EFE

Wither forecast

After reading about what the Earth could be like in five billion years, I decided to come up with my own predictions

Peter Edgerton
PETER EDGERTON

Crumbs, it seems that scientists have discovered a solar system somewhere out there in the universe with two planets in it, one of which, they say, is far too hot while the other gives us a good indication of what earth will be like in five billion years' time. For reasons best known to themselves, the boffins have named the solar system Speculoos 2, which, unfortunately, rather sounds like a company bidding to provide the bathroom facilities at Glastonbury next year but, you know, scientists don't get out much, bless 'em, so they're forgiven.

Anyway, the article I was reading on the subject was, for some reason, somewhat vague in its predictions about the state of the planet in five billion years' time, so I thought I'd offer some more concrete forecasts here.

Keith Richards will be forced to form a new band after Mick Jagger departs this mortal coil a couple of millennia earlier. Meanwhile, Francisco de la Torre will put himself forward for another term of office as mayor of Malaga, posing for hologram photos to be published automatically on the retinas of all citizens.

In sport, Real Madrid will win the intergalactic cup giving their fans - few of whom know where Madrid actually is (rather like now) - the chance to gloat on an intergalactic scale (rather like now). A bloke with massive thighs will break the one second barrier for the one hundred metres at the Olympics, being only mildly inconvenienced by his head exploding in the process owing to advances in medical science which can offer him a new, better looking head at the finish line.

Day-to-day life will see the average weekly shopping basket break the 5,000 earthbits (that's the global currency) barrier. 5,000 earthbits is the average monthly salary but politicians worldwide insist that we're all in it together, or something. All the houses on earth are owned by three people.

In the world of film, Spider Man MCMXXXII will be released with paying customers able to take part in the action as it unfolds. There are no new stories being written at all by now with some observers blaming our outrageous screen dependency five billion years earlier for wiping out the part of the human brain that imagines new stuff. This theory is yet to be proved definitively.

Finally, scientists are able to actually visit Speculoos 2, only to find it's another five billion years ahead by now. A bewildered crew returns to earth muttering something about Keith Richards' new single.