Zack turned off his car radio.
"I'm only 25, and I hate today's music," he complained.
"Yeah," replied Martin. "You weren't around, but back in the day we had real music. People with real talent. Not this same-old, same-old microwave pop."
"Everything nowadays is microwave," Arthur added. "Technology is taking over our jobs. People would rather use computers than talk to people. Whatever happened to communication?"
"I don't know. I'm glad you're not one of those microwave generation kids, Zack."
"I'm embarrassed of these new generation kids," Zack stated. "Kids make up their own language out of unfinished words and send text messages that way."
"Why do kids even need cell phones?" Arthur asked. "That's another thing; kids are growing up too fast. Too many spoiled brats who get cell phones and computers and act like adults."
"And then they have kids before they're old enough, and can't raise even them right. Then they wonder why the world is going crazy."
The trio continued to talk as Zack drove his uncle Arthur and Arthur's friend to their separate homes.
The next morning, Zack awoke to the loud sounds of a helicopter and screaming. He raced to his open window and looked down.
Despite his bedroom looking normal, the neighborhood below was unfamiliar to him. But what shook him the most was the state it was in. Nearby buildings had broken windows and missing doors. One building in the distance was on fire. Gunshots sent him ducking away from the window.
Trembling in fear, Zack turned on the TV. It was already on CNN. Beside the logo, read "Courtesy KTLA Los Angeles." Zack didn't even live in California!
On the live news feed, there was footage of chaos much like what was outside his home. It seemed like the entire city was rioting.
Arthur came downstairs to find his wife crying on the couch. He took her hands and asked what was wrong.
The distraught woman looked at him and replied, "I don't want you to go! Please come home safe!"
Arthur was puzzled. "Come home from where?"
Before the man could question further, there was a knock on the door. He answered the door to find two men in army attire.
Martin wandered around his new town in search of a bus stop. He found one with a full bench. Like him, the men were wearing suits. The women all wore dresses.
A bus pulled up in front of them. Upon entering the bus, Gerald noticed that the prices were significantly lower than usual.
"Back of the bus," the driver said as he walked by.
Gerald looked at the seats, and everyone in the front and middle rows was Caucasian. A handful of African Americans were sitting or standing in the back.
The moral of the story is, every decade has its share of major problems. The present is no exception, and not much worse than, say, the past 60 years. Statistically, our current era is actually safer and less prejudice than previous points in time.