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Happy New Year! Again!

Almost ten years ago now, at a party in Ess Eff, while my Best Reader is off getting some more of those noshy things, and I’m trying to pretend that I know more than two of the people there:

YHB: Hey.

YHB2K: Happy New Year!

YHB: Yeah. Happy New Year. Recognize me?

YHB2K: Um, didn’t we work together at the…

YHB: No, I’m you from ten years in the future.

YHB2K: Wow. Really?

YHB: Really.

YHB2K: Only ten years? Shame about the hair.

YHB: Shut up.

YHB2K: Could be worse, I suppose.

YHB: Look, I am visiting from ten years in your future, through the magic of Fiction, to write a note for my blog.

YHB2K: Your what?

YHB: That’s not important. There’s a meme where you get to ask me three questions about the next ten years.

YHB2K: A what?

YHB: A meme!

YHB2K: Sorry, it’s really loud in here!

YHB: No, it turns out your hearing is going!

YHB2K: What?

YHB: You have a banana in your ear!

YHB2K: What?

YHB: I said you have a banana in your ear!

YHB2K: I can’t hear you, I have a banana in my ear! [they both laugh far too much]

YHB2K: Seriously, what?

YHB: Look, you get to ask me three questions about the next ten years.

YHB2K: Are there rules?

YHB: Of course there are rules.

YHB2K: Of course there are rules.

YHB: Rule Number One!

YHB2K: Which I will call Rule Number One!

YHB: No asking really personal stuff.

YHB2K: Why not? Because it will cause a paradox and, like, destroy the entire space-time continuum?

YHB: No, but I’m writing under a pseudonym, and personal stuff would totally ruin it. YHB2K: Oh. Well, that’s too bad. Are you getting paid?

YHB: Is that one of your questions?

YHB2K: No, but are you?

YHB: No.

YHB2K: Then what are you doing it for?

YHB: Shut up.

YHB2K: No you shut up.

YHB: No, me shut up, but ten years ago.

YHB2K: Ooh.

YHB: Hah!

YHB2K: Jerk.

YHB: Rule Number B!

YHB2K: You mean Rule Number Two.

YHB: What?

YHB2K: The last one was One, so this one should be Two, not B.

YHB: It’s a bit.

YHB2K: What?

YHB: Look, do you want to hear the rules?

YHB2K: Fine. Rule Number B!

YHB: No asking stuff that like who won the World Series or what stocks go up and down and shit.

YHB2K: Would that cause a paradox?

YHB: No, but there wouldn’t be much point. You’re going to forget pretty much this whole conversation.

YHB2K: Why? Do you have some sort of forgeterry flashlight like Tommy Lee Jones? Or is it the power of the space-time continuum preventing a paradox?

YHB: No, you’re just really, really drunk.

YHB2K: Oh, yeah. I forgot.

YHB: Plus, how would that be entertaining for people reading this? They could look that stuff up. If they cared.

YHB2K: So this is just about entertaining people reading your whateveritis?

YHB: Yeah.

YHB2K: I’m supposed to be your dancing monkey?

YHB: Pretty much.

YHB2K: Ook ook! Oook ook!

YHB: Do you want to ask the questions or not?

YHB2K: Can’t ask my future self questions, because I’m too busy dancing like a monkey! Oook oook!

YHB: Hey—do you know what really would cause a paradox and destroy the space-time continuum?

YHB2K: What?

YHB: If you were to bite me!

YHB2K: Well, I’d better not do that, then.

YHB: No, probably not.

YHB2K: Because otherwise…

YHB: Yeah. You could bite me.

YHB2K: A tragic loss for us all.

YHB: Rule Number Gamma!

YHB2K: This is a stupid bit.

YHB: Really? I like it.

YHB2K: No, I don’t.

YHB: Yeah, but you will.

YHB2K: I’ll also look like that.

YHB: Shut up. Rule Number Gamma!

YHB2K: Yes?

YHB: Can I have a glass of that bubbly?

YHB2K: Is that the rule?

YHB: No.

YHB2K: Will it rip a hole in the space-time continuum?

YHB: What the hell are you drinking? No, it won’t rip a hole in the space-time continuum.

YHB2K: Fine.

YHB: Rule Number Gamma! Um.

YHB2K: There aren’t really any more rules, are there?

YHB: No.

YHB2K: Fine. I get three questions? From 1999 me to 2009 me?

YHB: Yes.

YHB2K: For the purpose of entertaining some people in 2009?

YHB: Yes.

YHB2K: You suck.

YHB: Shut up.

YHB2K: No, you should do it the other way. You should ask questions about 2019, right? And then go ahead and answer them. That would be fun. This is stupid.

YHB: But I don’t have a 2019 me.

YHB2K: You will. I will. We will. Whatever.

YHB: Good point.

YHB2K: I know. I’m clever that way.

YHB: You’re drunk that way.

YHB2K: Yeah, but in the morning, I’ll be sober. And you, my friend, will still be. Um.

YHB: You?

YHB2K: Shut up.

YHB: All right, as long as I’m here, do you want to ask your questions?

YHB2K: Sure. Um, Question A: Are there going to be any more good Elvis Costello albums?

YHB: Yes.

YHB2K: OK, good. Um, where am I living?

YHB: I guess that counts. Connecticut. Greater Hartford.

YHB2K: Seriously?

YHB: Yes.

YHB2K: Do I like it?

YHB: Yeah. It’s real nice, actually.

YHB2K: Hunh.

YHB: No, it is.


YHB: You get another question.

YHB2K: OK, this isn’t about the World Series, but—I’m just curious, does anybody break Hank Aaron’s record?

YHB2K: Yeah.

YHB: Junior Griffey?

YHB: No, actually, it’s Barry Bonds.

YHB2K: Seriously?

YHB: Yeah. He bulks up, hits 73 to break the single-season, and finishes with 762.

YHB2K: Really?

YHB: As a Giant. Stays with the Giants.

YHB2K: That. is. so. cool.

YHB: Um.

YHB2K: No, really? This is going to be a great decade.

YHB: I have to go now.

YHB2K: Happy New Year, me! Happy New Year.

YHB: And to all a good night.

So, here’s the game: Ask your ten-year-future self three questions about the upcoming decade (the teenies, until we come up with a better name). No rules for you, but don’t waste any asking for stock tips. Then, all your friends answer them for you in the comments before New Year’s Eve 2009. Then, on or shortly before New Year’s Eve 2019, come back and award points for closest answer! Extra points for everyone who is still alive!

Here are mine:

  1. Which countries will I visit in the teenies?
  2. What produce shortage will I complain about most?
  3. Which song from my youth will be covered by a popular artist and be on the radio all the time to irritate me?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Answers to OHB's questions. Don't ask me how I know.

1. You'll be visiting Finland, of course, but then, we'll all be making the pilgrimage there. To visit The Site. Where It happened.

2. It will be irritatingly difficult to obtain the little pearl onions for your Gibson's. Which you will take up drinking.

3. The all-star Save the Rainforest charity cover of Tarzan Boy, by Baltimora.

And my questions for ten years from now:

1. Back in my day snooty foody-types cared about sea salt and olive oil. How about in your day?

2. What's the current thinking on P vs. NP?

3. What have you got in your pockets(es)?

Answers from The Future!

  1. It's all about the aspic
  2. Alas, it turns out that P is ill-defined. In fact, we have learned some new and disturbing things about binary systems generally…
  3. Oh, right, I remember clothes with pockets. Hunh.


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