We were driving down a busy two-lane surface street in Portland, Oregon. We were in the left lane. A few blocks away we would need to make a right turn in order to reach our destination which was, ostensibly, the ultimate goal of the expedition.
You can probably see where this is going. Kudos to me. I have done my job as a writer. This is called foreshadowing.
Everyone in the right lane was somehow able to sense my need and aggressively squeezed together like sardines in a can. It was truly something to behold.
Dammit, I thought angrily to myself. I knew I should have changed lanes when that open spot presented itself 42 miles back. Who knew that would be my one and only opportunity? But that’s the way this shit works.
I could have done what everyone else does and slammed on my brakes while nudging to the right daring everyone to miss me but that’s not my way. I like to be different. I like the path not taken.
In this case that was a few blocks further on down the road. And that’s where this adventure really begins.
Save The Future Date
The year is 2008. You’ve just joined the ranks of hardy souls dotted across the great American fruited plain who are known as entrepreneurs. You go out buy a van for your youngling business and emblazon your stupid company name in colorful graphics on the side. And then, because you want to project an image of stability, you add a little something extra.
Not bad. You’re only lying by 45 years. That’s especially impressive since you haven’t even lived on the planet that long. You don’t need to tell the truth. You’re a small business owner! Actual patience and hard work is for idiots. You earn your money the new-fashioned way.
If you’re going to lie, why play small ball? Go so big and audacious that it’ll never occur to anyone to question the lie. It’s like you’re Darth Vader, your company is the Empire, and the lie is your own personal Death Star. “We’ll blow your wallet up.”
By the way, this is exactly one of the plot points in the movie Sunshine Cleaning. Look it up. I never forget a lie.
In fact, I was so taken by that lie, I decided to get in on that action myself. Check it out.
We are proud to introduce…
Abyss Inc., Corporation, LLC
“Home of the World’s Best Guru.”
You can trust us. We’re only hiding behind at least three different forms of legal constructs. And a handshake.
Oh, shit. I might be doing it wrong. I guess if one is going to lie about the year one should understand the nature of the timeline. Maybe I should have tried 2013. B.C. Before Corporations. The B.C. could be in the fine print. A font size of -12 picas should do it.
Next up: Advertising. And I intend to ape the very, very best. Fast food.
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Timeline: Demo T. Vader
Demo is in the house, yo!
Every morning the guru of negativity loads up his Facebook which pushily insists, “What’s on your mind?”
Oh no. I’m not about to fall for that one.
The people you’ve connected with on Facebook are called “friends.” Laws, yes. Friends. Good one!
Of the various types of content on Facebook, my favorite goes a little something like this:
- The opening: You want something. State what it is. Ex: “I’m curious how people feel about my sexual organs.”
- The insult: Get things rolling with a jab at your so-called “friends.” Ex: “I know only approx. 4-1/2 of you ever read my posts.”
- The hook: Describe the payoff in terms of pleasure centers of the brain that will glow upon compliance. “I’m going to give you a chance to prove your friendship.”
- The plea: This is the objective, the thing you hope to see accomplished. Ex: “Reply to this with a graphic description of your favorite sexual organ on my body. Sexual organs only, please!”
- The demanding social element: This is self-explanatory. Ex: “You must then copy this to your own timeline so my ego can grow. Please don’t comment and not copy to your own timeline.”
Out of respect, I’m not going to comment because I have absolutely no intention of following your rules. Thanks for trying to control me, though.
For the record:
- Yes, I actually read your shit. And I loathe myself for it.
- You can’t handle the truth. I won’t comment on our alleged “friendship.”
- It’s news to me that you have sexual organs so I’m unable to comment further.
- I will decide what pieces of evil hate go on my timeline. Not you. Nice effort, though.
- A real friend wouldn’t have done this. Thanks for reinforcing my theories.
Has Facebook invented a squelch feature yet or must I continue to be subjected to this crap with a little help from my friends?
Just how far am I willing to go for you, the intrepid reader? Oh how you’ve been made to suffer. I decided to do you a solid. Hey, it’s my way of saying thanks for being here. But how? Where and when?
The opportunity at time travel recently fell into my lap. The dictates of the space-time continuum prohibit me from saying how exactly, but I can say this much: It was a one-time opportunity and I take some time to think about how to use it wisely.
I proceeded with caution. After all, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the utter destruction of the entire universe. At least that’s what I thought at the time. On second thought, it would get a bunch of assholes permanently out of my hair. Hmmm.
No! Don’t even think it! Stick to the objective. This is about my reader, not personal satisfaction. This is no time to be more narcissistic than usual.
Formulating a plan, I knew the limits of the trip. It would be a quick jump a mere 24 hours into the future. I’d literally be a man before my time. And I resolved to make the most of it.
There had to be a way to give my reader a little payback. I resolved to find a way how. If only I had more time…
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This post delayed by the weather
“I got a little cooked, but I’m all right!”
With those words today, Tom B. Taker let the world know he was still alive and well.
Wait. Scratch that. Well, one out of two ain’t bad. 🙂
And, to be quite honest, I think Luke Skywalker was the first to utter those words. But I feel confident that whatever Taker said was just as impressive.
No, your humble host wasn’t caught in an earthquake. Nor was it a tsunami, either, although those are both serious weather phenomenon to be sure.
(On a side note, it doesn’t feel that peculiar to be talking about myself in the third person after all.)
No, the circumstances that affected Taker were far more mundane. You see, there was a bit of cloudy weather. And then came the raindrops. Then the wind kicked up and the rain fell a little harder.
There was a flash of white light.
“Holy mother of God,” the cry went out. “It’s lightning! Batten down the hatches!”
He sprinted across the house to power down the computer but it was too late. The power had already gone out. There would be no ordinary shut down of the computer this time.
You see, in his neck of the woods, a bit of rain, a skosh of wind and a lightning bolt or two is all that is required to knock out the power grid. Repeatedly. For hours.
Yes, this really is the year 2011, the most advanced year we’ve had to date, and astronauts drink Tang, too.
Ah, the weather. For all of humankind’s magnificence, we are still very much at the mercy of things like the weather.
Personally I could care less about the weather. I hardly ever check the weather reports. The weather will be what it will be, right? I tend to be fatalistic about it. And no news or media outlet warned me there might be a lightning storm today. I used the Mother Nature notification system instead. That’s also know as “looking out the window.”
When the power came back up long enough, I did briefly turn to the Weather Channel out of curiosity. They were glad to tell me that the temperature in my town was 54 degrees. Gee, thanks. That’s useful information. I’m sure my outside thermometer outside the kitchen window couldn’t have told me that.
Who thought the Weather Channel would be a good idea, anyway? Weather is to be tucked away on a corner of the newspaper or given a few minutes on the news broadcast. It is not “entertainment” or very useful information in and of itself.
“Hey, let’s invent a television network that no one will ever watch for more than five minutes at a time.” Great business model.
That might be why the Weather Channel decided to add a little excitement by showing movies. Yep. Movies. The Perfect Storm is a no brainer. And so is Twister. Those movies promeninetly feature weather phenomenon.
But what else is there? Just how many movie plots have been driven by the weather?
Singing in the Rain? Ha!
How about March of the Penguins? I thought that was more about penguins than the weather. And the weather is sort of monotonous. “Today’s forecast is snow and cold.”
Well, how about Misery starring Kathy Bates and James Caan. Didn’t she win an Oscar for that performance? Sure, but what’s the weather angle? Oh, wait. The Caan character crashed his car because of the weather. That’s a perfect tie in!
Not content to just run someone else’s movies, though, The Weather Channel decided to make their own content. Yeah, everybody knows that’s the only real way to have a seat at The Big Table.
Thus, When Weather Changed History was born. This informative television series answers the big questions like: “If it wasn’t for the weather did you know the Hindenberg would have crashed somewhere else?”
True, dat! Or how the “weather” affected the Titanic. Um, wait one. Are they saying that icebergs are weather? Seriously?
“Next up, how huge chunks of ice may affect your evening commute. More about that and other stories in three minutes after these messages by Dunkin Donuts, Burger King and Toyota.”
What other events from history make their list? Hurricane Katrina. Okay, that one is legit.
Oops. I have to cut this post short. I just looked out the window and the ground is still wet. We might be loosing power and I don’t want this post to be lost to humanity.
The weather today did change history when it turned off the power to my house. Unfortunately we’ll never know the “could have been” of that alternate unaltered historical timeline. We’ll never really know what might have been irrevocably lost.