Sharper Image unveils Snooze, an alarm clock
with a 24-hour snooze button that lets you skip a day.
It goes viral after the inventor snuffs ketamine
on the Joe Rogan podcast. Snooze becomes the new Slinky,
with more American units sold in its first year
than there are Americans. Time Magazine crowns it
the innovation of the century, narrowly edging out
the cure for Alzheimer’s. Culture shapes itself
around the new device. It becomes socially acceptable
to burn vacation days at work without notice.
Close friends go radio silent with impunity. Pfizer
corners the burgeoning dream-enhancement market.
Poor families hibernate until the next paycheck.
A growing segment of the population, dubbed
‘Opt-Outs,’ choose to Snooze indefinitely.
Some sleep themselves to death. The media sours
on Snooze. Pharmacologists examine its addictive
properties, and why long dreams prove more appealing
than stark realities. Snoozing won’t solve your problems,
but it will snooze them. Workers are terminated
for truancy. Global empires sink like lost cities
from lack of demand. Super Bowl stadiums go half-empty.
The Sleepless Knights activist group stages protests,
but the ones they’re trying to convince are too busy
riding dinosaurs. Birth rates crash. Populations
dwindle. Without a sound, humanity puts itself to sleep.
The earth begins nursing its hangover. Glaciers consolidate
at the poles, the way generational wealth once had.
And in the dazzling sunlight, a mother doe leads two
bear cubs down the heart of an overgrown mega-highway.