Friday, March 1, 2013

Back From the Future

I never officially signed up for the Back From the Future blog hop, but after seeing one entry today, an idea popped into my head.  But first, da rules:

You're up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. You haven't brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you ... from you. 

You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully, you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox -- sent from ten years in the future -- and it's filled with items you have sent yourself. 

What's in it?
Just a single piece of paper.  At the top is a short note signed by a symbol that makes me know with certainty who sent it.  It says:
"In a year or two, you'll have the ability to install a program on your computer that will alert you immediately (with as loud a sound as you desire) if and when you type a certain phrase.  Install it, and make it scream bloody murder if it detects the following keystrokes:

I'd really like to *, but *

It doesn't matter what the asterisk wild-cards are.  Just freakin' do it."
Below that note is a scan of the abstract of a scientific paper that's dated from the early 2020s.  I read it once, then I read it again, then I hit my forehead with my hand.

Then I get to work.


  1. Q. How cool are you, Mr. Man?

    A. (Very.)

    1. Note that I didn't say that I'd actually DO it... whatever "it" is! :-) :-)

    2. Yeah, you will. You were made to chirp then soar.

  2. This is sort of on topic, but this post made me think of some Facebook thread I participated in a year or so ago about how Marty and "Doc" met each other -- as the movie is a bit mum or simply implies the nature of their relationship.

    My theory is that Doc is actually Marty from the future, here is my explanation:

    "Marty kept slacking off at school, never amounting to much -- eventually landing a janitorial position at a local physics lab. 20 long years he worked there, scrubbing, cleaning et cetera. One day, in the middle of the night, he discovers a pile of papers in a rubbish bin -- on a whim he reads it. It's a memo labeled "Top Secret" and contains a description of a time machine utilizing something called a "Flux Capacitator."

    Marty's one wish was that if he could do it all over again he would do well in school, get the girl, get back at the bullies that tormented him in his youth. Suddenly a crazy idea occurred to him -- what if I go back in time and directed myself in the direction I want to live my life??

    The memo was addressed to the workers in section 3B -- Marty decided the lab in 3B probably needed a second cleaning. . ."

    1. Cool interpretation. You'd probably have to ignore the sequels for this to make airtight sense, but (other than the hoverboard) that's probably a good thing to do already. :-)

  3. Wow, so you have your long-term future self motivating your current self to design a program to tell your short-term future self to stop making excuses. Nicely done!

  4. This made me laugh, but in a 'very much so' way. You can definitely do it. It's a great response to the challenge too.

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Squidward and Porkins! (Apologies for name-mangling, but those are the characters I visualize when seeing your nomz-de-plume lined up like that...)

    Of course, now that I've been thinking of all the weird things that pass through my mind that may satisfy the above alarm-bell phrase, it scares me silly to think that I'd be called on the carpet to go through with any (every?) one of 'em!