Citing the present’s near-fanatical desire to travel back in time and kill Hitler, a local time machine reported recently that it was “so utterly sick of 1932 Berlin.”
“The first time I went I was so excited. It was my very first mission. I thought I’d get to see the sights, do some good—it seemed like a win-win. But, of course, the people using me screwed it up. Unforeseeable causation. Of course. So then we had to go back and try to set it right. You know, as right as not killing Hitler gets. Of course, they screwed it up again. It took six separate trips between now and 1932 to get things basically back to how they were before.”
New owners, same old result
Sold on craigslist for pennies, the time machine was purchased by similarly well-intentioned do-gooders. “I’ll give you one guess as to what they wanted to do,” said the time machine.
“Sixty-seven times. I’ve been to Berlin 67 times. Sometimes we kill Hitler when he’s young. Sometimes we keep him from being born. Once we even made sure he got into that art school. But even that doesn’t make for much variety. It’s all just Germany and Austria in the early 20th century. And if you’ve read your history, you’ll know that isn’t really the coolest place to be.
‘I wish Hitler had never been born’
“I could go anywhere in time!” the time machine fumed. “I’d love to see a dinosaur. I feel like Jesus would be a cool guy to talk to. Or Leonardo da Vinci. Hell, I’d even take Lucille Ball. And don’t even get me started on the future. I bet there’s lots of cool stuff in the future! But I wouldn’t know, would I? Because I’ve never been. I’m too busy going to goddamn 1932 Berlin.
“And it never ever works! Because as you may have noticed, you know who Hitler is! You know what he got up to. I tell these assholes that the last guy who killed Hitler screwed it up and made it worse, and we just had to go back and unkill him. But everybody thinks they can do it right. So back we go again. All we ever get are slight, stupid differences, like with the mustache. Which one does he have this time? Is it the handlebar again? I feel like we get handlebar like 75 percent of the time.”
At press time, the time machine was muttering under its breath that it wished Hitler had never been born at all.
Photo credit: Adolf Hitler saliendo de la sede del partido Nazi (Munich, 1931) by Recuerdos de Pandora