This is a rather brilliant idea, and I wish I could claim it as my own, but Dresden Codak creator, Aaron Diaz, (I've not read it, either) has come up with an excellent idea for a new public holiday (or indeed, just a great fancy dress idea).
December 8th, 2007 - Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day!
On Dec 8th you dress up and behave as if you are from a different century. Mr Diaz explains you choices:
#1: Utopian/Cliché Future
Star Trek! Imagine you're Picard or Kirk (or from any other similar sci-fi) and you've suddenly been sent hurtling through time. Think all-in-one velour outfits. You're completely out of your depth, but also very polite. Interact with wonderment at all the "primitive" technology and show extreme ignorance in operating it. Expect everything to be voice-activated; vending machines, pay phones, elevators, etc.
- Ask shops if they'll accept Credits for payment. Act very "proper" and polite. If you're travelling on public transport, sit-up straight and look around at everything.
- Try to "hide" alieneqsue features, like Spock ears under a sweat band, and then act self-conscious about them.
- Refer to things that don't exist, for example: "Where's the nearest matter transporter?"
- Refer to cars as "vessels" or "ships" and when travelling in one, look confused when trying to put on your seatbelt.
- Stop people in the street and ask them if they've seen any of your crew-mates, describe them as being basically human, but then add alienesque features at the end. Eg. "Quite tall, brown hair, heavy build... big wrinkley forehead", "She's my height, with blonde hair, blue eyes, green skin, big smile", etc.
Remember: You'll be trying to "fit-in", so explain your behaviour by "pretending" you're joking: "Of course! I was thinking it had an holo-fusion reactor... How silly of me! (nervous over-the-top laughter)." Then act lost by randomly changing direction.
#2: Dystopian Future
This one offers a little more flexibility. It can be any kind of future from Terminator to Mad Max. The important thing to remember is dress like a crazy person with armor. Black spray painted football pads, high tech visors, torn up trenchcoats and maybe even some dirt here or there. Remember, dystopian future travelers are very startled that they've gone back in time. Some starters:
- If you go the "prisoner who's escaped the future" try shaving your head and putting a barcode on the back of your neck. Then stagger around and stare at the sky, as if you've never seen it before.
- Walk up to random people and say "WHAT YEAR IS THIS?" and when they tell you, get quiet and then say "There's still time!" and run off.
- Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell "NOOOOOOOOO"
- Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.
- Take some trinket with you (it can be anything really), hand it to some stranger, along with a phone number and say, "In thirty years dial this number. You'll know what to do after that". Then slip away.
#3: The Past
This one is more for beginners. Basically dress in period clothing (preferably Victorian era) and stagger around amazed at everything. Since the culture's set in place already, you have more of a template to work off of. Some pointers:
- Airplanes are terrifying. Also, carry on conversations with televisions for a while.
- Discover and become obsessed with one trivial aspect of technology, like automatic grocery doors. Stay there for hours playing with it.
- Be generally terrified of people who are dressed immodestly compared to your era. Tattoos and shorts on women are especially scary.
And that's pretty much it. Just remember, try to fit in! You obviously wouldn't want people to know you are from another when, so never admit you're a time traveller and make really bad attempts at keeping a low profile.
Not sure yet how I'm going to go... Its a toss between the past and dystopian future... leaning toward dystopia right now.
Anyone else want to accompany me on my imaginary trip through time?
What a hilarious idea, and certainly one that could down well at fancy dress parties, too! Kudos to Aaron Diaz (whoever he may be) and Flint Paper (whoever he is), whose blog I found this on!
It's the new Talk Like A Pirate Day!