Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015: The Time Traveler's Field Guide

Don't press the red button. Really. Just don't.
Thank you for purchasing the GE Time Tourist Model 100. We hope you enjoy the advanced features of this deluxe time machine. With proper care and maintenance it will provide you with many years of carefree service, provided you don't create Catastrophic Paradox Events and destroy the universe (this event is not covered in your GE Extended Warranty purchase).

You have entered a destination year of 2015. This destination year presents many opportunities for fascinating tourism experiences. Please observe these local customs and practices to prevent detection by the locals.
  • Cell Phone Use. To blend in, you should AT ALL TIMES be either texting, browsing, conversing, or otherwise consulting your cell phone (i.e., a primitive hand-held computing/communication device, see Glossary for complete description). Proper use involves holding the device within 20 cm of your face at all times, even when walking, driving, or engaging in any other form of interaction. Direct person-to-person communication in 2015 is rare, and generally only conducted between Suspects and their Arresting Officers (see Glossary for full descriptions). Cell phone use during Movies (see Glossary) is mandatory.
  • Verbal Communication. When in public, and especially in the presence of Small Children (Figs. 6 through 37) pepper your speech with expletives common to the time (See Glossary, Vocabulary Addendum 16). Do so forcefully, in a loud voice, and with frequent repetition.  TIME TRAVELER PROTIP -- If you are not drawing hostile glares from strangers, you are insulting them by NOT USING ENOUGH PROFANITY. Increase potency and frequency.
  • Clothing and Dress. When in a casual public setting, demonstrate your down-to-earth nature by donning soiled, mis-matched clothing, which should prominently display profane verbiage (see Glossary, 'Shopping at the Wal-Mart, early 21st Century'). If attending a formal event or venue, dress appropriately in cargo shorts. No one has paid any attention to dress since 1959.
Use of English in North America. By 2015, spoken English as a language had begun to devolve into the system of grunts and gestures extant by 2100. If you find yourself in North America in this period, here is a guide to basic communication, including the phrases selected by fellow time tourists as those most often employed among the natives:
  1. "I seen / done / been." Use of tenses for verbs was largely abandoned by American English speakers in 2015. Thus, do not say "I have been to the emergency room," but say instead "I been treated for gunshot wounds at the emergency room." When giving statements to the police, do not say "I saw the crazed gunman open fire." Instead, say "I seen him start shooting, please stop beating me, I'm not resisting, I'm not resisting."
  2. "Like." The word 'like,' once defined as 'similar to' or 'having affection or favor toward,' became an all-purpose modifier by 2000. Thus, one should say "Like, I mean, you are, like, in, like, the room but, like, I don't know, like, yeah," when one means "I am in favor of light trade embargoes when they benefit local farmers."
  3. "Bro / bra / bae." All indicators of an intimate relationship, or precursors to an impending bar-brawl. Use sparingly, as the rules for usage are still evolving. Suggested safe use: "Like, bra, I been like, you know, sure." CAUTION: Use of the phrase 'Don't tase me bro' will almost certainly result in a tasing (see Glossary for definition).
  4. "I am sorry if you were offended by my words / actions / discharge of a shotgun in a petting zoo." Apologies in which the speaker takes responsibility for any wrongdoing vanished from the language in the 1990s. Instead, the speaker should acknowledge the hurt feelings, but then blame the other party or parties for feeling them. Particularly popular among political figures until elections were eliminated in favor of random coin-tosses by the Like It Matters Act of 2079.
The year 2015, while an excellent choice as a tourism destination date, also presents certain risks for even the seasoned time traveler. Remember, avoid direct eye contact with the natives, don't eat anything from the '99 cent value menu,' and don't bother with any of the Diehard sequels.

1 comment:

  1. Have you been hanging out on a college campus lately, or what??? And it's "I bin shot at," not "I been." You misspelled "bin." :>)