“Are you writing today?”
The text message came from an editor recently, but there was a problem. The date on it was Jan. 22, 2016.
I’ve seen TV shows like this. A guy gets a newspaper with a headline from the future, and is faced with a dilemma. Does he use his knowledge for good? Of course, nobody today could believe a show like that. Everybody knows they’re not going to have newspapers in the future.
But text messages, I can believe. They’re going to be around forever, like the wheel, certain diet beverages and The Simpsons. So obviously, in the future, I will still be expected to write. But what? And for whom?
Then I took a closer look at my other texts. Since New Year’s Day, it appears that ALL of my texts have been from the future.
Apparently, I still am forgetting to buy toilet paper in the future. And the usage “LOL,” sadly, still has not run its vexatious course.
I started firing texts back at the future, like some SMS supplicant at the feet of Pythia, petitioning a 3-G Oracle, or one networking with Bluetooth’s ghost.
“Who is president?” I asked.
“Barack Obama,” came the answer.
Remarkable. No doubt, given his current struggles he would be relieved to know that he somehow won reelection, perhaps because many of his opponents died when insurance companies dropped them from the rolls. I was about to ask more about this, but decided to keep it brief.
“Who won the World Series?” I continued.
“The New York Yankees,” came back the reply. Not surprising. Buying pennants never goes out of style.
But before I could get to the really good stuff, CNN rolled in with this story explaining the phenomenon: Microsoft glitch sends texts from the ‘future.’
And it didn’t end there. Turns out, the same glitch affected software at some banks, pushing the date ahead to 2016 and rendering debit and credit cards with expiration dates before then useless.
I’m a little unclear. If that’s my money from the future, doesn’t somebody owe me some interest?
Now, I’ve heard of sending yourself an email in the future. In fact, the web site, www.futureme.org is devoted to just that. Fill in a message and the date you want it delivered, and you can send yourself an email 30 years down the road.
I forwarded myself this investment opportunity involving some funds trapped in Nigeria. No offense, but I prefer to keep my talking to myself in the present.
I have to confess that I was a little disappointed to see the CNN report. Who doesn’t want to receive messages from the future?
Just to be safe, I hedged my bets in response. On the remote chance that I really did have a sports column for Jan. 22, 2016 due right then, I played it safe.
“Yes I’m writing,” I replied. “I’ll just do something on why Brett Favre should finally retire — but why he won’t.”