In Previous Wacky Wednesday Tales: You traveled to the future as part of a (horribly failed) get-rich scheme, got stuck due to a flawed rental policy (and issues with money disappearing if you withdraw it in the future to prevent yourself from investing it in the past), and finally had to settle on a job grooming talking animals. Can you finally make it home?
You’ll be the first one to admit it: you hate grooming talking animals. It would be bad enough having to deal with dozens of cats, dogs, and hamsters everyday even if they never said a word. Add in the ability to talk, though, and you have all the trouble of dealing with animals AND the joy of having to listen to a constant stream of gossip for the whole day.
It’s not just pets either, as you soon find out. Animal rights groups, along with those people who promote giving ‘human’ rights to anything with sufficiently sophisticated brainpower, had long since gotten Congress to give full rights to any ‘sufficiently intelligent entity’, be they animal, vegetable, mineral, robot, or sentient ball of light.
Fun thing is, it seemed to be working; while the future was far from a Utopian vision of true and perfect happiness in all things, it seemed to be running pretty well. In spite of having most of the representatives in Congress being cats and dogs, most issues were settled through calm and rational discussion, rather than screaming, name-calling, and well, fighting like cats and dogs. You honestly aren’t sure whether to be happy about this seemingly great future, or upset that it took genetically altered house pets to restore civility to government.
Of course, perhaps all is not as it seems; you do hear stories about an insidious ‘Master Computer‘ that’s in charge of everything and secretly runs the entire world (nay, the Multiverse) from its ultra-secret location. You’re not sure you believe any of these stories, though, because (a) the only ones you hear talking about this type of thing are hamsters (paranoid hamsters, no less), (b) if it were true, wouldn’t the Master Computer try to prevent knowledge of its existence from coming to light (or conversely, just announce its existence to the world and be done with it), and (c) the hamsters claim that the Master Computer was made by Microsoft, so you figure if there WAS a Master Computer, it’s only a matter of time before it crashes. (Rimshot!)
None of this frivolity or the tedium of styling hamster hair distracts you from your main goal, though: getting enough money to rent a time machine and return home. (With a possible side trip or two to gather up information to make all your future bets pay off.) Luckily, although you can’t use the money from your investment scheme to travel back in time, the universe seems to have no problem with you spending that money to survive while accumulating ‘new’ money with which to travel back in time. You try not to think about this too much, because it makes your head start to hurt when you do.
Still, your hard work pays off. Thanks to the healthy supply of money you had available from your time travel exploits, your hard work, and the relatively low expense of renting a time machine in the early twenty-third century, you are soon able to save up enough to rent one and put your plans into motion. (Not a moment too soon; if you had to trim Freddy the Ferret’s nails one more time while listening to his high-pitched insults of your mother, the stabbing would begin.)
You return to the Time Travel Rental Company, busily making your plans to become fabulously wealthy. Drop a few results of future sporting events in the lap of a younger you along with any money you can spare, travel elsewhere in time (elsewhen? You never got around to purchasing that time travel grammar book you wanted) and draw away the Time Cops’ attention (by trying to kill Hilter). Such a great plan, you’re glad you thought of it first.
You open the door to your newly rented time machine when a flash of light appears and WHAM! A group of time cops are standing there, along with two other versions of you, from the future. (Or the past? Really, you’ve completely lost track of the flow of time now.) They pull out the file they created for your attempt on Hitler’s life (‘Attempted Hitler Assassin #306,751’, it reads), then detail how they found out about your scheme from the future version of you they picked up in the past.
You are about to ask how they caught you before you did anything, before realizing that, ‘Hey, Time Cops’ pretty much sums it up. Since you didn’t actually do anything seriously wrong (attempting to assassinate Hitler was ruled a misdemeanor a few years after time travel became commonplace), the time police told you that they’d simply release you a few days after you first tried to time travel…
“And that’s why I’m so late getting here.” You finish telling your story to your fiancee, hoping that this will get you out of trouble for being so late. After pleading (from you), throwing things (from them), crying (from both), and screaming like a little child (that’d be you again), you realize that maybe telling your beloved about a plan to permanently travel into the future wouldn’t cause less trouble than simply saying you lose your phone.