Do you remember playing the “If you could have any super power, what would it be?” game when you were a kid? My response typically fluctuated between being able to fly, being invisible and being able to travel in time. As a child with a wildly active imagination, I frequently daydreamed about all the advantages these skills could afford me.
Being able to fly could allow me to:
- Avoid being tagged at recess
- Safely escape imminent attack by a wild animal while walking home from school
- Make my friends green with envy
Being invisible could allow me to:
- Eavesdrop on my siblings’ conversations
- Figure out what goes on in the teachers’ lounge at school
- Play hilarious tricks on people
My wanting to travel in time was a direct result of watching the movie “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” This movie changed my life. All five years of it. I dreamed of being able to travel into the past, but I drooled at the idea of being able to bring people from the past to the present. I wanted to be a historical figure’s tour guide more than anything. I loved getting to be the first person to break big news to someone (and still do). It makes me feel like Ann Curry, minus the red lipstick and ever-so-gentle disposition.
Anyway, let’s pretend time travel is possible and that I had the opportunity to show someone from history around. To make sure we’re on the same page, I’m talking about someone from the 1 – 1750 A.D. timeframe, not 1975. Actually, let’s say 1500, for the sake of consistency. Here’s how I envision my day with ROG (Really Old Guy) would go:
After he exits the time travel telephone booth, I extend a warm welcome by smiling and handing him a cupcake. Then I get right down to business. I tell him that he’s travelled into the future. When he doesn’t understand what I’m saying and reaches for his sword, I promptly sedate him. I remove the weapon from his hand, spray some Febreze in his hair and wait for him to come to.
Once he awakens from his slumber, I bring him a plate of meat and potatoes, which helps to calm him down. While he eats, I explain the whole time travel thing again. Finally, he understands the situation and agrees to let me show him what the future is like. My dream has come true.
Before I can take him into public, I show him what a shower looks like and tell him to take one immediately. He fights me on this, arguing that he just bathed, like, a year ago. I shake my head, tell him he’s so totally gross and explain the benefits of modern hygiene. He concedes.
I burn his clothes and give him the largest replacement clothes I can find: an XXL t-shirt I received at a blood drive and a pair of men’s pajama pants I had to buy because women’s are never long enough. His hair is an absolute rat’s nest, but luckily I have a lot of experience in this area. I introduce him to Herbal Essences conditioner and begin brushing his hair. Ok, even I haven’t had tangles like this before. I give up and shave his head. Oh my! ROG is so handsome!
I decide to take him to Starbucks to enjoy a hot beverage and a chat. As soon as we get in the car, I realize that I’ll have to explain what a car is and how it works:
CC: “A car is a transportation device that goes fast. It’s like a horse, but without the manure. The way it works is, you put the key in the little keyhole and turn it. There’s also some metal under the lid that does some stuff. Got it? Great! Now let me show you how to work the radio- that’s the important part.”
ROG: “Is there a man who can explain this “car” thing to me? I feel that you’ve left out a few parts.”
CC: “Oh, hush. Everyone knows cars are boring anyway.”
As we enter Starbucks, ROG asks why the person making the drinks has striped hair and colored stuff on her eyes and mouth. I explain that women these days frequently change the color of their hair and put paint-like materials all over their faces in order to appear more attractive than they actually are. He rolls his eyes and laments that women have become stranger than ever. Based on that comment, I hold off on telling him about Lady Gaga. It’s too soon.
We sit down and I’m riddled with anxiety over what major topic to cover first. There are so many to choose from! I turn and see him looking at a man talking on his cell phone. The question marks floating above his head couldn’t be more obvious. This was it. I was going to embark on explaining telecommunications to ROG.
Unfortunately, in the interest of preventing my posts from being obnoxiously long, I’m gonna go all Ryan Seacrest on you and tell you that you’ll have to wait for Part 2 to keep reading. See ya next time, America!