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Monday, March 19, 2007


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If there were a Product Placement Hall of Fame (and there should be, wink wink), that Nationwide sign might have to be in it.

I agree with your thoughts on why it's fun to watch either time-travel stories or movies in which the narrative has been taken out of order and reassembled. That flash of recognition for a face or an object or an event that we've seen before is fun in a very "Everything Bad Is Good For You" way.

Thing is, it's hard for me as a writer to think up a story or theme in the time-travel genre that hasn't already been done to death. But this gives me an idea: I could write a story about a science fiction writer who takes a time machine trip to the future to find new material, only he gets rear-ended by another time machine, becomes unstuck in chronological flow, and spends the rest of the story trying to file an insurance claim out of order.

AGENT: Bend forward for a retinal scan.
WRITER: About 2102.
AGENT: It's got a dent in it.
WRITER: I'd like to file a claim.
AGENT: Nationwide Insurance account number?
WRITER: I'm a time traveler from the past. That's my time machine parked outside.
AGENT: Your insurance card is 119 years expired.
WRITER: That's a FORD Flowbender.
AGENT: Everything checks out, Mr. Halliburton. You're good to go. Here's your check for $15 million billion dollars. Can I get you a FORD time taxi back to 2007?
WRITER: That's why I'm filing a claim. I was rear ended.
AGENT: When?
WRITER: Ouch! That's not supposed to hurt!
AGENT: Make and model of vehicle?
WRITER: It's on the card.
AGENT: Good afternoon. How may I help you?
WRITER: Wow! Nationwide really IS on my side!

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