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History Lessons, Walrusoid Style

In the year 2352, they scratch their heads over Instagram, Mitt Romney, Kony, and Siri.

By Negin Farsad

It’s the future. The year is 2352. A group of Walrusoid Robots are looking back on history. (Oh yeah, in the future, as it turns out, when all computers have become self-aware, they fuse with walruses in vast merging pod farms in order to subdue the human population. At the time, humans think, That’s weird, why would you choose walruses? They don’t even have feet. But the newly self-aware computers decide it would be more interesting to fuse with the “walrus” instead of the stereotypical, and frankly clichéd, “bipedal humanoid robot.” The robots liked how squishy and rolly walruses were—they were pretty insecure about their hard steel edges. Hence, the Walrusoid Robot population, which totally rises up, and conquers the humans, and blah, blah, blah.)

The Walrusoid Robots are rummaging through their hologram filing cabinets with their flippers—naturally—and what do they find? Trends, patterns, and spikes in Internet activity and on RSS feeds, all for what the humans called “events,” which shaped the period of Spring 2012.

Sepia-toned pictures of Walrusoid ancestors. How cute!

The Walrusoids are interested to learn that during the Spring of 2012, what the humans held in the highest regard—what they valued above all else, both emotionally, spiritually, and economically—was an “app” called “Instagram.” The app was purchased for $1 billion dollars (which, adjusted for inflation in future times, equals just one Waly penny). They find it surprising because the app is most known for transforming a color photo into a black and white photo. No wait! It also makes photos look sepia-toned and extra old-timey. At $1 billion, it was a steal! The humans didn’t know this at the time, but about five years later, a seventeen-year-old kid named Steve ended up with all of Instagram. He tried to sell it at a garage sale in suburban Cleveland to a neighbor foolish enough to take the relic off his hands. Ugh, it was “so five years ago,” Steve kept saying. Also on offer at his sale: an assortment of Beanie Babies, teeth whiteners, skinny jeans, Apple TVs, and Facebook.

But there were serious moments in the Spring of 2012, especially in Asia—or what in the future they call “Shmasia.” You see, in the Spring of 2012, everyone thought Iran, tucked away in the Middle East, was developing nuclear arms. They were so close, in fact, that they were about to indiscriminately bomb everyone! Those Iranians needed to be stopped! It was a meme! But while everyone was kvetching about the Iranians, it was actually the North Koreans who were developing nuclear weapons. Though, when they tried to launch their rocket it . . . um, didn’t quite work. The adorable rocket fizzled in the Yellow Sea. So cute! The U.S. and South Korea would continue to worry about NK and nuclear weapons, but it was all for naught because just a few years into the future, the North Korean government abandoned the nuclear thing and went back to collecting DVDs and kidnapping movie directors to make action films. The country’s motto became, “Stick to what you know.”

In other 2012 goings on, something called “Encyclopaedia Brittanica” went out of print, but this generation of Walrusoids don’t know what “print” means, making this piece of information a bit of a non-starter. (At the start of the Great Robot-Walrus Fusing Era, the Walsrusoids found that their husks punctured paper quite easily, so print products were immediately discontinued.)

This same spring, a guy named Mitt Romney ascended to the venerable position of “Presumptive Republican Presidential Candidate.” The humans had a laughably long nomination process wherein they wasted a bunch of money and makeup on TV ads. Romney was known to be wealthy, but he still liked to talk to poor people about getting rich without any help. He didn’t win the presidential election, but found a very prosperous career as a teeth model (before the Great Collapse of Teeth Whitening Strips in 2017).