In this edition of behind the tweet, we look at this thought-provoking entry from my tweeting logs:

Idea for a story #22  A crazed dietitian sends a stack of poisoned pancakes back through time to assassinate Theodore Roosevelt.

At first glance, it may seem absurd for a scheming assassin to send a food item sent back in time, but deeper reflection reveals that this is a far cannier and cleverer way to attempt time travel than through the usual method of transporting a whole person. 

 

After all, what’s more difficult to disassemble at one point on the space-time continuum and then reassemble at a completely different prior point: a full-fledged human being or a couple of fresh, maple-syrup-smothered flapjacks? 

 

There are numerous instances of deranged scientists experimentally sending fiendish villains back in time to wreak some kind of havoc.  But often does the time traveler suffer a grave physical injury, endure unfathomable stresses on their vulnerable psyche or get stuck in some medieval backwater forever subsisting on a diet of peasant bread and fried crow?

 

By using an non-sentient dietary object for his nefarious purposes, a time scientist could avoid inhumane mental or physical injury.  In addition, the huge negative of not being able to summon back your traveler from the distant past would be eliminated.  Can’t bring your pancakes back to the future?  No problem.  Just cook up another stack.

 

Some may object that a stack of pancakes, or even a more nefarious food item, like a KFC Chicken and Biscuit Bowl, is no match for a canny would-be prey like Theodore Roosevelt.  

 

This is where the time and space coordinates of your pancake destination become crucial.  By arranging to have the pancakes arrive at a critical moment, such as a barnstorming campaign day in the 1904 election, and place, such as a fund-raising breakfast at a Milwaukee barn-raising, the schemer could be nearly certain that a curious, indefatigable pancake lover like Roosevelt would take the bait.  

 

To see this tweet and more like it in its natural environment, follow me at @brianhenry63

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