"Err, uh, excuse me... this may sound like a line but,
well... err, do you have a pair of toe-nail clippers I can
borrow? My toes are really hurting me and..."
- Roy Bluehaul--hitting on
"Lab experiment number fifty-three," Corbin Wick droned
into his pocket recorder. "Ten seconds to time travel...
nine... eight... seven... six... four; uh, sorry... five...
four... three... two... one... zero--"
"Lab experiment number fifty-three results: mechanical
failure." Corbin tossed his tape recorder onto the workbench
by his side. Another failure, he thought. How long do I
have to wait? No! I will not ever give up! I will make my
time machine work! He frowned. Maybe I won't?
The remote control garage door opener felt cold in his
hand. The plan was simple. With a push of the button,
Corbin mused, the user would be instantly transported to the
desired time and place.
"Lunch time, honey!" Corbin's mother called down the
"Okay, mom!" Corbin called back dejectedly. He frowned
at the garage door opener/time machine then tapped the big
Nothing happened. He frowned at it again then flung it
onto his workbench.
"Hurry up, Corbin," his mom called again. "Your peanut
butter and mayonnaise sandwich will get cold!" She laughed
motherly at her own humor.
Corbin giggled. I have such a clever mom, he thought to
himself as he ran up the basement steps.
A few moments later, Corbin descended the steps, munching
on his strange sandwich. He put down the sandwich and picked
up the pocket recorder. "Lab experiment number fifty-four."
He grabbed the pocket garage door opener and pressed the
button for the third time.
For the third time, nothing happened.
Corbin unscrewed the back of the unit and pried an
unusual electronic chip from the circuit board with his
little pocket screwdriver. He replaced the chip, after
spraying it with a bottle of cleaning solvent, and pressed it
firmly into place. Next, he snapped the backside onto the
front and replaced every screw. Then he opened a four-pack
of AA sized batteries and replaced the two batteries inside
the back of the remote control. Finally, Corbin grabbed
another tiny screwdriver from a tool box underneath the
workbench and screwed a random screw on the remote control a
little bit tighter.
Corbin smiled, ready to time-travel and eager to start.
He pressed the button confidently.
"Aaaa!" Corbin screamed. "Stupid piece of junk!" He
threw it to the concrete basement floor in a fit.
The basement floor turned to a nice shade of light pink
instead of its usual dingy gray color.
"What?!" Corbin exclaimed as he dumbly stared at the
floor of a different color. What the heck is going on? He
picked up the not-so-badly scratched garage door opener and
stared at it. He hesitantly pushed the button again.
His peanut butter sandwich sprouted a pair of bird-like
wings and gracefully flew out an open basement window.
His mind whirred, desperately trying to comprehend all of
this nonsense. He picked up his pocket recorder once again.
"Lab experiment number fifty-five," he intoned quietly. He
pressed the button on the garage door opener, half expecting
the world to explode or something.
Nothing happened in Corbin's vicinity. At a lake not far
from Corbin's home, a small sunfish gained a soul.
"Hmn..." Corbin mused. "Experiment number fifty five
results:" he stated, "Occurrence one--a strange bodily noise,
reverberated and amplified from an unknown source and," he
paused, shaking his head clear, "and the floor turned from
gray to pink. Occurrence two--same noise and," he glanced at
his sandwich plate, now slightly empty. "And a peanut butter
sandwich flew away. Third and last occurrence--same noise
but no measurable aftereffects this time."
He laid the garage door opener/whatever on top of the
workbench. What's going on? he thought. This isn't a time
machine; instead of entering the fabric of time it warps the
fabric of reality. "I've invented a reality machine," he
said, incredulous. He glanced down at his feet. Pink
floor?! "With no control over what is to occur." He
nervously pushed the strange device farther away from him.
"I'll play with it tomorrow," he mumbled.