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I have the habit of being late

I have the habit of being late

I have the habit of being late. Usually by five minutes. I tell myself it’s okay because, “What is time? It’s a construct to help people maneuver within the abstract.” However, others don’t see it that way and claim I am rude. I’m not bothered because like Euripides said, “Thus we are a vast collection of opinion machinery, diverse as the follicles on the tail end of the Deity.”

Joan of Arc

Occasionally my lateness also extends to time travel. For instance there was the moment I took my time machine back to May 30, 1431, Rouen, France, to save Joan of Arc. I arrived five minutes after she was burnt at the stake. No one claimed that I had shown bad manners. I scooped up her ashes and put them in a plastic bag so I could sell them later on eBay. You wouldn’t believe the market for post execution memorabilia. (To show I’m not heartless, I re-configured the time coordinates, got back to the same location ten minutes earlier, rescued Joan, brought her back to the current time, hired her as my assistant, she facilitated the sale of her ashes, and I gave her a 10% commission!)

A further example is when I went back in time to see the birth of the Big Bang. I wanted to take a picture so I could sell it to Chalmer’s Science Digest. But I was five minutes late again. Instantly I was swept along by the rapid propulsion of the mighty momentum of particles of light, energy, and matter, like a stick in the rapids. I clung to the raft of my time machine, fearing the force would tear me to pieces. For once I felt that perhaps being late is a personal detriment. But it turns out the Big Bang was only five and a quarter minutes long. The rapids quickly quelled into the docility of everything and settled into its place, like a placid lake. I time traveled back to the current time, wrote about my adventures in explicit detail, and won the Nobel Prize for Physics!

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Strange places I’ve woken up

Strange places I’ve woken up

sleep walker

I’m a sleep walker. I get up in the middle of the night and wander about my house. Sometimes I manage to make it outside and fumble around the neighborhood. Once a neighbor said she saw me at night out her window, riding a deer around her backyard.

A handful of times I slept walked into my time-machine and visited places in the past and future. This happened recently when I woke up in a small plane flying over water. I managed my way around crates to the cockpit, surprising the pilot Charles Lindbergh, who it turns out was on his famous 1927 flight over the Atlantic Ocean. He said he was so tired that he didn’t care how I’d gotten on board, and asked me to take over the controls while he napped. I was able to do it due to my many, many hours spent playing Atari’s Stars Wars: Fight for Naboo.

Another incident when I time-slept-traveled was when I woke up in a field in the middle of the day. There were no discernible signs that would give me a clue as to when and where I was. I waited for hours, thinking maybe a troop of British soldiers on American soil during the Revolutionary War would happen by. Or maybe a comet heading directly to Earth and ending the dinosaurs reign. I’m a curious sort, and can sit around for days waiting to find an answer. Eventually it began to rain and I got inside my time-machine and sat down on the floor to wait it out. It has a roof, and a door that closes. I fell asleep and I figured I got up and reset the dials, because I woke up this time in the woods, again not knowing when and where. A deer walked by, followed not long after by a racoon. I waited for a couple of hours, but by now, hunger overcame curiosity and I traveled back home.

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The things I do for cheese

cheeses

I like cheese. There’s something, “Are you kidding me” about it. Maybe it’s the sweet softness that curdles my longings, and makes me forget all injustices. Or simply I like a product a cow had something to do with.

Anyway, I like cheese and the general store was out. They said it would be three days, or Thursday before they got their next shipment. I couldn’t wait that long, so I went home, got in my time-machine, and zipped to the general store on noon Thursday.

I could feel my mouth water as I walked to the cheese section. I was thinking about getting a big hunk of mozzarella and eating it like an apple out in the parking lot. I was upset though when I found the cheese section empty. I asked a grocery associate what time the cheese shipment would be arriving. She said sometime in the afternoon. Frustrated I got into my time-machine and rode to 3pm and the general store.

Again, no cheese. I asked a different associate what time he thought the cheese would be arriving. He said the cheese came out at 2 and was completely bought out by one person. I thought, “What the helI’s going in?!”

I got in my time-machine and rode to the general store at 1:55. I waited a handful of minutes outside the empty cheese section. At 2pm a great amount of cheese was brought out on a couple of carts by store associates. I told them not to bother putting it on the shelves. I would be buying all of it. There was no way I was going to let whomever it was purchase the lot.

I put $3,851 worth of cheese on my credit card. A handful of associates helped me push the carts to my time-machine in the parking lot. They helped with the packing. Some of the cheese went inside the time-machine, but a bunch of it had to be bungee corded to the top and the sides. Pretty soon there was no more room and I still had a half cart of cheese sitting out in the hot sun.

I got panicky thinking that the person who had previously bought all the cheese would swoop in and grab the remaining cheese. I paid each of the store associates ten dollars each to stand in a circle around me and the cheese, arms intertwined, facing outwards, while I proceeded to eat the remaining cheese.

I started with a large wheel of brie. Then I devoured a five pound square of Gruyère, and slurped down a party-sized tub of pineapple cottage cheese. By the time I gorged half a package of single prepackaged slices of American cheese I began to get a stomach cramp. I got down on my knees and tried to get back my bearings. One of the store associates turned around and asked if I was okay.

That’s about when I heard the scurrying. At first it was faint. But soon it picked up to a roar. The smell of melting cheese had attracted masses of mice from all quarters of the neighborhood. Most of the associates took off running. One remained, but after few bad scratches ran away.

The mice descended on the cheese. I tried to stand up, but the cramps overtook me. I curled up on the asphalt and passed out.

I woke up to the sound of purring mice. I was covered with hundreds of sleeping critters. I felt like I was laying under a vibrating rug.

Suddenly I got a craving for carrots.

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Trying to make up for lost time

Trying to make up for lost time

General Robert E. Lee

When I was in sixth grade, I played the part of Confederate General Robert E. Lee for our school play about the Civil War. I wore a wig on my head and a painted beard on my face. I was dressed in a gray suit and had a sword at my side. I came out on stage, pulled the sword from its scabbard, held it aloft and yelled, “Charge!” Somehow pulling out the sword busted the button on my trousers, and they fell to my ankles. The audience of parents and kids laughed, including my parents. I saw that my mom and dad tried to hold it back, but then burst out with a howl. I attempted to walk off stage, but tripped and fell. The laughter doubled.

The effects of this debacle rippled throughout my life. I spent years avoiding any kind of public speaking or performance. When anyone laughed anywhere, I assumed it was at me. Even if it was a movie theater audience watching a comedy. Whenever I met someone in the military, I’d compulsively drop my pants and apologize over and over again.

When I got my first time-machine in 1982, I decided to go back to source of the rupture. But I first went further back to the night of April 9, 1865, and Prowsner’s Lodging House and Saloon, in Appomattox, Virginia. There in the lobby sat General Lee, hunched over, sullenly sipping a glass of bourbon. He was feeling down because earlier in the day he surrendered the Civil War to General Grant. I felt sorry for him. Not because I supported his cause, but I can relate to humiliation and loss.

I put a compassionate hand on his shoulder and offered an opportunity to feel better. He inquired what that might be. I said we had something in common and told him my miserable tale from the beginning of this story. He offered his sympathy. I said he could help me and himself by time-traveling back with me to that infamous day. Lee took me up on this and away we went in my time-machine.

There General Lee and I were, in the back of my elementary school auditorium. Suddenly on the stage appeared the younger me, arm and sword held high. Down went my pants. Up went the laughter. Down I tumbled.

The real General Lee marched swiftly up and onto the stage. He yelled, pulled out his sword, and slashed it through the paper backdrop. The laughter suddenly stopped.

The younger me looked in awe at General Lee, who helped me up, and raised and fastened my pants.

Then General Lee proclaimed to the audience, “Your impudence knows no bounds! What has this lad ever done to you? Has any of you forgotten the fumbling innocence of your childhood? I’m ashamed of the fetid decay of the conscience of my country.”

My neighbor, Mr. Browdster, stood up and said, “I’m not going to sit here and be preached to by a traitor!”

General Lee sighed and was silent. He took the younger me by the hand and brought him to the back of the hall. Everyone was looking when the younger me turned around to the audience, gave them the middle finger, and said, “Up Yours!” General Lee smiled and patted his head.

The three of us went outside. I revealed who I was to the younger me, who believed it 100%. General Lee said, “I want to thank the both of you. I was crestfallen. Now I’ve regained my esteem.”

The younger me and I dropped General Lee back to 1865 and the lodging house.

After that the younger me and I went forward in time to May 13th, 1887, Menlo Park, NJ, and the inventing workshop of Thomas Edison. That was the day Edison invented the banana split!!

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This one’s timely

This one’s timely

My Great-Great-Grandmother Blynth was single when she gave birth to my Great-Grandmother Reginow. When asked who was the father, she was mum.

Last Sunday at the family picnic, my Great-Great-Grandmother Blynth took me aside and asked if I could keep a secret. I said I could, even though I’d never ever been able to. For instance, when I was seven, my best friend Billy Beaver once made me pinky swear not to tell anyone he was in love with his cat, Miss Mercy, and one day hoped they would marry. By the end of the day, via me, everyone at Bollswigger Elementary knew. That night Billy ran away from home with Miss Mercy. About a year later they were found on a shipping freighter at a port in Guangzhou Harbor, China. Billy came back to school, and during lunch asked if was the one who told. I said I was. He asked why I broke the pinky swear. I said I have a problem with keeping secrets, but I have a hard time admitting it.

President Theodore Roosevelt and Charles W. Fairbanks

Anyway, my  Great-Great-Grandmother Blynth shared with me that from 1904 to 1906 she was White House secretary for President Theodore Roosevelt and Vice-President Charles W. Fairbanks, and sometimes did it with both of them. She got pregnant and they fired her. Six months later she gave birth to Great-Grandmother Reginow. I asked why she decided to tell me. She said I seemed non-judgemental. I said I wasn’t and listed the low opinions I had of every family member at the picnic. She said I was spot on, then reiterated I’d promised to not tell anyone. I said I’d keep it private from the family. (They don’t read these posts, so I think I’m finally turning the corner on keeping a secret.)

When I got home that night, I got in my time-travel machine and went back to the White House in 1907. There in the Oval Office were President Roosevelt and Vice-President Fairbanks. They asked what I was doing there. I said I was a visiting relative. They asked of which of them. I said I was the great-great-godson of their former secretary Blynth. They asked how that was possible, and I showed them my time-travel machine. They asked how that was possible. I said eventually everything is.