Guess what day is it today? It’s Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day! Woo!
Um… Actually it’s not. Apparently they moved PTBATTD to September 12 this year likely due to the sheer number of real holidays we celebrate in December. But since I didn’t get the memo on time and I missed September celebrations, I’m going to talk about it today.
As you may or may not know, this holiday was started by Dresden Codac community, inspired by one of the recurring themes in the comic – time travel:
If you are not familiar with the comic, I highly recommend reading it. All of it – there is actually not that many episodes, seeing how it is updated only every third leap year or so. I’d put it in the same league as xkcd or Abstruse Goose – smart humor for smart people. Only unlike the other two of my favorites Codak is also very artistically pleasing, and the author manages to inject interesting story arcs and even character development between his intellectual jokes. If you have never read it, you are missing out.
As for PTBATTD, the idea is simple. You dress up as a time traveler, get drunk and interact with people as if you were confused as to what date it is. There are few different approaches you can take to this:
Utopian Future – You came from a distant future utopia and all your knowledge about current period comes from watching few Hollywood movies and a History channel special on the 20th century. As in the comic linked above, this should be your motto: If the Future did a documentary of the last fifty years, this is how badly the reenactors would dress.” Think Futurama and the way our period was portrayed in the distant future much to Fry’s amusement (whalers on the moon, etc..).
Dystopian Future – think Bruce Willis from 12 monkeys or Terminator. Dress in leather, wear a gas mask and googles or some makeshift armor. You probably have never seen the sky or the ocean so try to be appropriately awed by how vast and blue they are. You should also walk up to random people and ask them what date is it. When they respond, yell: “BUT WHAT YEAR IS IT?”. Wwhen they tell you, get quiet and then say “Then there’s still time!” and run off.
If you get tired asking people for the date, someone reading a newspaper and ask them to borrow it for a second. Look at the front page in disbelief and yell out: “2009? No! No! No! I’m late!”. Give back the newspaper, pace around for a few seconds as if you were trying to figure out what to do and then ask the person where you can find the nearest phone booth or some other random item.
The Past – fairly standard. Dress in the clothing from your chosen period and act confused by modern technology. It’s not as fun as pretending to be from the future IMHO.
Have fun! Official page for the PTBATTD is here.