This story is over 5 years old.


Future Harper’s Index of America

Numbers are fucked. Numbers know more about America than America knows about America. It’s as if our whole existence is a string of digits some dork imagined in his sleep and accidentally whipped into creation. By my calculations, and with a head nod...
February 13, 2014, 4:35pm

Image by Alex Cook

Numbers are fucked. Numbers know more about America than America knows about America. It’s as if our whole existence is a string of digits some dork imagined in his sleep and accidentally whipped into creation. Based on the evidence at hand, the state of where we’re headed only gets grosser, which maybe should be more obvious every hour than it already is.

By my calculation, here are some predictions, with a head nod to the Harper’s Index of the Not Too Far To Come:


Average height of a newborn baby in 2060: 30 inches

In 2090: 0.4 inches

Percentage of Americans who believe “Silent Night” was written by Jesus Christ: 86

Number of wolves kept as house pets in the United States: 3,054,000

Number of wolf-human hybrids born to those households: 98,000

Times John “Papa John” Schnatter will be re-elected to presidential office following constitutional amendment: 107

Number of stand-ins believed to extend the life of “Papa John”: 81

Number of toppings available for order on a Papa John’s pizza during his presidency: 2

Average weight of pizza consumed per week per citizen: 9 pounds

Average weight of citizen (in new unpronounceable measurement designed to veil actual impact of a person’s weight as indicative of health): 4 pounds

Average weight of cover models of America Monthly magazine (subscription required with citizenship): .0003 pounds

Total sequels in Fast and the Furious chain filmed before the interior collapse of the moon: 39

Number of additional biblical commandments “discovered” chiseled onto the face of silver asteroid that will crash down and obliterate the lower half of Florida: 209

Length of Disney World Employee Memorial Wall & Hotel constructed along the border between U.S. and Mexico (in miles): 1,933

Length of canine teeth of star of Untitled Disney World Asteroid Movie (in inches): 6.7

Length of Untitled Disney World Asteroid Movie (in minutes): 449


Percentage of Americans emotionally prepared to worship pig's blood in the event science proves God does not actually exist: 76

Facial scabs added to the face of the Statue of Liberty as a result of the Realism Act of 2044 before her dismantling by explosion four years later: 190

Total number of policemen required to clear the corpses of squatters who’d been living in the Statue of Liberty at the time of its dismantling: 7,000

Average age of those policemen: 9

Average diameter of a female human nipple (in inches): 9

Attempts at cosmetic surgery by Mark Zuckerberg to make his face look like the Statue of Liberty before his accidental death during autoerotic asphyxiation: 95

Number of “I’m a hot college girl solicting you for cybersex via private message”–style Facebook profiles found registered and operated by Zuckerberg at time of death: 450

Percentage of dudes successfully duped into cybersex with Zuckerberg: 70

Number of full-scale replicas of the Starship Enterprise currently occupying the White House basement: 4

Number of dildos there: 507

Total mileage of hair scalped from the poor: 4,500

Percentage of Harry Potter–related titles available on the shelves of American libraries: 40

Of thinly veiled attempts to mimic Harry Potter in an attempt to capitalize on the accelerating population of children as more and more adults console their terror with bouts of inebriated sex resulting in mass unwanted childbirth and therefore an exponential need for modes of objects of entertainment for those children: 55


Number of billions of dollars spent yearly on hair implants for those children: 11

Average number of follicles on an American child’s head in 2016: 140,000

In 2050: 30,000

In 2070: 6,000,000,000

Scripts for bio-pics covering the life of the CEO of Johnson & Johnson pitched to Hollywood in 2070: 560

Percentage of those bio-pics actually filmed and released to theaters: 100

Money spent on flowers in 2090: $41,000

On tiaras: $9,450,000

On Bieber-brand Butternut-Squash Daiquiri Cheese-Quake Thirst-Quench Drank: $37,000,000

On coffins: $0

Total posthumous albums discovered and released as a cassette-only box set by the Axl Rose estate in 2075: 37

Average rating of those albums on 8.8

New rating invented by Pitchfork upon the release of Thom Yorke’s fortieth solo album, Dog Dynamite: X^545$34

Demonstrations held in New York in protest after President Papa John’s subsequent banning of that album as a response to its fourth single, “Fuck Pizza, I Eat Man”: 4

Average age of NBA All-Star: 63

Average salary: $140,000

NBA teams at the time of the dissolution of the league following the election of Dwight Howard 5 as Prime Minister of America: 240

Titles won by the Miami Heat during Holographic LeBron era: 30

Pages in Holographic LeBron’s memoir, Hologram Marijuana Penis: 9

Cost per square foot of Astroturf at the time of mandate requiring it to cover the floors of every lawn and home in post-constitution block of states: $69.69


 Street name for sexual position previously known as “sixty-nine”: 4,300,000,000,565,900,900

Number of kittens in a litter in 2040: 40

In 2050: 50

In 2080: 7,000

Number of humans in a litter in 2080: 8

Ratio of celebrities to “like, normal people”: 3:1

Estimated number of genders: 60

Of habitable planets: 0