As my family and I get ready to spend 4 days and 3 nights out of town, I am reminded that once you have kids life as you know it is completely over. Done. Finito. For instance, when you were young did you ever take an impromptu road trip? How did you pack for that? Yeah, you jammed some clothes into a backpack and just took off. And that’s if you even bothered to do that. I’ve known people who would leave the country on a lark, and the only thing they took care to bring with them was a pack of smokes. That makes sense, actually, since a fresh set of underwear won’t get you far in Mexican prison, but a pack of smokes will keep others from forcibly removing the pair you have on.
Anyway, we’re a family of five, and so packing for a long weekend consists of my wife starting The List about a month ahead of time, slowly adding things to it so that we do not find ourselves in the unenviable position of being stuck in a cabin in the woods without a G.I. Joe doll, a pop-up book about dinosaurs, or less than a metric ton of children’s blankets and 147 pillows. Looking in the back of the car, you’d think we just robbed a day care or something.
And without fail, just when I get finished playing Luggage Tetris, my daughter comes out with four more blankets and six overstuffed novelty heart-shaped pillows. “Whoah, whoah, whoah… The place we’re going to has blankets and pillows, and we’ve already packed a bunch of extras. There is no way that you need those!” “But I can’t sleep without them!” “Those have been sitting under your bed or in your closet for months. You sleep without them every single night!” “But mommy said!”
Oooh, those three words. My daughter seems to think they excuse any kind of behavior. “Hey! You put down that shotgun and let those orphans go this instant!” “But mommy said!” And so on top of the luggage I neatly inserted into the back, I now have to pile layer upon layer of blankets and pillows until any chance I had of seeing out the back window is long, long gone. This makes it hard to see what’s going on behind me while I’m driving, which tends to be a problem when there are cops behind me.
Cop: Do you know why I pulled you over?
Me: Hopefully because you think I have too many kids.
Cop: I pulled you over because you were doing 80 in a 65.
Cop: And that’s against the law! You can’t do that!
Me: But mommy said!
On to the Weekly Hypothetical, which comes to us courtesy of Michi-Jen, who I believe is a person named Jen from the state of Michigan. Or it’s the Michelin Man’s half-sister. She asks:
If you could bring one person in history forward in time to the present day to show them all the cool things we have now, who would it be?
Well, here’s one group of people who you wouldn’t want to bring back: People from the not too distant past. For instance, what would the point be of bringing Steve Jobs back, other than to give Apple fan-boys multiple orgasms? He’d look around and say, “Yeah? Can I help you?”
Even someone as far back as Thomas Edison wouldn’t be a whole lot of fun to bring back.
Edison: Hey, look! More light bulbs!
Me: Yeah, I know. Hey, have I shown you computers yet? These are really cool.
Edison: How does the screen light up? Lightbulbs? It’s lightbulbs, isn’t it?
Me: No it’s not… Ok, forget computers. Here, this doesn’t light up. It’s a CD player. It plays music.
Edison: That’s just a small phonograph.
Me: No, it’s not. It doesn’t use wax, or vinyl, or a needle. It uses lasers to read digitally encoded bits, so that it…
Me: Uhhh, yeah, lasers are light with the waves synchronized so that…
Edison: Kind of like light bulbs, huh?
Me: Fuck you, Edison.
But you wouldn’t want to go too far back in time either…
Sir Lancelot: What foul contrivance is this?
Me: It’s not a foul contrivance. Put that sword away. This is called a laptop, and when you turn it on…
Sir Lancelot: Ahhh! It shineth light like the fires of hell! This falseness is an affront to God!
Me: No, don’t… Goddammit, Lancelot, that cost me $1,200! Stop hacking at everything you can’t understand!
Sir Lancelot: Foul demon, your accursed contraptions will not deter me from my most Holy of quests!
Me: Look! Let’s be clear about this: Just because your syphilitic brain doesn’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s a tool of Satan!
Sir Lancelot: Abomination!
Me: Hey! That’s my toilet, you moron!
Some people would say they’d bring back Jesus, but that doesn’t make sense because if you believe in Jesus, you believe that he knows everything, and that you’d be meeting him relatively soon anyway. He’d look at you as if to say, “I gave you that opportunity, and this is the best you could do with it?” (“Sorry, Jesus.”)
I think the person to bring back would be Ben Franklin. He had a scientific bent, so he’d appreciate new technology. Plus, he was a notorious womanizer and loved his booze, so he’d be fun to hang out with:
Ben: This world is simply a marvel, my good man! The ale is cold and refreshing, the lasses are comely, and this place is pleasant beyond words. This… this… what do you call it again, good sir?
Me: Strip club. We’re at a strip club.
Ben: A strip club! Huzzah!
A close second place would have to be Abraham Lincoln: