You Can Toucan

By Robert Goldman

December 31, 2020 5 min read

By the time you read this, 2020 will be almost over.

Really, it will.

I know there have been many people demanding we do a redo — just turn back the calendar to Jan, 1, 2020, and let the year play out again.

I think it's a great idea.

Once we've restarted 2020, we'll simply move 2021 to 2022, 2022 to 2023 and so on. It's not only a great way to erase a year full of bad memories, but it also ensures that nobody will have gotten a year older. We'd be the same dewy-eyed innocents who started the real 2020 full of hope and enthusiasm.

For those who use a computer calendar, implementing the turn-back-the year initiative would be easy-peasy. All you need is a little cooperation from the tech giants who keep track of every aspect of your life. A soupcon of programming somewhere in Silicon Valley, and your online calendar will snap to attention, instantly sending you back 12 months when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31.

It's the Hallmarks of the world I'm worried about. The 2020 redo plan will definitely cause havoc in the companies that make paper calendars. Of course, they could just store the 2021's in a warehouse for a year, but I think there's a better way to handle it — a small change on the 2021 calendars already printed. Just think of all the people who could be employed, wielding Sharpies to cross out 2021and write in 2020. The same monthly photos of cats, cats and more cats will be just as heartwarming in the redo year as they would have been in the "real year."

Assuming you are the kind of weirdo who is interested in "reality."

(For my younger readers, paper is this crinkly stuff made from trees, if you can believe that. You can write your memos and reports on paper, but you can't instantly delete and replace the dumb things you write at the touch of a button. Instead, you have to take a thing called an eraser and rub it out. Weird. On the positive side, you can spell check on paper, but it requires your company to hire a cadre of Ph.D.s to review your work. This may seem an onerous task, but trust me; there are a lot of Ph.D.s who would jump at the job.)

Which brings us to Toucan.

If our lives in 2020 were ruled by Zoom, the next year — be it 2021 or 2020 all over again — will be all about Toucan.

Like Zoom, Toucan is an online meeting website, but the similarity ends there. Toucan is entirely different from Zoom. That's because, in Toucan, unlike Zoom, your head is not in a small box. In Toucan, your head is in a small bubble.

There's more to it, of course. In Zoom, you are stuck in your box as long as your meeting goes on. You can't leave a dull meeting and join a fun meeting without the permission of the host, who will likely be your boss, who will likely be annoyed.

In Toucan's office party mode, you can actually move your bubble out of one meeting, glide across the screen and join the bubbles of your co-workers, which sounds cool, until you realize those co-workers can move their bubbles away from you, leaving you alone and lonely in the midst of a festive online party.

In other words, exactly like what happens at office parties in real life.

Toucan users can also send emoticons to each other, such as waves and hearts, raising the possibilities for office romances to blossom before everyone's eyes. There doesn't seem to be a, "Shut up, you idiot" or even a simple, "I can't believe you cheated on me; it's over between us" emoticon, but I'm sure they're on the way.

Other uses for Toucan include seminars, which sound like a good idea until you see all the bubbles to whom you are presenting start scooting to the door.

Unlike superserious Zoom, Toucan is not just for business. The company claims its product has been used for game nights, birthday parties and even weddings.

Considering the year we've just had, a wedding sounds great, even a Toucan wedding. I can just hear the officiate saying, "By the power vested in me, I pronounce this bubble and this bubble man and wife."

If you're considering a Toucan wedding, please send me an invitation. I can't think of a better way to start the new year.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: StartupStockPhotos at Pixabay

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