Why not visit Richard the Lionheart?

Why not visit Richard the Lionheart?


I have two time-travel machines. The one I have at home is the regular sized.I stand in it, like a phone booth. On a keypad I punch in the time and place that I want to go. There’s about a one-second delay, and then there I am, in the designated time in the past or future. The other one is pocket sized. It looks like a jack game piece. I hold it in my hand and quietly say where I would like to go in time.

Today I was out for a walk when I got the hankering to visit Richard the Lionheart, aka King Richard I of England. I reached in my pocket, grabbed the the jack, and whispered, “March 1193, Dürnstein, Austria, Dürnstein Castle.” In the next moment I was standing next to Dürnstein castle, on a mountain top, overlooking a distant valley.

I opened the great door, and found myself standing in the enormous castle hall. A person in rags was on their hands and knees, scrubbing the elaborately designed floor. They looked up mid-scrub. I waved at them. They looked puzzled. Then I thought that was foolish on my part because who knew back then what waving meant. (I once started a local war in Pofader, South Africa by scratching my head.)

I wandered into a hallway, down a set of rock stairs, and into a dungeon. There was a sleeping attendant guarding the handful of cells. I tiptoed by without a problem. Back then it was easy to sneak around because pretty much everyone was drunk on mead. I came to the cell containing Richard the Lion-heart. He had been imprisoned for some soap-operay kind of situation he’d had with Leopold V, Duke of Austria. No matter where you travel in time, some kind of dumb shit is hitting the fan.

I told Richard that I was from the future, just stopping by to say hi. I gave him some gum that I had in my pocket. He chewed it and had an adverse reaction. It was an extremely strong peppermint gum called Grenades. I don’t know if you’ve ever had it, but I chew a lot of gum and this stuff always makes my eyes water and my tongue hurt. Richard had to pick up a rat and lick it in order to get the taste out of his mouth.



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