Tag Archives | time travel

Time travel/pop culture mashups with humor potential

Gilligan looks surprised

  • Gilligan is marooned on “Más a Tierra”, later renamed to Robinson Crusoe Island, with Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who had a low tolerance for bullshit
  • Joey (from Friends) is sent back in time to live with Fourth Earl of Sandwich, while the Earl was still working on his eponymous invention. (I recommend sending Joey back to the time when Sandwich was still using cedar boards instead of bread.)*
  • Transport all the characters of MASH (season 7 or after) back to the actual Korean War. This could be first offering in a series of pop culture/war mashups, which could include:
    • McHale’s Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar
    • China Beach at the Crimea
    • Hogan’s Hero’s at the Battle of Gaugamela (put them on Persian side for maximum laughs)
  • Jerry Seinfeld is sent to work at a medieval tannery in Sweinslop, Germany, without any sneaker polish
  • Cliff Claven and Norm Peterson join the Donner Party.
  • The main cast of Sex in the City visits Krakatoa, in 1883, moments before it explodes with the 13,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb.

This is just the beginning. Now all we need to do is invent a working time machine, and have some kind of way of turning fictional characters into real people.

*You may want to check out Woody Allen’s excellent article about the invention of the sandwich, Yes, But Can the Steam Engine Do This? Alltop would love to join the Donner Party. It loves parties!

The Curious Case of Toulouse Le Grandfig, Graphic Designer (Part Two)

Entry 2: Dictated: April 26, 1951 (continued from Part One)

For our first session, I thought I would try to understand Grandfig’s psychosis through the medium of his art. I brought in the artwork he had been working on for a hat-maker, and had him role-play what the characters were saying to one another. [Figure 8]

Hat dudesFrom recording of patient interview, April 26, 1951:

Dr. Cornelius: So what are the men in this first panel saying to one another Mr. Grandfig?

Gradfig’s voice: Hey Bob, how are things going with the new job?

Great Jim, I’ve just been assigned to CEO cleanup in sector 6.

Really, how’s that going?

Not well. They keep eating everyone. But at least I have this hat. Of course, it would be nice if it had a laser defense net too!

Dr. Cornelius: What is a laser defense net?

Grandfig: Something to keep the CEOs at bay. Long enough to find a baby or something to throw at them anyway.

Dr. Cornelius: What?

Grandfig: Should I do the next one?

Dr. Cornelius: Uh, I haven’t fully absorbed the first, but yes, let’s.

Grandfig: “Hey Steve how’s that hat feeling. Is the laser defense net uncomfortable?”

“Mrfpp, mdhgtr, pank mawlk … mipe.”

“Yeah, I had a cerebral embolism once too.”

Dr. Cornelius: So you think the man with the pipe had a cerebral embolism?

Grandfig: Of course not. Jones is an idiot.

[sound of heavy sigh]

Dr. Cornelius: How about this last one?

Grandfig: Oh, they’re in love.

[recording stops]

Apparently, Mr. Scott’s amateur diagnosis is correct. Clearly, there are repressed issues afoot, so for our next session, I asked Grandfig to create a painting of his family, and he produced Figure 9:

the family of T le G.

I administered 150 mg of thorazine immediately.

When Grandfig had calmed, I asked him why he was so obsessed with anthropophagy. Had he eaten people?

He was groggy, but he answered. “Not in this timeline Doctor. And in the Land of the Future, all I ever ate was one foot. One foot! You can’t be a cannibal if you eat one foot. Especially if you didn’t know it was a foot. You know I don’t mind telling you, I wish I’d never had my tail removed, then none of this would ever have happened.”

Entry 3: Dictated: April 27, 1951

Thanks for the thorazine!When I dropped by Grandfig’s secured room to see how his night went, I was surprised to see that he was gone. All that was left was a postcard and a small can of food. I ripped off the label, for the record.

The content of the postcard is clearly indicative of some kind of deep paranoia, probably brought about by eating a foot and/or being abused by homosexual Nazis. I must say, I was worried about the veiled threat that I would see Grandfig “in the future.”. The food was clearly mislabeled, as it turned out to be some kind of canned meat.

It was, however, delicious.

You can finds all sorts of canned meat here. My apologies to the authors of The Big Bus. Originally published June 2008.

The issue of social media fines: an open letter to Elections Canada

Dear Elections Canada,

This is a typical Canadian,
voting without the benefits
of time travel.

First of all, thank you for doing this job! I imagine it is somewhat of a thankless task, and I for one appreciate being able to vote, even though Stephen Harper tells me I shouldn’t want to. I certainly don’t begrudge you the hard-earned tax dollars that helps pay your salaries. (Unlike the loonies that got flushed for the G-20 summit.)

I understand that as “an independent, non-partisan agency that reports directly to Parliament” you can’t do much about the elections act, and the fact that a portion of the act prevents the “premature transmission” of election results across time zones. Obviously, this “transmission” could be done by CTV, CBC, hack newspapers, and, of course, individuals using Twitter. So, your threat that anyone announcing results too early could be fined $25,000 and suffer a thorough noodle-lashing is perfectly reasonable. You’re just upholding the law.

A thought occurs: a thorough implementation of this policy may be an excellent way to deal with the massive budget deficit the previous (Conservative) government has left us. In fact, if only 1.2 million Canadians say something about the election results before all the polls are closed, that should cover the $30 billion deficit. (16 million Canadians are on Facebook, more than 300,000 are on Twitter – and many of those will be repeat retweeting offenders – this seems like a reasonable proposition.)

On the other hand, you, like others, may feel this is an excessive response to what may be an innocent mistake. (Not every slack-jawed Facebook user is an Elections Canada Act aficionado, like your correspondent, who has a special drool-wiping gnome to help him with his slack-jawed Facebook use, and several cyborg pixies to help him keep track of the act.)

The answer to this issue is so obvious. I’m surprised it evaded you.

Change the time zones.

All you need to do is pick a Canadian Standard Time. Voila. If we all live in the same time zone, there will be no likelihood of Canadians (innocent and not-so) contravening the act and using their social media to tell their distant relatives and friends what is happening where they live. Granted, it may prove inconvenient to have the sun rise at 5 am in Halifax and 10 am in Vancouver, but we all must learn to make sacrifices. (Except in Toronto. Never there.)

Another (more radical) solution may require some research. My understanding is that time travel is theoretically possible. Perhaps we could somehow move populations through time so that no-one has to experience the horror of knowing what other parts of the country have done before them. Obviously, there will be some expense to this. But we can make it affordable by moving populations based on size and location. Once again, this proposal will mean that nothing will interfere with people living in Toronto – or Montreal and Ottawa (also important) – and their daily activities. Besides, people who live on the coasts should be willing to work with the inconvenience, because they’ve got all those positive ions helping them keep healthy and be happy anyway.

A third (extremely radical) idea, is that you could only release the poll results once all the votes have been counted. This would mean no time travel, nor subjugating the entire country to the diurnal dictates of one time zone (Toronto-time, we could call it), but it may work. You would have to count all the votes, and only release them to the media (and slack-jawed Facebook users, with and without gnome helpers) when ALL the results are in.

Of course, that would mean that people in Toronto would have to go to bed before they knew the results of the election.

Scratch that. Ignore that last idea. Crazy talk.

Yours (in) sincerely,


Disquieting Postcards I’ve Recently Received from My Future Self

Here’s a snippet from one of my recent short fictions, published by the brand-spanking-and-awesomely-new, AE – The Canadian Review of Science Fiction. Essentially, it’s about the dangers of self-improvement through time travel:

Recognize the handwriting? Yeah, it’s me. More precisely, it’s you, circa fifteen years from now. Good news — you’ve finally lost that twenty pounds! Too bad you had to amputate your right leg to do it. At least it means our BMI is low enough to keep us out of the local “Fat Reduction Centre.” The less said about those, the better. I hope you like the card. This is a picture of our home town after the alien invasion. Cool, eh?


— P.S. Don’t sweat the aliens. They’re good for us.

Read the rest of the story at AE, and be sure to check out the other short fiction and essays too.

Alltop once married its own great-great grandparents.

Time Travel Sucks

Nothing worse than the hoseIf you asked him, Bertie could never really tell you what he disliked most about time travel.

Obviously, having to arrive in each new era stark naked was not the most pleasant experience. It usually meant having at least a few embarrassing moments (though it could occasionally have its upsides, such as the time he dimensionally slipped into that alternate reality where women had the same psychosexual visual response to nudity the way that men did in his reality . . .)

He was bothered that he could not change anything. He’d taken Causality 101 in college, and was fully conversant with the Heisenberg-Lurie equations relating to the Novikov self-consistency principle. He’d even tested this idea by trying to kill Hitler. (Every first-year time traveler tries to kill Hitler at least a couple of times.) Yes, not being able to alter history bothered him.

Then there was the HOSE. He hated the HOSE.

Alltop considers itself a hoser. Thanks to Whatsthatpicture for the historical snap. Originally published in 2007.