The other afternoon I was taking tea in the television room of the Leaky Wiki offices. I had taken the tea from a weaker reporter, who was huddled in the corner, eyeing me with impotent fury.
“Law of the wild, Diego,” I said. (I doubt his name was Diego, but I reasoned that until he could stand up for himself I could call him whatever I pleased.) “If you can’t defend your tea from a man with a bullwhip, then don’t make tea.”
Diego hissed at me and then crawled into the wall-space to sulk.
I turned my attentions back to the television, which was spewing the usual vile bullshit into my world-weary eyes. I was watching some kind of generic talk-show where a fat woman was currently explaining her ultimately worthless behaviour. She began to cry- as well she should- but then she did something that made me spray a mouthful of tea directly into Diego’s face (I had to chase him a while, but such was my fury that I felt it had to be shared).
Without further delay I threw on the nearest available clothing and went to the High Powered Rifle Cupboard and retrieved a high powered rifle. I burst into the office of Patrick O’ Brien, who was making a convincing show of typing at a computer that was actually just an old He-Man lunchbox with a wire taped to it and some keys drawn in with marker pen.
“Patrick!” I screamed, “Where is the bastard time machine?”
Patrick looked up from his fake-typing and raised an eyebrow. “Why are you wearing a fur coat and nothing else? And how many times do I have to tell you that the high powered rifles are for senior reporter use only?”
“Jesus Holy Christ, Patrick,” I said, still screaming. “Do you honestly think I have time to explain anything to your god-damned face? Just give me the bastard time machine!”
Patrick pressed ‘save’ on his lunchbox and gave me his full attention. “Well, realistically speaking, if I grant you access to the time machine, then you probably have all the time you need to achieve whatever you want, what with the time travel and all.”
I conceded his point by firing the rifle and blowing a hole in the wall by his head.
“I can see you’re excited about something.” He said. “So I’m going to give you the time machine: on one condition.”
I toyed with the idea of shooting at him again, but my naturally sensitive nature won through. “Name your condition, mortal.” I said.
“Explain to me what it is you intend to do with it.”
I had to bite my lip to stop myself vomiting pure rage bile all over the floor. But Patrick had once taken a bullet for me in our annual ‘pick a gun fight with a stranger’ sporting event. If I was going to use company property to drastically alter the space time continuum, then the least I could do was explain my motives.
“It’s like this, Patrick old chum.” I said. “I was watching a crying fat woman on the television and she did this.” I screwed up my eyes and waved my hands in little flappy motions at them.
Patrick looked at me for a while. “Oh. That thing some people do when they start to cry? Kind of like they’re wafting air into their eyes?”
“Yes.” I said, relieved that my three year degree in mime artistry had paid off.
Patrick shrugged. “It’s kind of stupid, I guess. But is it time travel assassination stupid?”
“You don’t understand,” I said. “I can remember a time when nobody did that stupid crying thing. And do you know why they didn’t? Because its stupid and it doesn’t achieve anything!”
“But now everybody does it?" Replied Patrick. "So what? The same thing could be said about the entire internet!”
“But I can pinpoint when it started! The nineties, a television show about Americans with no actual problems overcoming their everyday problems! There was a woman whose hair people mimicked!”
Patrick raised his eyebrows. “Do you mean ‘Friends’?”
“That’s the one.” I said, spitting on the carpet. “The hair woman did the stupid flappy crying thing and the whole world followed suit.”
“So? Think about it! The chain reaction! Friends, Sex in the City, Snooki, Apocalypse! If I don’t travel back in time and brutally assassinate the entire cast of Friends in a very public way, the world will end in a tidal wave of shit and nonsense!”
Patrick shook his head. “As much as I think you’re almost certainly right, I’m afraid I can’t let you assassinate Jennifer Aniston.”
“The hair woman.” Said Patrick with a sigh. “I can’t let you kill the hair woman.”
I stuttered, indignant. “Why in the name of Satan’s grandmother would you possibly oppose me?”
In one smooth motion Patrick threw aside his He-Man lunchbox, revealing the Colt Magnum he had had trained on me throughout the entire conversation.
“Because I fucking love that show.” He hissed.
I won’t bore you with the details of the events that transpired, but needles to say, Patrick and I are not currently on speaking terms. And most of the third floor is still on fire.