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Sloth 

Tell that robot vacuum cleaner to clean up where the Bomb Pop melted.

The future was supposed to be a lot more convenient. We lazy types were counting on it. Like, here it is, 2006 already, and where are all the personal jet packs? Instead here we are, a bunch of suckers, still doing the hard, hard work of driving cars, what with all that steering and pedal-pressing and having to work a second job in order to afford $3-a-gallon gas and bridge tolls, which thanks to everlasting seismic retrofits will soon rival tuition at Princeton. Sure, in the East Bay we have the ever-growing swarm of Priuses (Prii?), which at least save you the effort of having to constantly refill the tank. And if you’re worried about the havoc your car’s emissions are wreaking on the planet, there’s the TerraPass (TerraPass.com), the way to feel good about driving without having to, you know, stop driving. Because walking, frankly, requires effort, and that’s a drag. However, if you must move around without mechanical assistance, consider enlisting the support of reputable walking professionals, such as the East Bay Barefoot Hikers, who apparently use their feet to do more than pad to the fridge for snacks. (Check Unshod.org/ebbfhike for schedules.)

Speaking of snack preparation, leisure technologies have hardly improved on the home front -- perhaps you’ve noticed that you’re still cooking instead of eating your food in convenient capsule form. Sure, there are outfits that will deliver prepared meals to your house, like Glass Slipper Gourmet (GlassSlipperGourmet.com) or Catered 4 U (Catered4U.com), but that costs money, and making money takes effort and effort is bad. The lazy person can hardly ask for a better source of ready-made snacks than the ice cream truck, which now that summer is almost here will soon be making Bomb Pop deliveries 24/7. You can finance your Bomb Pop habit entirely with change found under the dryer, and you won’t have to move farther than the curb.

Thank God that at least now robots will do our vacuuming for us. You can check out the Roomba at stores like Target or Best Buy, or purchase it online from maker iRobot.com, which somewhat scarily reveals on its Web site that the gentle Roomba shares its technological ancestry with military hardware. Still, allowing thankless tasks to be performed by machines with possibly malevolent tendencies is a small price to pay for not having to do anything, ever. -- Kara Platoni

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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