Alexplorer Goes Time Traveling...

If you're just joining this series already in progress, then it means you don't have a time machine, so here's the short version: Every Tuesday (your present), I come back from my adventures time-traveling around MySpace and fill you in on what happened to people from my past as they keep slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.

Ah, here's one now...


Bobby (not his real name) was a grade older than I was, but we ended up in the same Spanish class together in high school.  Not only did he look like a young Douglas Adams, he thought a lot like him as well, and that's a rare thing indeed.  He was funny, but scattered to the point of being relatively unproductive in all the areas where he needed to be while putting intense energies into fun things with no payoff besides a few laughs.  I can empathize.

I remember him bringing his science fair presentation to class one day.  It was one of those tri-fold boards everyone uses at these things to post their facts and figures and charts and graphs.  I have no idea what the topic Bobby's project was since I never even looked at the inside of it.  He had spent at least as much time as most people do assembling their entire projects just decorating the outside of his.  It was covered with all sorts of things he found amusing such as a pie chart detailing the demographics of who watches Late Night with David Letterman (e.g., 15% are cat burglars getting ready for work; 28% are people who fell asleep during Johnny Carson's monologue, etc.).  I don't even know where he found these things considering the internet was several years away at that point.

One day I went into the counselor's office to get a schedule change or something and Bobby was in there trying to get scholarship applications or some other such paperwork for college.  The secretary asked him if he had two years of a foreign language.

"Yes," he said, "I have three."

She looked impressed.  "Really?"

"Yeah, I took one year of Spanish and failed that, so I tried French for a year and didn't like that, so I took Spanish again."

"Oh," she said, and had to explain to him that the scholarship he was interested in required two consecutive years of the same language.

You got the impression life was full of square holes that a round peg like Bobby would never pass through without much chipping away of his uniqueness.  His major contribution to this world may very well be inspiring me to write a book on how flawed the American education system is that it tries to channel bright, talented individuals along well-trodden paths rather than letting them blaze new and interesting trails.

It's so sad.  They got him to wear a tie.  He's like a caged animal, one in captivity for so many years that he's no longer restless and ready to break free.  He's worn down working on computers all day and then goes home and plays on them all night for fun.  It's a tragic cycle that will continue for another twenty-something years until he retires.

He never made it to college.  He never married or had kids.  He doesn't have a girlfriend.  All he has is a mustache that could get him elected president of NAMBLA.

Hypothetical letter I'll probably never send to him:

There is a movie script in you.  You've wasted years of your life not getting around to this and made us sit through shitty movies and even worse tv in the interim that could have been so much better if you had a hand in them.  You have sixty days in which to get your ideas in print.  If you don't pull yourself together in that time, we are going to fucking come after you and cut it the fuck out of you.


-Your muse with a serrated edge.

Copyright 2007 Ale[x]plorer.  All photos are of the actual individuals described above because, seriously, I can't make this shit up.
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