Bottled Spellcheck

Yes, yes, I’m a day late. I have no excuse. Shame on me, et cetera.

But I will try to make it up to you. In accordance with the newly-established rules for lateness on this blog, I now have to use two completely unrelated out of context sentences and put them immediately next to each other. This is more of a challenge for me and, hopefully, more entertaining for you. Let’s see how it goes.


You’re still stranded in 1913 (well, it’s the 1920s by now) from an unfortunate time travel accident. Just as you were beginning to accept that you would never be able to talk about the twenty-first century again, you ran into a fellow time traveller.

She hasn’t really said what she’s doing here—but then again, neither have you. The mere existence of time travel is highly classified in the early 21st century, and given that you’re both from that era, you suppose that you don’t talk about it much out of sheer force of habit.

But that doesn’t stop you from discussing in detail what you miss most about your own time and brainstorming ways to charge your smartphones (not that it would do you much good at this point).

One day, you stumble across something that isn’t even possible in your time, let alone the early twentieth century. You realize that she’s the only person likely to understand just how impossible it is. So you take your new friend the time traveller to the Bottled Store.

You open the door of the shop, saying, “It’s just impossible, really, if you have any ideas about how they do this I’d love to hear them.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” she replies with a glance around. “They just took dirt and stuff and put it in bottles.”

You shake your head, already knowing that the weird stuff is closer to the back of the store. “Just… come in,” is all you say.

Giving you a slightly doubtful look, she follows. You head straight for the back, where you know they keep the emotions.

“Anti-angst?” she read off a label.

“I said it was weird.”

“You can’t bottle emotions, she continued, scanning across the labels: sadness, anger, glee. “That’s just not…”

“Possible, I know,” you finish. “But I have a friend from this time who swears by them, so I went and got some sleep—and it really worked! I haven’t so much as felt tired in a week.”

“That’s weird,” she said, looking away from the emotions and glancing around the store once more. “Wait.” Her eyes fell on a small bottle of white powder sitting on a shelf. “Human bone?”

Following her gaze, you walk towards the bottle in question. “Well, that’s, um…” you gulp. “Certainly what it says on the bottle, yes.”

“Why would they have that?”

“Maybe it’s not what it says it is,” you say hopefully. “Maybe it’s… I don’t know… autocorrect or something.” You catch the skeptical look on her face, and thinking that she’s probably right to doubt this explanation, you add,

But it might be human bone.

Spellcheck your privilege!

Is her response.

“What?” you ask, lost.

“It’s the 1920s,” she says. “People don’t just have autocorrect or spell check.”

“Okay, fair point,” you admit. You guess that now that you have someone from your own time to talk to, you’ve forgotten for a moment that you’re still about a century in your past.

“So… I guess what you’re saying is… probably, it’s human bone?” you add, when she doesn’t say anything else.

“It’s human bone,” says a voice from behind you. You recognize it as belonging to someone in the family that owns the shop.

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