A serious flaw in the human condition is the mortality clause. Yes, we’re all going to die at some point or another in our lives, unless you’re a Dickensian character who has achieved immortality in the literary sense (and that doesn’t count!). But before you go all paranoid and pay extra-special care to all the sharp, pointy objects that are moving in on you right this second, you should know that there are many other, less-pointy ways for you to end up dead.
1. Obesity. There’s food all around us all day long, though calling it “food” might be taking certain liberties. Fast-food restaurants are continuously recreating the same sandwiches, and by some ill-conceived magic, they manage to make the sandwich even more fattening without changing any of the ingredients. It’s not the heart disease and diabetes that worries me though; it’s the game of bumper cars we’ll have to play with all of the motorized scooters on the sidewalks.
2. Polar ice caps. Every politician has a point of view on global warming, but the melting polar ice caps are a serious threat to our survival. Let alone possible epic flooding, imagine what happens if you actually know how to swim. Can you handle being surrounded all the time by a bunch of people pretending to be Kevin Costner from “Waterworld”?
3. Robot revolt. There are cars now that can parallel park themselves, so we’re living on borrowed time. I’m not saying someday robots will go all Asimov and start killing us because they don’t have emotions, though it’s a plausible end. What’s more likely is robots will start doing everything for us: walking the dog, cleaning the house, grocery-shopping. The only thing they won’t do for us is eat (see threat #1)
4. Zombie apocalypse. No, not the brain-eating kind of zombie apocalypse. That’s just silly. Rather, the overmedicated zombie-like state you enter into after popping one too many Xanax. There are two likely effects here. One: everyone becomes so overmedicated that there are no more conflicts, murder and death stop, the world becomes overpopulated and food supplies dwindle, and we all die from starvation. Two: our overmedicated zombie selves ignore the “do not drive” warnings on our pills and do it anyway. Voila! Carnage ensues.
5. Air pollution. Remember when you were a child and you would go outside during the winter, how amazing it was to see your breath? Thanks specifically to air pollution, you may get to start seeing your breath all year round, which isn’t nearly as cool as your inner child might have you believe. The thickening air will make visibility a thing of the past, leaving most of us to fall into open manholes or walk into oncoming traffic. If only we would’ve done something about air pollution while we had the chance!
6. Animal uprising. That pet turtle that you so cleverly named “Sheldon” has been plotting his revenge ever since you stuck him in that glass box. Humans may be at the top of the food chain, but we aren’t doing anything but aggravating the animals in the world. But keep an eye out – you may think it’s the lions and elephants you need to watch out for; it’s always the quiet ones that surprise you. (I’m looking at you, owls.)
7. Space. We keep digging further into space, looking for signs of life, habitable planets, and some kind of hero to save us from the previous six listings. Unfortunately, space is just as likely to cause our downfall as it is to save us from the end of humanity. Whether it’s an Earth-sized meteor that smashes our little planet into space dust or flesh-eating aliens that invade and harvest us like livestock, something from space will inevitably end us all.
Of course, you shouldn’t stay inside, nervously awaiting the apocalypse. In fact, quite the opposite: live life to the fullest now!