Sunday, October 19, 2014

Time Capsule


So, this was something I submitted for publication in a Boston newspaper, but it was not run. This was because of one reason or the other.

One Reason - It was submitted a little late to be scheduled during a timeframe when it would still be current.

The Other - The editor didn't like it.

Well, hell, it couldn't be that. Anyway, it's fairly Boston-centric, but I'm sure all of you - from Boston or not - will get the gist of it. And my tears from it not being published will be dried via your wonderfully kind-hearted and complimentary comments.

Either that or I've submitted it to you just a little late.

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The other day, while repairs were being done on the lion and unicorn from atop the Old State House, a time capsule from 1901 was found inside of the lion's head. The stuff in that time capsule will be sorted out; as of my writing, we don't know everything in there. The most interesting thing to me, however, is the plan to encase a new time capsule for future historians to find. The Bostonian Society is actively soliciting suggestions as to what should go in it.

First, I think we should concentrate on things that are now extant but which may not be when this new time capsule is opened. The Constitution, for instance. We should probably enclose some sort of proofs that it wasn't just a work of fiction dreamed up by utopian crackpots, but was actually the guiding force behind an oddly successful country known as The United States of America. I'm not sure what those proofs would be, though. Maybe news reports showing the Supreme Court dopeslapping elected officials who tried to ignore it? Do we have any of those handy?

Some money would probably be interesting to those who crack open our time capsule. What with debit cards, internet transactions, and other cashless ways to purchase, they may not know what money is aside from lovely portraits of some guys with bizarre taste in hairstyles. We won't explain the truncated pyramid with a floating eye; let them try to figure it out same as us.

That painting by Norman Rockwell showing a family gathered around a dining table for Thanksgiving might be an interesting curiosity. I rather doubt Thanksgiving will still be a holiday by then (at least, not if Macy's has anything to say about it.)

We might consider including a cell phone, along with some photos of what happened when our citizens used such devices to text while driving. There should also be some photos showing people camping out for days in front of stores in order to buy the things, then throw in a few photos of Soviet citizens lining up to purchase toilet paper in the 1960s. Let our descendants decide which was the more interesting human behavior.

I think a copy of this year's ballot, with four referendum questions, would be a good thing to include, with the following explanation: “We used to let our people vote to include or not include certain things in the law. Then our legislators ignored that vote unless they agreed with it anyway.” Attach the results of the 2000 vote to lower the state income tax rate to 5%, just in case nobody believes that statement.

Finally, we should think about including some bacon cheeseburgers, booze and cigarettes since they may all be outlawed by then in the quest to lower government health care costs. But, knowing human nature, I'd lay even money the guy who opens the time capsule will take a belt, chow down and light up before looking at the rest of the things.

Soon, with more better stuff.


19 comments:

Tabor said...

Funny, and in some cases painfully true. I'd add a book with a bookmark...not sure of the best title, yet.

Shammickite said...

Include a pair of worn out shoes just to show that people actually WALKED to get somewhere.

messymimi said...

Great ideas, and i'm not sure what i would add, i'd need to ponder that a while.

Buck said...

Your piece might be Boston-centric but it rung true with me. I think time capsules are just way-cool and I'm delighted with the one found recently in Boston.

Should Fish More said...

I might add a computer, a laptop. My adult kids and their children rarely use one, it's all on their smart phones. Oh, I was going to add a envelope and stamp, but that's so 90's.

Daryl said...

i think your suggestions are almost perfect .. one exception .. the Supreme Court would only bitchslap Democrats .. they were bought/paid for by the Republicans in 2000 when they stuck their collective noses into a state issue that was not there business or within their jurisdiction and since then i have had less than zero respect for all of them .. and now they will do it again they will allow Texas to make voters show photo ids in order to vote .. thereby causing many to not be allowed their constitutional right .... sorry but i am really as pissed off about this as you are about Christmas pushing Thanksgiving aside .. bah humbug

Suldog said...

Daryl - I totally understand your aggravation, since I'm an equal opportunity dopeslapper and the Supreme Court dopeslaps far fewer of either major party than they rightly should.

MY WIFE and I got to see them in action when we were honeymooning in DC. We were in the right place at the right time, as they only let so many into the gallery and we had entered the building on a whim while on our way elsewhere. We were thrilled to get in, but fairly bored actually watching them. They handed down a couple of decisions, but they were not high-profile things of which we had previously been aware. We left knowing little more than we did when we entered (other than we had lucked into something most tourists miss.)

Hilary said...

Funny, as always. And since I'm always so behind in my reading, it was just on time, too. ;)

The Broad said...

By the end of your fine article, I did not know whether to laugh or cry ...

sandyland said...

amazed that using a store name they would print?? who knew ??I cannot fathom what to put in all goes by so fast phones etc technology way ahead of me

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

About the only thing I found to be Boston-centric is the location ...and it seems perfectly timely to me.

Tell the editor I said, "GYHOOYAT!"

Craig said...

Nobody wanted to print this?!? Philistines!

I'm getting a chuckle from the thought of some future somebody opening a box to find a 50-year-old bacon cheeseburger. . .

Maybe we should throw in a good ol' hardcover book, you know, the kind with turnable paper pages? Or a marriage certificate, while they still exist. . .

But I got Skip's acronym; all except the T at the end. . .

Craig said...

And I'm all in favor of bitch-slapping politicians, for any reason, or none at all. . .

;)

Tim King said...

"Maybe news reports showing the Supreme Court dopeslapping elected officials who tried to ignore it? Do we have any of those handy?"

I think the decision to deny cert in gay marriage cases over the past couple of weeks counts. And if you want to be an equal-opportunity offender, we can add in Citizens United and Heller.

I tell my kids about typewriters.

And Polaroid cameras.

Barbara Shallue said...

I think you have some great ideas - which makes me a little sad. I'm with Tabor - you need to add a book in there.... the real kind, made with paper pages.

Jackie said...

Can't imagine why the paper didn't snag this one.
Never been to Boston; sounds like it could apply to Anytown, USA to me.

Michelle H. said...

Any you didn't mention including any of your article clippings. A person would open the time capsule, see the treasures and place the clippings on Ebay where they might sell for millions of dollars because you are a famous writer that succumbed to a strange demise.

Suldog said...

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a "most complimentary comment" winner! As the winner, Michelle, you will be receiving an all-expenses paid trip to the heart of my ego. At the moment, there isn't room for anyone else in there aside from me, but as soon as some space becomes available, we'll be in touch!

Ruby said...

I loved your article.I think money is the best idea there and constitution too!