Design by Gozer
1 September, 1885.
If my calculations are correct you should receive this letter immediately after you saw the DeLorean struck by lightning. First, let me assure you that I am alive and well and have been living very happily these past eight months in the year 1885. The lightning bolt that hit the DeLorean caused a gigawatt overload, which scrambled the time circuits, activated the flux capacitor and sent me back to 1885. The overload also shorted out the time circuits and destroyed the flying circuits. Unfortunately, the car will never fly again.
I set myself up as a blacksmith while I attempted to repair the damage to the time circuits. But this proved impossible, because suitable replacement parts will not be invented until 1947. However, I have gotten quite adept at shoeing horses and fixing wagons.
I have buried the DeLorean in the abandoned Delgado Mine, adjacent to the Old Boot Hill cemetery, as shown on the enclosed map. Hopefully, it should remain undisturbed and preserved until you uncover it in 1955. Inside you will find repair instructions. My 1955 counterpart should have no problem repairing it so that you can drive it back to the future. Once you have returned to 1985, destroy the time machine.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to come back here to get me. I am perfectly happy living in the fresh air and the wide-open spaces, and I fear that unnecessary time travel only risks further disruption to the space-time continuum. Of course, given I am your future self, I know full well you will ignore my instructions and immediately use the DeLorean to come back and get me – and in doing so, rupture the fuel tank while escaping some rampaging Indians. Because gasoline has not yet been developed for the automotive combustion engine, you and I and Clara (I’ll explain when you get here) will then need to arrange for a steam locomotive to push the DeLorean for it to reach the necessary flux capacitor ignition speed of 88mph in order to send you back to the future – and this is where it gets very dangerous, particularly when we are heading to Clayton/Eastwood Ravine. So, I would strongly recommend that you avoid the whole thing.
Mind you, I guess there is a second DeLorean (still buried in the Delgado mine) so maybe we can syphon out the gas and replace the fuel tank. It’d certainly save us having to hijack Locomotive 131, not to mention destroy it by having it plunge into the ravine after you disappear. Then again, as I was later able to somehow build a time-travelling steam locomotive that can fly, perhaps my original concern about not being able to repair the time and flying circuits on the other DeLorean because of the unavailability of parts was ill-founded.
Of greater concern, though, is your great-great-grandmother on your father’s side. Why on earth does she look like your mother? And how does Old Biff get the DeLorean back to the unaltered version of 2015? Surely, after he returns to 1955 Hill Valley and gives himself the Sports Almanac, he erases the original 2015 and the only future he could return to is one in which you and I and the DeLorean were never there in the first place. And what about our father’s best-selling 1985 sci-fi book? If it mentions “Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan” then isn’t he going to be sued by both George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry? And speaking of plagiarism, what about Chuck Berry? Could he have lived with himself after stealing ‘Johnny B Goode’? And where did that hairdryer come from? But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, aren’t I?
Please take care of Einstein. I know that you will give him a good home. Remember to walk him twice a day, and that he only likes canned dog food. These are my wishes; please respect them and follow them.
And so Shaun, I now bid you farewell and wish you godspeed. You’ve been a good, kind and loyal friend to me. You’ve made a real difference in my life. I will always treasure our relationship and think of you with fond memories, warm feelings and a special place in my heart.
Your friend in time,
Your Future Self.
PS. When you end up making Micallef Tonight, for god’s sake listen to the network’s suggestions (talking to Livinia Nixon in the opening segment was not such a bad idea).
Also, when you do Full Frontal, don’t do black face to play Eddie Murphy impersonating Jerry Lewis – some people will think it in bad taste. (While we’re at it, give Welcher & Welcher a miss – and that awful New Year’s Eve special for Channel Ten). Finally: beige Ciaks are NOT a good idea; don’t mistake validation for love; and don’t grow a moustache when you start university.
» Shaun Micallef’s Stairway to Heaven begins on Wednesday 18 Jan on SBS.
This article first appeared in Ed#528 of The Big Issue.