I recently arrived at work and was met by a disconcerting site: all of the fourth-grade girls were dressed in long, flowing dresses and wearing bonnets. I have been dabbling in time travel as of late, so as you can imagine, I came to the obvious conclusion that I had finally succeeded and that I was now working in the year 1868.
I would have held to this assumption longer had it not been for the electric lighting in the hallway, the computers in the classrooms, the SUVs in the school parking lot, and the genetically-modified food in the cafeteria. Once I realized that I remained in 2008, I celebrated with some genetically-modified coffee and partially hydrogenated french vanilla creamer, and then went about the business of coming up with a second hypothesis regarding the strangely attired 4th grade students.
But before I could refine my hypothesis of children from 1868 traveling to the present, the real reason for the bonnets was divulged by a passing student. “I can’t wait for our field trip to the Pioneer Farm!” she exclaimed.
(A field trip to Pioneer Farm was going to be my third hypothesis, I’m sure of it.)
The students apparently derived much enjoyment from their field trip to the Pioneer Farm. They told me they made bread (although when I probed a student for details, she disclosed that the dough had already been made and they simply had to pop it in the wood-burning oven. That’s my kind of cooking) and candles.
The students enjoyed telling me of their field trip, even amidst my diatribe on the many inadequacies present in that historic time. In 1868, for example, there were no drive-thru espresso shops. There were no fast food restaurants, and not nearly enough clothing stores. A person such as myself, who cannot sew, cook, nor make decent espresso, would be forced to walk around naked, nibbling on flour, and feeling tired.
Okay that’s an exaggeration. I can’t sew, but I actually make great coffee. So I would have been walking around naked, but I would have been very awake while doing so. I imagine so would everybody else around me.
I also know that I would not have been successful in 1868 due to my present-day reactions to losing the luxuries to which I am so accustomed. A recent cataclysmic event occurred in which my apartment had no hot water. The apartment manager alleges that the paucity of hot water lasted a mere 20 minutes, but I’m pretty convinced it was an eternity. Washing my hair in cold water was pretty much the most oppressive experience I’ve had to endure.
Not really. But you get my drift.
Since the hot water incident, I’ve stopped dabbling in time travel. I wouldn’t mind going on a field trip to Pioneer Farm for 7 hours, as long as at the end of the day I can take a hot shower. And have pre-made clothes to put on afterward.