With the all but inevitable advent of a workable Time Machine upon us, it would behoove us all to take some preparations for our foray into the heretofore unknowable Future. The Past, of course, we know about, and therefore it holds no interest. As one who has spent a great deal of time investigating the might-bes and may-happens of many possible Futures, I feel responsible to impart the fruits of my investigations to the rest of you. When you find yourself in the Future, please reach into your pocket and quickly study this list (but not for so long as to attract unwanted attention):
1) Beware when crossing the street. The Contrivances of our Descendants will certainly be very fast-moving and, being harried by their faster pace of life, the Drivers of Tomorrow may not be on the look-out for us, Secret Visitors from the Past.
2) Follow the crowds and attempt to blend in until you are properly oriented. Rules for walking in the Cities of Tomorrow may be far stricter, and the subsequent penalties far harsher, than the free-and-easy attitudes we enjoy Today. This is to say that, with greater population densities, our Descendants might find it necessary to introduce measures to avoid pedestrian collisions.
3) Don’t read too much of whatever periodicals, digital or otherwise, they offer. They will contain misinformation and sports figures that will excite the blood and are designed to entrap industrial spies from more Primitive Cultures, such as our own. For to the Men of Tomorrow we are laughable cavemen. Also avoid the Men of the Future in talk about “current” (to us Today) movies or popular music. This will arouse their suspicions. Instead invest a little time in watching Their popular Television shows and talk about those in a low voice to no one in particular on a crowded street. This way you may begin a fruitful conversation.
4) Be cautious of the foodstuffs you eat. They may contain preservatives or genetically altered material that will kill you faster than you can say, “I’m dying!” Seek out kindly looking Folk who may offer you simple fare your antique stomach can handle, until you get up to date, cuisine-wise.
5) Before departing the Present, brush up on your Spanish, Cantonese, and one of the following: Hindi, English, or Latin. This latter tongue is useful in a wide variety of situations, as has been ably demonstrated by Bennett-Cole and Osprington, and in an unrelated, tragic instance, the late Lord-Governor Wilbur Farallon.
6) Avoid religious groups. They may attempt to solicit donations, and your ancient currency will arouse suspicion/terror/scorn/revulsion. Instead affect an attitude of atheism, or at least powerful skepticism.
7) You may wonder about Time Machines existing in the Future itself, and so perhaps the Folk of Tomorrow will be wise to your tricks. This is certainly possible. It would be unwise to travel further forward using Their machines, as it has been well documented that no human can survive two forward trips without a Blood-Lymph replacement at freezing temperature.
8) If Time Machines do exist in the Future at all, they must be illegal, or else invented by Travelers from the Present or Near Future. Unless They Themselves in fact created them and placed them conveniently for us to find and are waiting for us in the Future, in which case, if you discover this, I would advise against the trip.
9) The motives for Their placing Machines in the Past for us is obscure, unless They wanted Us to see the Wonders of what They had accomplished, or rather will accomplish, and how if in Their Past the Machines exist could They claim credit for this Creation? Therefore it seems We are the Creators and are in fact responsible for Their Creations and They are nothing to Us but only seem greater as the Man does to the Child.
10) In any event it would probably be prudent to bring three (3) changes of clothes (including underpants), a surgical mask to filter pollution/ozone, and a pair of latex gloves to avoid contact with super-bacteria. Proceed with caution.