Along for the Ride

A few years ago, my cousins Josh and Karla spent the day riding roller coasters at a nearby amusement park.   After their first exciting ride, Karla lifted up the lap bar on her seat and climbed out.  Josh’s bar, however, wouldn’t budge.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” a worker said.  “I’ll let you ride again.  When it comes back around, I’m sure the bar will pop right open.”

So Josh got a free ride without even waiting in line.  Lucky, right?   Kind of.  The only problem was when he pulled back into the boarding area, the bar still didn’t open.  Another set of passengers exited.  Another set climbed on.  Josh got to ride again.

And again.  And again.  And again.

The first three rides were fun.  After that, it just got ridiculous.

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Halloween Scrooge

When I was ten years old, I went trick-or-treating as Count Dracula and met the Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween.    Here was the problem.  I lived in Milltown and had cousins who lived in nearby Marengo.  Since we wanted to trick-or-treat together, we planned to hit Milltown first and then head to their neck of the woods.  Makes sense, right?

Of course it does, unless your heart is the size of a piece of candy corn.

About three houses in, we ran into trouble.    An old man answered the door.   We offered our obligatory “trick-or-treat,” and he started in with the usual banter.  “Oh my, what scary costumes.  What are you supposed to be?”

I wanted to say, “Hmm, let’s see.   Black cape. Widow’s peak.  Vampire fangs.   Think about it.”  But I wanted candy so I answered the question.

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E-mail to the Future

Without question, one of my favorite movie trilogies of all time is Back to the Future.  How can you not love Marty McFly, Doc Brown and that awesome DeLorean with the flux capacitor that requires 1.21 gigawatts of power to travel through time?  The flaming tire tracks?  The Huey Lewis soundtrack?  And of course, the lovably dense villain of the  story, Biff Tannen.

Hello?  McFly?

For all of its fun, though, the Back to the Future trilogy asks a genuinely intriguing question.  What would happen if you could change the past?

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