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and Walter Matthau's Excellent Adventure
got a time machine now.
mind how I got it or how it works. It's swag and I'm not going to go blabbing
about it, lest my corporate swag-fulfillers think I'm being ungrateful
and all shitty about it.
got time travel. This
guy doesn't. And he's totally jealous.
you have awesome machinery such as this, something that will even supplant
the TiVo and Xbox, or any other interestingly consonanted electronic device
in the house, the challenge is finding an appropriately sensational use
for this fine piece of engineering.
you... go back to mazeoloaic times when the first meatball was invented?
Perhaps travel far into the future when single-cell bacteria lobby for
their own set of radiation-free perma-caves? Perhaps you'd keep it simple
and travel a week back and avoid eating at Baby Acapulco, thus avoiding
four days of painful diarrhea. I know I'd do that. Diarrhea fucking sucks,
as any time traveler worth his (or her, let's not be all puto about
it) salty nuts will tell you.
had a dream going into this and I would not be swayed.
crazy!" one man said to me when my plan was revealed.
you're insane!" a woman told me. I did not slap her. I do
not slap the ladies.
is stupid!" a boy cried out. Then I had to wonder how all these people
got into my house
you see, my plan was two-fold. Four fold, if you were to fold it once
more past the two-fold. But I wouldn't advise it.
#1: To travel back to the year 1978.
#2: To visit the Academy Awards of that year.
DAMMIT. I'm going to need those extra folds after all.
#3 -- To capture Walter Matthau, circa 1990, and bring him with me to
1978, thus ensuring myself entrance to the Oscars. (I may be a time traveler,
but that doesn't mean I'd get in by myself. What am I gonna say? "Hey,
let me in. I come from 2003." I would get slapped. Hard.)
#4 -- Return to tell the tale.
back and I'm telling the tale, so Fold #4 is pretty much squared away.
#1-#3? Well, let me tell you.
who tells you time travel is easy is blowing smoke up your ass. Don't
let them. Tinted water, maybe. But not smoke. You don't want secondhand
travel is a very involved convoluted process that involves buttons, equations,
men in little pants to wipe the windows, cattle. And fuel. Always fuel.
If you don't take enough fuel to make a return trip, you'll end up stuck
in 1955 with Crispin Glover. That's no way to live. Or have lived. Or
have lived in the past that was once the, uh... present.
Avoid those if you can.
to the awesomeness of time travel, and the aforementioned cattle, tiny
pants men, et al, I was soon on my way to 1978 on a vortex made of memory.
But I had a stop to make.
year was 1990. Mullets were everywhere. The Berlin Wall was being sold
in pieces at souvenier shops all over Germany. Some things sucked and
others blew, but it was a world very much like our own, only younger.
Matthau was still hale and full of piss, vinegar and old-man jism. I don't
know what he'd been drinking the night before, but it contained some amount
of piss, vinegar and old-man jism. He was a few years away from the Grumpy
Old Men films and the gnarly Out to Sea, which would signal
the onset of senility.
"You're going to take me where?
1990, though, he was still a right bastard, a gusty barrel of man in wrinkly,
flabby skin that had been in that state since roughly 1967.
found his mansion in Beverly Hills and rang the doorbell. He answered
the door in a bathrobe and chomping on a cigar.
there. Whaddaya need?" he asked. He was tall, much taller than I
expected, and huge where it counted.
need to talk to you about something really important. But first -- do
you think you can get me into the Oscars?"
what you will about Matthau -- he reacted very well to news of his own
death 10 years hence. "10 years?" he said in wonder over a quick
game of Scrabble. "I didn't think I'd make it another five."
was also pleased to learn he outlasted Jack Lemmon ("Let the American
Heart Association choke on that shit!" he cackled.) and that
he'd get to make a movie with Dyan Cannon. ("Will she still be hot?"
he asked me. "Sorta," I told him. That was fine with him.)
tried to bet me that he'd make it past 10 years, but I told him I'd feel
bad taking his money and that I didn't have enough fuel to just go bouncing
back and forth in time trying to prove him wrong.
kissed his wife goodbye and we hit the time machine.
you sure you want to go the Oscars? There are a lot better places to go
in 1978 than there," he told me as he settled his large frame into
the soft leather seat of the passenger side in the time travel hoopty.
Matthau," I told him, "I didn't come to 1990 to drag your pouchy
ass to 1978 to not go to the Oscars. We're going. That's all there
is to it."
you don't have to be a cocksucker about it," Matthau growled. "I
thought maybe you'd like to go for a shvitz. I know a great sauna that
used to be downtown..."
shvitz!" I cried. "Oscars!"
so we went. We went to the Oscars.
Oscars, 1978 ==>