The first successful instance of time travel occurred in 2306, when a group of Syracuse University researchers transported Tootsie, a chimpanzee, to the front lines of the War of 1812. The scientists were awarded a Nobel Prize, but despite deftly outmaneuvering the British Royal Navy in the Battle of New Orleans, Tootsie won no military decorations.

Tootsie’s success sparked a wave of further time travel experimentation on science’s usual test subjects, including sheep, goats, and chickens. The demand for subjects was so great that farmers began selling their animals directly to chrono-labs. “Ain’t it just the way, boy, but this runt here’ll be fer time travel,” they’d say, ripping away a piglet their child had reared to send it hurtling through space-time. Such was the cruel reality of farm life.

Researchers quickly discovered that the past could not be altered, no matter how much time voyagers tried. If you went back in time to prevent the Hindenburg disaster, whatever you did would only ensure the blimp exploded, especially if you tried stopping it by crashing a larger, more on-fire blimp into it. If you tried to go back and save Abraham Lincoln by giving him the Heimlich maneuver, he would still succumb to the bullet wound in his head.

Naturally, the military applications of time travel were pursued first. The US Army wanted to know if it was possible to use time travel to make a big gun. The US Navy wanted to see if they could also do that, but wet.

Time travel was the skeleton key that unlocked history’s greatest mysteries and catalyzed scientific discovery. Researchers learned the ultimate fate of Amelia Earhart and discovered that if you went back in time to meet your grandfather as a young man, he would still smell like an old person. Stonehenge, it turned out, was Homo sapiens’ disastrous first attempt to build a writing utensil.

Time travel technology eventually improved enough to be made available for commercial purposes. It was initially offered as a costly luxury experience that only the uber-rich could afford. Billionaire CEOs jumped at the chance to meet their heroes of the past, like Steve Jobs or the first landlord.

The physical sensation of the body traveling through time was alien and surreal, almost indescribable. First, your ears popped. After that, your nose would pop. Then your fingers, toes, and neck popped. Just a lot of popping all around.

Eventually, time travel became more cost-effective and accessible to the middle class, ushering in a new era of affordable chrono-tourism. Time travel agencies began selling packaged experiences to popular historical destinations, like “The Fall of Pompeii” and “Watch Joey Chestnut Eat Sixty-Eight Hot Dogs in 2009.”

Going back in time became incredibly popular, despite exposing travelers to a wide array of historical dangers. It wasn’t long before fatal incidents took their toll on society, with “flattened by horse and carriage” becoming the second leading cause of death in the US—nearly a 100 percent increase from the previous year.

Today, of course, time travel is a normal part of everyday life. Teachers take their students to witness the Gettysburg Address firsthand, while teens flock to the sparse settlements of Ancient Mesopotamia to hook up. NBA players bring the Mayflower’s Pilgrims to All-Star Weekend, posterizing them for style points in the dunk contest, and Bravo has a reality show where twenty-five women compete for Attila the Hun’s love. We remembered powdered wigs look fucking cool. Accountants go back in time so they can do more accounting. Animal Planet’s programming is still just okay.

We live life again and again and again, until we are flattened by horse and carriage.