This is a real posting on Craigslist from this weekend, here where I live. I’ve kept it exactly as is, except for removing information which might reveal identity or contact information:
In need of a time travel companion (please take this seriously)
Date: 2011-06-17, 5:38PM PDT
I have a functioning time machine I know it sounds unbelievable, but “I assure you it works.” I need a second person to operate it with me. I’m looking for someone who is adventurous and reliable. Preferably a female that can do heavy lifting.
I am leaving on June 30th, 2011 in the morning and plan to return July 3rd, 2011. I am going to June 1988 to handle some business. If you are serious about time travel and are reliable, then please contact me.
You do not have to pay anything, but you will need to pack light. I will be conducting interviews in the next couple of days. The only qualifications needed are that you are reliable and that the circumferance of your head is no more than 64cm.
Please send me an email along with a picture of you on an adventure.
This is followed by 2 photos: one of, presumably, the time-travel machine:
The second, of someone – presumably the advertiser/inventor/time-traveler – holding a fish he has just caught.
I am writing in response to your ad for a time-travel companion. First off, let me say congratulations on creating a working time-machine. That is, well, to call it an impressive accomplishment would be an understatement, wouldn’t it? Kudos, sir. Kudos.
I have some questions, but first let me give you my qualifications: First, I’m very serious about time-travel. I have seen The Terminator and its sequels, Star Trek IV, as well as having read HG Wells’ The Time Machine. That’s right, a book. But that’s not the extent of my seriousness. I have also seen Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Time Cop – the entire thing. No one who isn’t deadly serious about time travel could make such a claim, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Now, I’m not female, so hopefully their isn’t a crucial estrogen element to the function of the machine, but I am up for heavy lifting (is the lifting for the machine, or for the “business” in 1988? Sorry, I said I’d save my questions), and am willing to dress in drag, if need be.
As for adventure, I have been on many adventures. In fact, truth be told, this would not be my first experience with time travel, as one time I had what could only be described as an “excellent adventure” travelling through time with a friend in a phone booth/time machine (please see the attached photo, or – for a more detailed account – it’s available on DVD, but not blu-ray).
There was a follow-up journey that was, for lack of a better term, bogus and, frankly, not worth recounting.
In addition, since we’re going to 1988 we’re going to need to fit in; I happen to have the INXS album Kick on cassette, a can of Jolt Cola, and an unopened tub of Dippity-Do styling gel I’ve been holding onto just in case such an opportunity should arise. And to think people said I was being ridiculous. I’d like to think that this experience and preparedness would be things I could bring to the table that someone else, even a heavy-lifting female, could not.
Now, if you’ll permit me, I do have just a couple questions. Little things, really:
First, the fish picture. Is the fish connected to the running of the time machine in some way, or is it pertaining to the business in 1988? I mostly ask because if you are seeking vengeance of some sort on this fish, and travelling through time to have it, well, I suggest you take a quick peek at the ending of Moby Dick and heed its warnings.
Second, I notice that your time machine varies from the standard Delorean and Phone Booth formats. Interesting! I am a little concerned about the dial on the outside of the machine – assuming this is for sealing it up, who’s going to close it? Are you going alone, and just need a second person to close it? Because this would affect my packing.
Third. Why return 3 days later? I don’t mean any criticism, it just seems that one of the perks of a time travel machine would be to come back… you know… immediately. Are you going for a sort of ‘Christ’ metaphor? Or will your business in 1988 take 3 days and you don’t want everyone staring at you on your next birthday when you just don’t look quite old enough. Juuuust not quite old enough.
Fourth, this business you need to handle in June of 1988. Assuming it’s not fish-vengeance, I’m hoping that it’s nothing that will disrupt the space-time continuum, thus creating a temporal paradox that will unravel the fabric of the universe destroying all life and existence itself. Because if so, and you may call me a fuddy-duddy, but I will simply have to say no, thank you, to any part of that. Aside from that, hopefully it’s legal, and while we’re there, there are some stocks I would like very much to buy, if there’s time.
Lastly, and I’m sorry for so many questions, please don’t take it as a commentary on your ad being vague or confusing in some way:
About the head-size thing. Are there hats involved? I do like a good hat. Is it simply that you dislike people with large heads? Is it connected to the fish from the picture in some way? Are you insecure about the size of your own head? My head is a pretty standard, slightly on the large-side 61 centimeters (roughly – I had trouble seeing the ruler as I turned it around my head), but my body circumference is larger that this, so hopefully that isn’t the size of the tube.
Thank you for your time, and again, really, congratulations. This whole thing is, I can say with total sincerity and honesty, jaw-dropping.