Ted (merovingian) wrote,

Handshakes Epilog

There is a very common impulse when meeting with a celebrity. You want to say something interesting so the celebrity will remember you. It's awkward for the celebrity, and kind of nervewracking for the non-celebrity, but it's very normal! Stephen Fry writes about it beautifully on his blog.

Well, I guess I get the same kind of feeling when I'm speaking with time travelers from the future. Not the past as much, for some reason, but always from the future.

This evening, late this evening, you see, I had the opportunity to speak with one.

Stammering for something interesting to say, I remembered my conversation from earlier today. "Hey, what happens to Bacon numbers in the future?" I asked.

I could feel the stupid in my throat coating the words I spoke. First, it's rude to ask a time traveler about future events. There are all kinds of rules and paradoxes and so on. Second, if I was going to do that, couldn't I ask about world peace or the stock market or maybe some sort of gambling make-money trick or medicine or my own fate or perhaps the free will question? Something useful or important?

Well, the time traveler took it in stride, which was nice. "Actually, people on the Internet (or what have you) had a lot of arguments about it and then nobody really cared," she explained, "Like the whole balrog-wings thing, which was resolved only decades after everyone lost interest. The future will not ever become the orgy of middle-class gadgetry obsession that we demand of it. Most people have way too much to worry about, honestly. Which reminds me, do you know where I can buy a live and fertile walrus? I kind of need one to bring back home with me."

"Thanks," she added awkwardly afterward.

Where can she buy a live and fertile walrus?

Uh, thanks!
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