Metro 186

The world is changing faster than ever, with technology advancing at lightning speed (though somehow it’s still going to be 50 years before realistic-looking sex robots are on the market – WHAT?). The other day I was posting off a cheque and it struck me that that is something my daughter will never do. She’ll never own a chequebook, she’ll never lick a stamp and I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time she wants to have something delivered,  she’ll be using a drone or a Star Trek style transporter machine.

Obviously there’s loads of things from my Seventies/Eighties childhood that she will never experience like loading up a computer game from a screeching cassette or having to rewind a video before taking it back to the rental shop or being genuinely impressed by an exotic Vesta curry. But there’s stuff that we’re doing right now that will be obsolete before she’s a teenager.

For example, I doubt my daughter will ever have to drive a car. Either because the world will have run out of fuel or more likely because cars will drive themselves by then. We look at self-driving vehicles with suspicion now - seeing them more like the Terminator machines taking over than Kit from Knight Rider or loveable VW Herbie going to Monte Carlo (though after the recent scandal I wonder if Herbie was self-driving at all or whether engineers rigged it to make it look like he was). But in 18 years time I think pretty much no one will be learning to drive any more. Why would any self-respecting teenager waste their time being taught something that can be done automatically and won’t most parents be delighted that their kids will be safe on the roads?

Personally I will miss the opportunity to give her her first lesson and thus be paid back for the awful way I behaved to my own dad when he was kind enough to try and give me the basics of how to operate a car. Teenagers resent being treated as if they don’t know anything, even when they don’t know anything, so of course my inability to go two feet without stalling was my dad’s fault for not teaching me better. We ended up shouting at each other for 30 minutes and I didn’t attempt to drive again until I was 26.

Yet now, thirty years on, that’s one of my favourite memories of my childhood and it would be a shame that I’ll never get to experience it from the other side so I can truly appreciate my stupidity.

But all this pales into insignificance and transcends light and tedious observational comedy when you consider that there’s a good chance that my daughter will never die or grow old. In all probability medicine will have conquered both of these seemingly unstoppable forces making her generation practically immortal. I am annoyed that I am going to miss out on this brave new world of eternal youth and realistic sex robots, just because I was born 40 years too early. But I am hoping I can hang on long enough to at least get my personality and memories downloaded into a computer, so I can continue to chastise my child and interfere in her life in hologram form from beyond the grave. And I am going to criticise her driving constantly, even though she’s not driving. And create a programme that can send her long, rambling emails about my failure to understand technology (the prototype wrote this column).

She’s going to wish she was dead, but she never will be.

After performing a remarkable 27 times at the O2 Arena, Michael Mcintryre has been given the keys to the venue. It’s ridiculous after all the business that he’s given them that they expect him to lock up at night as well.

I have never played the O2 arena (for some reason!!!) but am hoping to get the keys to the 150-seater Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton. Though apparently they never bother locking that.