Friday, November 15, 2013

#20 - The Time Traveler's Guide to the 20th Century

The Time Traveler's Guide to the 20th Century

[Note: This is the opening chapter of a much more comprehensive travel guide. the complete time traveler's guide will be published in approximately 243 years, but it's never too early to sign up on the wait list.]

The 20th century was even more bizarre than you think. It was a preposterous century in which people listened to Mel Torme and The Bee-gees, and blew each other's countries up with alarming regularity.

What's worse is that it didn't have to be this way.

In fact, it wasn't.

The history of the 20th century, everything we have on record, is completely wrong.

Not that the history of the 20th century didn't happen the way it was recorded. It did. It just didn't happen that way when it was actually happening.

Um, let me try to explain this a different way.

Everything we know about the 20th century, all the events that were recorded, are what history was suddenly changed to when a time traveler from the year 2246 landed in Munich, Germany, in 1913 and accidentally altered everything. Her name was Sue Moody, and she committed the one disastrous mistake that all time travelers must avoid; she tripped.

Before she arrived, the 20th century (meaning all 100 years of the 20th century, those before she arrived as well as those after her arrival, if that's not too confusing)unfolded as a quiet but productive time during which war was non-existent. This was no grand scheme. No one worked particularly hard to abolish war. Everyone just suddenly realized, on October 17, 1913 (the day after Sue Moody later arrived) that it was pointless to go around killing people, and that getting drunk was a much better way to spend your time, or making up stories about wrestling wild animals.

The non-existence of war was not the most important difference though, between the real 20th century and the one that it was changed to. In the real 20th century Richard Nixon never became President. In fact he never went into politics. He spent his life working at a church camp in California, where he was in charge of cleaning the shuffle board sticks.

Then sometime in late Spring in the year 2246, Sue Moody turned over the ignition of her solar powered 17-3 Tesla Time-Travel Roadster and set the date for October 16, 1913. she landed in a dark alley in the heart of the city of Munich, walked out to a main street, and tripped over a small child's foot. She fell into a crowd of people, setting off a domino effect which knocked everyone over for a quarter mile. This included Kaiser Wilhelm and his entourage, who had been touring the neighborhood, Vladimir Lenin, who was in town for the holidays (just which holidays we aren't exactly sure), and a 24 year-old gentleman who had just begun growing a funny mustache, and whose friends called him, "Dolphie." He would soon come to prefer the more formal "Adolph," or "Mr. H."

[End note: This is all the author has written at this time. Please check back in a little over 200 years - at which time his writer's block should have worked itself out.]
-Peter Wick
-November 15, 2013