Sometimes It’s Better Not To Know

Everyone was quite excited when Nobel Prize winning scientist Mark Woodruff built a time machine and traveled into the future.  They had all sorts of questions upon his return.  How far into the future did you go?  Were there flying cars?  Did the Toronto Maple Leafs ever win another Stanley Cup?

Mark Woodruff didn’t answer any of those questions, though.  He was so traumatized by what he saw he retreated into his home and refused to come out.

“It must have been pretty bad,” people said.  “We have to find out exactly what it was he witnessed; maybe then we can prevent it from even happening.”

Other people thought that perhaps it would be best not to know.  Curiosity won out at the end of the day, however, and fellow Nobel laureate, Dr. James Olin, a highly respected psychiatrist, was sent to Mr. Woodruff’s home to see if he could pry the answer loose.

“I made it only as far as 2089 and after what I saw, that was enough for me,” Mark said in a voice that shook with fright.  “There were no flying cars, no glory for the long suffering fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, or none of the other good things that we all hope will happen in the near future.  Do you know what there was?”

“What?” Dr. Olin asked.

“Five hundred television stations.”

“That’s great!  More variety!”

“No, all they offered was more of the same crap that we have today.  Two hundred of the stations were showing some variety of the ever-expanding C.S.I. franchise: C.S.I. Boise, C.S.I. Fargo, C.S.I. Salt Lake City, C.S.I. Anchorage…it went on and on.  The other two hundred were showing more from the N.C.I.S. franchise: N.C.I.S. Seattle, N.C.I.S. Miami, N.C.I.S. Boston, N.C.I.S. Honolulu.  It was mind numbing to watch.

“Wait, I thought you said that there were five hundred stations.  What was on the other one hundred?” Dr. Olin wanted to know.

“Chuck Lorre,” Mark told him.

“Chuck Lorre?  The television producer responsible for Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men, and The Big Bang Theory?  He’s still alive in 2089?”

“Yes, and he’s behind the other one hundred stations on the air, and his shows are still just as horrible.  What’s worse, Pauley Shore is also still alive and  he’s the star of the highest rated one.”

“Noooooo!” Dr. Olin shouted.

Those standing outside of Mark Woodruff’s house wondered what could have made Dr. Olin scream in such agony.  They never got to ask him as he refused to come out of Mark’s house as well, and that’s where the two of them remained, with the television off, until the day they died.


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