None of the previous versions of the Fakiegrind time machine that Dr. Flavour has sent me have worked, so I was quite surprised when, after setting the chrono-counter to an arbitrary future date and flipping the "temporal disengagement drive" into action, I heard an ominous sucking noise--much like a toilet flushing--and found myself transported some fifteen hundred years into the future.
In less than an eyeblink everything changed. I found myself, for instance, no longer in the comfort of the Fakie Central kitchen, but rather adrift at sea. Clutching the time machine to me like a life preserver (it was, like so many of Dr. Flavour's ingenious inventions, made of styrofoam and two-by-fours), I bobbed up and down for a time, admiring the purplish hue of the sky and the irregularly-shaped extra moon that appeared to be suspended in the heavens.
Eventually I was rescued by a large tour boat. It seems that in the distant future, with so many of the Earth's previous coastal regions submerged in water, a new industry of archaeological fishing and snorkeling tours has arisen. Tourists fish for artifacts in the shallow waters above former urban centres, and take their trophies--yogurt containers, lawn chairs, pieces of vinyl siding--back to decorate their crowded mountaintop condos.
I was lucky enough to meet up with a kind elderly couple (people in the future can live up to 300 years, thanks to vast improvements in bionic technology), who were nice enough to fill me in on some of the details of future life. The oddly shaped "moon" I had seen, for instance, was actually an enormous communications satellite, no longer in use, but still circling the planet until the day when it will come crashing to earth in a blazing fireball of death.
It seems that many technological advances have been abandoned or forgotten, the majority of people living a vastly simplified lifestyle, with the exception of an elite cadre of Bionic Priests who are the keepers of the cybernetic techno-virus allowing for the considerable extension of the human life-span. War and international discord has been abolished, ever since the World Government was taken over by a race of intelligent heat-vent sponges that had been cultivating their enlightened line of Philosopher Sponge Kings somewhere on the Pacific ocean floor for thousands of years. Even now, I have learned, they are there, subtly shaping the course of human civilization to bring circumstances to the point where the Sponges will be able to leave their ocean homes and be installed as benevolent Global Depots.
Under the expert guidance of the Sponges human civilization finally flourishes, largely liberated from the shackles of ignorance, fear and intolerance that had held us back for so long. Given the Sponge's great sensitivity to rhythmic stimulation, old school rap music sees a renaissance, and the sultry sentimentality of new country is all but abolished. Once the gasoline runs out, skateboarding is adopted as the locomotive form of choice for Earthlings, the emphasis being no longer on where one is going to, so much as how artfully one can get there. Dungeons and Dragons, the fantasy adventure role-playing game, is the global pass-time in the future (video games have been eclipsed due to electricity shortages, and the orginized sports teams remain on strike for so many centuries that people give up on them), and Gary Gygax, the college drop-out inventor of the game is revered as one of the great benefactors of humanity.
Oh, and another strange cultural phenomena, Seinfield re-enactment societies, are ubiquitous. The problem is, nobody wants to play George, so there is a whole sub-industry of George robot production. The most popular model is the Costanza 5000 (with realistic hair loss capabilities). A brief period of global chaos ensues in the 33rd century when, due to an erroneous "Napoleon circuit" the entire fleet of Costanza 5000s goes haywire and attempts to take over the world under the chilling battle cry of "The Millennia of George". Fortunately for humanity and sentient sponges alike, the entire robot empire crumbles under the weight a lame plot development involving a Hawaiian shirt that gets misplaced at the dry cleaner.
Well, even though I said I was going to lay off the blog for a while, I couldn't help but report back about my strange adventure. I almost didn't make it back to the present--there were all kinds of "temporal butterfly effect" insurance forms and paperwork to fill out. I would have liked to have stayed longer in the future, it being quite agreeable to someone of the Flatlander temperament, but it turns out that I had library fines of about 10 billion dollars for an overdue book, so I had to come back. It seems strange that, according to the blogger clocks, less than seven hours have elapsed since my last post, but such are the paradoxes of temporal tourism. Stay old!