Thursday, January 23, 2020


The Good Old Days

I was a bad boy. I know that, now. I just wanted to help people.

When the Cold War finally ground to a halt, and everyone started knocking down the walls and fences and filling in the missile silos, they began to make an accounting of the years.

If a war against ignorance and poverty and disease and hunger had gotten started to help build up the human race instead of cold war to build up borders and animosities and prejudices, the world might be a really nice place.

Well, I thought about this for a long time. Then I did something foolish. I stole my uncle's temporal displacement invention.

I traveled back through time and fiddled around.

First, I visited Marx. Before he ever started thinking politically, I managed to get him interested in art. He got hooked on water colors.

Then I convinced Hitler that music was his forte. He really Wagner's music, so I introduced them.

I was having fun. I went hither and thither, when and then.

Plato, Socrates, Freud, Nietzsche, Columbus. I conned all of them.

Finally, I felt I was finished. So I went home.

Only to find I had no home. No parents, no brothers and sisters, no aunts, uncles, cousins. Not even my dog. With no war, my father never became a pilot, and my mother never joined the Red Cross, so they never met.

Oh, the world is a peaceful, safe place. And everyone is in perfect health, and live practically forever, but it sure is boring. None of the famous novels were written - no War and Peace, no Red Badge of Courage, no Fail Safe, nothing. Everybody has all they could ask for. There's no strife or hardship to inspire anyone.

All of my favorite movies are gone; The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Of Mice and Men, Dr. Strangelove; all gone.

When I started talking about these things, people started acting like I was crazy. I'm okay, they're the ones that are different.

No one believes me. You believe me, don't you, doctor?

I swear, if you can make them give me back my uncle's invention, I can fix everything. I can make life interesting again.

Please, help me bring back the good old days. Please?

The Good Old Days first appeared in the Time-Zone Labs Newsletter 
September/October 1993 edition
©1993-2020 Kelly J Nolte / Laura Nolte
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