Friday, December 7, 2007

Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day

Before getting to the blog I'd like to take a moment to recognize today December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day in honor of all those of that generation who served in World War II.


I thought the subject of this blog was rather timely since lately we've all been traveling back through time to visit our 13 year old selves.

I was surfing around a couple of months ago for a reason that I've since forgotten and somehow stumbled on a discussion forum. To this day I don't know what the forum is or even if it has a specific purpose but I happened on a thread that cracked me up. A bunch of (presumably) geeky kids have proposed and are attempting to organize "Pretend to be a Time Traveler day". The comments on the thread are pretty amusing to read. Don't ask me why but I love this idea. Maybe it appeals to the 45% abnormal part of me that I discoverd I had thanks to Kitty's quiz. The date is set for tomorrow - Saturday December 8th. Here are some guidelines from the originator of the idea:

You must spend the entire day in costume and character. The only rule is that you cannot actually tell anyone that you are a time traveler. Other than that, anything's game.

There are three possible options:

1) Utopian/cliché Future - "If the Future did a documentary of the last fifty years, this is how badly the reenactors would dress." Think Star Trek: TNG or the Time Travelers from Hob. Ever see how the society in Futurama sees the 20th century? Run with it. Your job is to dress with moderately anachronistic clothing and speak in slang from varying decades. Here are some good starters:

- Greet people by referring to things that don't yet exist or haven't existed for a long time. Example: "Have you penetrated the atmosphere lately?" "What spectrum will today's broadcast be in?" and "Your king must be a kindly soul!"

- Show extreme ignorance in operating regular technology. Pay phones should be a complete mystery (try placing the receiver in odd places). Chuckle knowingly at cell phones.

2) Dystopian Future - This one offers a little more flexibility. It can be any kind of future from Terminator to Freejack. The important thing to remember is dress like a crazy person with armor. Black spray painted football pads, high tech visors, torn up trenchcoats and maybe even some dirt here or there. Remember, dystopian future travelers are very startled that they've gone back in time. Some starters:

- If you go the "prisoner who's escaped the future" try shaving your head and putting a barcode on the back of your neck. Then stagger around and stare at the sky, as if you've never seen it before.

- Walk up to random people and say "WHAT YEAR IS THIS?" and when they tell you, get quiet and then say "Then there's still time!" and run off.

- Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell "NOOOOOOOOO" - Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.

- Take some trinket with you (it can be anything really), hand it to some stranger, along with a phone number and say "In thirty years dial this number. You'll know what to do after that." Then slip away.

3) The Past - This one is more for beginners. Basically dress in period clothing (preferably Victorian era) and stagger around amazed at everything. Since the culture's set in place already, you have more of a template to work off of. Some pointers:

- Airplanes are terrifying. Also, carry on conversations with televisions for a while.

- Discover and become obsessed with one trivial aspect of technology, like automatic grocery doors. Stay there for hours playing with it.

- Be generally terrified of people who are dressed immodestly compared to your era. Tattoos and shorts on women are especially scary.

And that's it. Remember, the only real rule is staying in character and try to fit in. Never directly admit you're a time traveler, and make really, really bad attempts at keeping a low profile.

Flaunt your abnormality! Get out there and act crazy - these days who the hell will notice? And try not to get arrested. Have a great weekend.


Kitty said...

LOL at time traveller day - I'm supposed to be going out with my brother tomorrow - he looks like an alien anyway, does that count?

You're just flaunting your 55% of abnormal aren't you? Nobody got more than 65% on that quiz - I dread to think what sort of person would score anything nearing 100%!

Take care :-) x

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Kitty, I'll let you make the call about your brother. And hey, if you've got it - flaunt it!

Malach the Merciless said...

Malach is defintely Dystopian

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Mal. Somehow I knew that.

Hungry Mother said...

Nice idea for a Saturday. I think a good opener would be a terminator entrance - bareass. I better start chugging steroids now to get my ass muscles toned.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

HM, you better get workin' on those squats. And let me know how that naked thing works out for you. After you're released.

Anonymous said...

I hope you have a great weekend Bruce!

I'm packing my bags for a time travel trip....

Mike said...

If I did that around here, I would be arrested for sure. My wife's just waiting for an excuse to have me locked up.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Propon, have a great trip! Send me a post card...or a blog comment.

Mike I don't believe that. If she really wanted you gone I'm sure she's had plenty of reasons before this. She'll keep ya.

BBC said...

I'm always in character, one or the other. Complex people have many parts to them. I don't think much about time travel other than I'm always moving into the future, I'm omnipresent.

Don't care much about the past because it is just full of a bunch of monkey droppings.

Monkey shit in the ruts of time as we hurtle through space.

Biscuit said...

If I did something like that, my husband would start sweating and counting out all of my medications to make sure I had been taking them.

Kind of sounds like fun now that I picture it :)

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Sounds like a normal day at my house. You'll probably give him reason to do that anyway, you may as well have fun while you're at it.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

speaking of travel, you should be aware and fully support this legitimately worthy charity.