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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fiction
Happy Birthday from the Future

Sweetie:

Happy birthday from the year 2023!

I have not changed much since 2008. I was the first one on the block to get an iPhone. In 2011, as you’ll find out, I will preorder the GoogleCoffeeMaker. And ten years after paying for a voucher I am still waiting for my Blackwater Water Filter. I could have picked you up a blender or a couple of roses. Instead, I was the first in line at the local post office to send you this unique gift. Once a geek, always a geek!

Anyway, laws on sending messages to the past restrict the number of facts about the future I can reveal to you. So here is one: in 2018, we will buy an AngBurmaDoodle—a genetic hybrid dog-cat-rabbit as a pet. We will name it Harvey and we will be absolutely in love with it!

Love,
George

* * *

Sweetie:

Well my birthday gift did not go over as well as I had hoped. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that it had something to do with buying a gift that you will receive twenty-five years earlier instead of on your actual birthday. We had a big argument and I’ve been forced to sleep out in the docking bay with Harvey. I thought I’d send you this letter which you will have read long before we get into the argument. Perhaps by using this (as you call it) “newfangled-techno-crap” it will help smooth things over.

I am sorry.

Love,
George

* * *

Sweetie:

O.K., you asked me to be more specific about my apology: I am sorry that I ruined your birthday. And, yes, you are right—it would have been more helpful and practical to warn you about World Plague I and II in my first letter instead of telling you about, as you put it, “that psychotic flea-trap Harvey”. To use a phrase from the time you are reading this: my bad.

Love,
George

P.S. Do you think you could leave the keys out to the HoverVan for me? I’m tired of having to thumb a flight to work every morning.

* * *

Sweetie:

I know I’ve screwed up many times. I’ve repeatedly spent all of our savings on gadgets and fads. I’ve not been the most communicative of husbands. I know that I’ve tested your patience over and over. But it can’t be all bad, can it? We’ve stuck it out all of these years. We’ve had some fun times. Here is a preview for instance: we are going to go to San Diego for the World Tech Expo 2010. And, besides daily migraines that will keep you from checking out the booths with me, we will have a blast.

Love,
George

P.S. I received the divorce papers this morning. Your claim that we never “consummated” our marriage because I was too exhausted from text-messaging is both hurtful and really only partially true.

* * *

Dear Joyce:

I don’t know if by sending this letter I am technically breaking the restraining order. But I want to let you know that I have finally gotten the message. I am beginning to accept the fact that our thirty-five year relationship is coming to an end. I am sending this last letter from the future because I want to actually thank you for helping me learn something about myself. And even though divorce is really such an extreme, I feel I will be a better human being because of this.

Sincerely,
George

P.S. I am wondering if you could at least let me have the 18-foot roll-up beryllium plasma television. Halo 215 comes out next week.

Russell Bradbury-Carlin gave up his corporeal existence long ago. He now exists only as a series of bytes and electrical impulses distributed through out the internet. You can visit aspects of him (the humorous parts, anyway) here at Yankee Pot Roast and at McSweeney's, Science Creative Quarterly, The Big Jewel , as well as other sites. But if you are interested in visiting with him in his most condensed form, check out his Web site, All My Shoes and Glasses. Please note: if you visit his site between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., please be quiet--that is when he sleeps.