhibited on the silver screen in the middle movie of that treasured trilogy...

April 2012—Xerox Corporation incorporates its patented “Long Distance Xerography”—or LDX—technology into a device to set a standard for years to come! Up until now, so-called “facsimile” machines have been both prohibitively expensive and difficult to operate. The Xerox Magnafax Telecopier is a smaller machine—only 46 pounds—and far easier to use. And it connects to any standard telephone line! Capable of transmitting a letter-sized document in about 6 minutes, the Magnafax represents a quantum leap forward! Soon, everyone will be fired by “fax”! (Remember that pivotal scene—featuring Flea as “Needles”?!)

How does it work, this fax machine? Xerox isn’t giving away trade secrets, naturally, but we’ve seen a mock-up of the advertisement the company intends to run in the June issue of LIFE magazine, and these are the steps to “faxing” (subject to change):

  1. Insert your letter in the Telecopier.
  2. Pick up your telephone and dial a number. Any number anywhere in the country.
  3. Lay the receiver on the coupler.
  4. Minutes later an exact copy of your letter comes out of the Telecopier at the other end of the line. The amazing Telecopier sends and receives exact copies of anything written, printed, drawn, typed or photographed. Any distance. Over ordinary telephone equipment.
  5. Think how many ways you could use a Telecopier.
  6. When you get to a million, call your Xerox Copy Consultant.

(Mail letters over the phone! the ad will exclaim. Indeed, one can’t help but ponder the possible impact on the U.S. Postal Service!)

Seriously, think what you could—and likely will—do with a “fax” machine! Just some of the hundreds of thousands (if not quite millions) of things:

This is an exciting time to be alive, to be sure! 2015 is just around the corner—and the predictions of 1989 promise to make it a truly phenomenal, red-letter year! Unless certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican predictions come true first, that is, in which case, not even flying cars will save humanity. Roads? Where we’re going, we won’t need roads, because of the Apocalypse.

Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.

Read more humor here. Or read some fiction here.