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What… what YEAR is it?

Yesterday, we went to the zoo. We are in San Francisco (for a couple of weeks), so we went to San Francisco Zoo (it seemed to make the most sense, any other zoo would probably be a little out of the way).

There were lions, and tigers AND bears (oh my), and also otters and meerkats and koalas, but no tapirs, because the tapir died (sad story, we may come back to that later). These, however, are not the point of my story.

The point of my story is this: at some point during our visit (just before the end, if it is important to the story. I’m not sure it is, but I have included it now, so it seems more trouble than it is worth to go back and remove all mention of it) I went to the toilet. There was nothing particularly interesting or unusual about the toilet. It was a clean, well-functioning public facility with around a dozen stalls, a dozen sinks, some paper hand towels and some baby changing equipment. Nothing unusual there. There was nothing unusual about the way I used the toilet either (I know you were wondering), and certainly no explosion of lights or ear-shattering WHOOOOOSH! noise as I flushed the toilet. This will become important in a minute. No one else was in the building. It was a quiet day at the zoo. This may not be unusual, but felt somewhat eerie.

It was as I left the building that something unusual happened. I had washed my hands – that isn’t unusual – and, as I stepped out into the sunlight, cool air against my still-damp fingers, I felt a strange tingle, like I had, in passing through the restroom door, passed through a portal that had thrown me through time. Back, forward, I had no idea. Whatever the case, I had a strong feeling that I had passed through some kind of slip in the space/time continuum. (SPOILER: I hadn’t. But that is not the point right now).

There seemed to be very few people around. And those that were were wearing really unflattering jeans. Was it the mid-nineties? Had a timetravelled back 15 years? Or five years into the future, where people were wearing 90s-style jeans as some kind of ironic nostalgic homage? Or were these just tourists from middle-America, where these were the newest latest styles, and I was merely judging them with my cutting edge european sensibilities? Who could say?

I walked faster. If this was the present time, My Beloved and Doozer would be waiting in the car park for me like nothing had happened (SPOILER: It hadn’t. But let’s not lose the flow of the story right now). But if I had time travelled, then where would they be? If it was the past, say five years ago (I was passing someone with a haircut from around 2005 in the queue for tickets, I almost stopped and asked them who the president was right now, but decided they looked like the kind that might punch you if you did). If it WAS 2005, my Beloved might be back in London, or in Brighton. Doozer wouldn’t be born yet. If it was actually 2020, then both of them might be elsewhere, reminiscing about the day that Mama disappeared from San Francisco Zoo.

Either way, I wasn’t sure if I had my bus fare back into town.

The feeling became stronger, by the time i reached the car park I was almost running. Well, walking slightly faster, anyway.

But there they were. just like nothing had happened. Which it hadn’t.

Oh! Hell, I have to go and feed Doozer his lunch. Anyway: point is: yesterday should go down in history as the Day I Did Not Time Travel (But Kind of Felt as if I Might Have Done. But Hadn’t).

Edited to add: it has just been suggested to me on twitter that it is perfectly possible that I might have time travelled on the way INTO the restroom, and then again on the way OUT, causing the weird feeling but explaining the complete apparent lack of actual time shift. This explains everything. I have urinated in the future, people (or possibly the past), people. You can be in awe now.

(Also: Hello blog, I have missed you.)

  1. Ooh! Maybe you’d gone sideways in time to a parallel dimension where people are slightly more fashion forward than here, hence the sense of style dislocation when you returned.

    Comment by misspiggy — 28 November, 2012 4:02 pm

  2. Missed you too. Lovely to see you back.

    Comment by Damian — 28 November, 2012 6:27 pm

  3. I am always in awe. Sometimes of you.

    Comment by joeinvegas — 29 November, 2012 11:48 am

  4. Not trying to scare you or anything but I think it was a ghost.

    Comment by guyana gyal — 29 November, 2012 3:39 pm

  5. Welcome back. What happened to the Tapir, was it expected, did he suffer?

    Comment by Patricia — 4 December, 2012 11:47 am

  6. I too favor the parallel universe theory which would involve side-stepping rather than going forwards or backwards in time. This mean you peed elsewhere altogether, wherever and whatever that elsewhere might be. What I envy however is the dexterity with which you extricated yourself from this parallel dimension… For context, I am currently stuck in a place that claims to be North America yet bears none of the technological or intellectual / cultural advances of the continent it claims a kinship with. Also, its IP is widely regarded by the internet at large – or at least the portion of the internet I live in – as spammy, so I have to proxy up to be able to move freely. So I am not in Chicago but on an island cerca 1989. I’ve flushed the loo several times but it still didn’t bring me back to 2012. Help!!!

    Comment by Hannah Joy Curious — 7 December, 2012 6:44 am

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