May 22nd, 2009


The stupid bucket

There was a bucket in the middle of the sidewalk today. A very stupid bucket.

I stumbled on it and fell and scuffed my knees. Stupid bucket.

When I stood up, two men were standing in front of me, flashing high-tech badges.

"You're under arrest for ninth degree murder," the shorter one said, gesturing at the bucket.

"What?" I said, "If the bucket had somehow been alive, I sure didn't kill it, and even if I had, the stupid bucket deserved it."

"No," the taller one said, flashing his blinky holographic badge again, "We're Time Police. Knocking that bucket over will lead to a chain of events that causes an intentional killing, two hundred and twenty years from now. A very brutal and remorseless one. Since you very indirectly caused it, you're under suspicion of ninth degree murder."

"Uh, okay, wait," I said, getting defensive, "even if that was true, that law doesn't exist right now. You can't make ex post facto laws to arrest people in the past. The Constitution forbids it. Even if it's somehow allowed in the future, it's not allowed now."

"True," the shorter one said, "but this device here loops time just right so that it's not ex post facto any more."

He showed me a little sleek charcoal-grey plastic box with a flashing green light.


"The penalty for ninth-degree murder is a two dollar fine," the taller one said with a shrug, "After all, it's only ninth degree."

Relieved, I gave them two dollars. I figured, even if I was being scammed, it was just two dollars.

As they left, I realized that two dollars now probably works out to millions 220 years in the future.

Stupid bucket!