I’m not going to write about the day I met Abraham Lincoln because I didn’t meet him. He died 94 years before I was born.
I know what you’re thinking. But what about the magic of time travel?
Look, I don’t care what you read in The Time Machine, or The Time Traveller’s Wife or Time Enough For Love, people can’t go back and forth in time like they’re riding elevators up and down the Empire State Building. That’s a steaming crock of bullshit served to you in factory-made stoneware by nerdy scientists who depend on government grants for their livelihoods. We’re stuck where we are. Stop fantasizing about going back to 19th-century Paris to live like a Bohemian, admit your life sucks and step into the now.
No, Abe is not coming here to have dinner with me, and I’m definitely not going back there to attend the theater with him.
Even if I could, I wouldn’t risk getting my face blown off by an assassin just to see Les Miserable, or whatever god-awful play Abe and Mary suffered through that fateful night he was assassinated. I hate live theater, especially musicals. People don’t sing their way through life. Most of us can barely get out of bed in the morning, let alone break into song every 5 minutes.
I wouldn’t want to talk to Abe about slavery, or the civil war, or why he was so honest, either. I’m sick of hearing about all of that crap, which has been the subject of dozens of books, thousands of magazine articles, and at least two recent documentaries, the critically acclaimed yet depressing Lincoln, and the highly entertaining and uplifting Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, in which he uses a silver-plated axe to lop off vampire’s heads.
Now I’m bored with Lincoln.
Except for his top hat. It fascinates me. Tall, and made out of beaver fur — *snicker* — it looks very dapper. I’ve long wanted a top hat, and I’d probably try to trade Abe for his.
“Hey, Abe, how’s it hanging?”
“I’m bummed out. Again, I guess. I wish they’d invented Xanax this century. You guys get all the good stuff — medicine, the Audi R8, Internet, cable television. I can’t even get a decent blintz here. Do you know where I can get a good blintz?”
“Anyway, I’m working on a speech for my trip to Gettysburg. Can’t get past the first line: Eighty seven years ago, Jefferson got together with other key policy makers and founded America to help promote freedom and equality…”
“No, no, no! That’s all wrong, Abe. Don’t be such a bureaucrat. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Don’t start with 87 years. This isn’t Antiques Roadshow, you’re not trying to establish provenance. You’re trying to wow the crowd and create some patriotic anti-slavery buzz. Try four score and seven years ago. Same thing, but now it sounds super-important, see?”
“It sounds awesome, I have to admit. But what about the rest of it? I don’t think I’m cut out to be president. I should’ve stayed in Illinois and opened up a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise. I like birds.”
“Don’t be such an Abject Abe! This is a piece of cake. You’re a tall drink of water, think big. Something like, Four score and seven years ago….not key policy makers, thats a snooze-fest…our fathers!….yes, that’s it!….Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now that’s a speech.”
“By god, that does sound better! How can I repay you?”
“Well, I sure like your hat, bud.”
“You want my hat? But I might need it.”
“Yeah, you’re not going to need it as much as you’d like to think. Fork it over.”
And that would be my day with Lincoln. If it was possible, which it isn’t.
My fingers are bloody and my eyes are as dry as the Gobi desert in August thanks to writing and reading for this blogging competition hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work For Cheese. Please visit them to see the other entries for today’s prompt, which is stupid.