A time machine accidentally showed up in the mail today. I know it was an accident, because it was addressed to someone else. I know it was a time machine because after tearing into the package I found a note that read “Time Machine: DO NOT USE.”

“A time machine!” I said, ‘Thanks John Doe!” But where would I go? What would I do? My mind raced with the possibilities.

Dinosaur times? No—it would probably smell bad and if there were cavemen around, it could be dangerous too. The future? No—everyone would probably already have a time machine and I would look like an idiot with my old one.

I finally decided to take a gun back to George Washington times. “Everyone will look awful silly throwing their swords down and cowering before The Great Wizard,” I thought, grinning with satisfaction. “All that’s left to do is find a gun!”

I checked the front porch for another package—nothing.  I looked under the bed and in the closet—also nothing. I was about to give up and order a replica of The Constitution, so I could get it signed by George Washington, when I remembered where a gun was!

I ran to the living room and there before me on the mantelpiece was my Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather’s gun with the knife on the end of it, back from some long forgotten war.


I grabbed the gun and dialed the time machine to 1776. There was a buzzing sound and a bright flash. I found myself in the middle of a muddy field, a wall of soldiers facing me from each direction.

“Hey everybody,” I shouted, “check out my gun!” I felt a sharp pain in my neck and the sudden urge to take a nap. When I came to, there was a nurse standing over me.

“The box, the funny looking box,” I groaned, “where is it?”

“Shh,” she whispered, “you’ve been shot in the neck and trampled. Quite gravely I’m afraid.”

“It’s a—time machine,” I sputtered, “don’t use it!” I told her to package the time machine up and send it to my address, post-dated for the future.

“Whom should I address it to?” she asked.


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