Explaining Coffee to Future Humans.

“So, we put beans in the water to wake up.”


“Why beans? You have the miraculous gift of water and you put beans in it?”


“We have to wake up.”


“Were early humans plagued with sleep disorders?”


“Yes, but that’s an entirely different topic.”


“The only motivation we need to wake up is escaping the laser ants.”


“Laser ants?”


“Yeah, they come at 4:30 in the morning and destroy everything.”


“Sounds like a terrifying alarm clock.”


“What’s an alarm clock?”


“It’s a machine that wakes us up. It makes loud noises.”


“The laser ants do that too. Also, the children screaming… you should really be glad the process is automated.”


“I wish there was something we could do in the past for you.”


“There is. Live every day like it’s your last. And avoid promises from experimental humans promising ant-like powers.”


“Why would anyone want ant powers?”


“They don’t look it, but they can really dig trenches between the U.S. and Mexico. Or as we know them, McWasteland and the Smoking Sombrero Heap.”


“That’s racist.”


“We don’t have racism in the future.”




“Yeah, we’ve been charred beyond all recognition. I kind of miss it.”


“I’ll tell you what. Let’s try coffee. You might like it.”


“Does it require annual tribute in sugar cubes?”


“Of course not. They take green paper.”


“Paper!? What rubes.”

And Now the Last Thoughts of The Elder Wand from Harry Potter

You’re breaking up with me!? I just killed friggin’ Voldemort!  Remember that?  Peeves sang Voldy’s gone moldy, and everyone hugged.  It was like the best moment ever and we totally shared it, dude.  The only thing missing were ewoks, but I could have conjured those too, because I’m the Elder Wand.  See what you’re missing?  You ain’t never had a friend like me…. Please don’t put me back in the grave.  It’s creepy.  I can change.  I didn’t even kill anyone the last time I switched owners.  Psychologists call that personal growth.  And it was all you, buddy.  Why don’t you sleep on it?  It’s not like anyone knows you have the most powerful wand in the world.  Except for the entire castle and soon-to-be convicted criminals you told.  But, hey, why sleep when I can turn pincushions into penguins?  It won’t even be hard.  You just say pincushion, penguin and it’s there, babe.  Let’s go for a magic carpet ride and sing Aladdin songs.  I can totally make Disney movies come to life.  It’s true.  You don’t like how Bambi’s mom died?  Boom.  She’s alive again.  Maybe you want to see Finding Dory a couple years early? Hey, I’ll summon a Tardis.  There’s nothing we can’t do.   Unless you want to cure hiccups.  I mean, I can try, but you’ve still got to hold your breath or get scared.

Rejected State Mottos for Ohio

10.) So, yeah. That’s a buckeye.

9.) Home of the Only State Pennant Flag.

8.) We Get Points for the Pennant Flag, Right?

7.) How Cool is a River on Fire!? Less Cool than the Pollution that Caused It?

6.) Birthplace of Aviation. You Can Run to Kitty Hawk But We Still Own Your Souls, Wright Brothers. Muahaha

5.) Did I Mention the Pennant Flag?

4.) Ohio Derives from the Word “good river” Because It Never Got Better.

3.) Seven Presidents You’ve Never Heard Of (They’re Kind of a Big Deal).

2.) Don’t Feed the Browns Fans. It Gives them False Hope.

1.) Feel Free to Say “What in Carnation” and Feel Clever. It’s Our State Flower.

Harry Potter in Third World Translations

Harry Potter has been translated into 67 different languages. It isn’t a stretch to imagine that some of the people speaking these languages do not all like the West or America very much. It might be economic imperialism, regular imperialism, or the twice-a-day drone strikes that turn them off. I can’t be sure. Through my worldly connections however I have come across direct translations for the titles in: Urdu, Persian (Iranian), Russian, North Korean, Vietnamese, Ukranian, and Navajo Indian.

1.) Harry Potter and the Philosophers that Weep for America

2.) Harry Potter and the Chamber of the White Devil

3.) Harry Potter and the Highest Prison Population in the Western World:
How Sirius Black Escaped Guantanamo Bay!

4.) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Unfair Trade Agreements

5.) Harry Potter and the Order at McDonalds That Expands Your Waistline and the American Hegemon

6.) Harry Potter and the Half-blood Banking Institutions

7.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Drone Strikes

The 36 Questions That Lead to Nerd Love

I read an article in the New York Times about falling in love. It claims intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by asking 36 questions. There’s a lot of talk about mutual vulnerability and stuff like that. The questions themselves are BORING and not very satisfying for nerds. I decided to make them more relevant.

Set I

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you eat burritos with?
  2. Would you like eternal glory? If it meant getting bit by a vampire?
  3. Before sending an emotional tweet, do you ever rehearse what you are going to write? Why?
  4. What would constitute a “supercalifragilistic” day for you?
  5. When did you last hum the theme from Star Wars?
  6. If you were able to live to the age of 100, would you still be able to throw a precious diamond into the ocean?
  7. In what heroic fashion do you see your own death?
  8. Name three super powers you and your partner appear to have in common.
  9. For what in your fictional life at Hogwarts do you feel most grateful?
  10. If you could change anything about the way Katniss Everdeen was raised in the Hunger Games, what would it be?
  11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story (real or imagined) in as much detail as possible.
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one wizard power, what would it be?

Set II

  1. If Professor Trelawney could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? Would you see the grim?
  2. Is there any ride at Disney World you’ve dreamed of riding for a long time? Why haven’t you rode it?
  3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your pet’s life?
  4. What do you value most in the friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione?
  5. What is your most treasured memory from reading a novel?
  6. What is your most terrible memory from reading a novel?
  7. If you knew that in one year you would be done in by Lord Voldemort, would you change anything about the way you are using magic? Or do you not believe in prophecies?
  8. Can Death Eaters have friends?
  9. What roles do love and affection have in your cosplay?
  10. Alternate sharing something you consider makes your partner a good nerd. Share a total of five items.
  11. Is your family more like the Weasleys or Malfoys? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most Muggles?
  12. How do you feel about your relationship with Remus Lupin?


  1. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both watching the Hobbit trilogy and feel … “
  2. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could battle … “
  3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know about time travel.
  4. Tell your partner what you like about Middle Earth; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
  5. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment you might have as an elf.
  6. When did you last cry in front of a Disney movie? By yourself?
  7. Tell your partner something that you like about pointy ears.
  8. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about? Note: If their answer is anything other than the death of a fictional character, they might not be the one for you.
  9. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told Bilbo Baggins?
  10. Your favorite franchise catches fire. After saving actors and movie props, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
  11. Of all the people in Harry Potter, whose death did you find most disturbing? Why?
  12. Share a continuity problem in the last film you saw and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Celebrity Burgers

There might come a time, far from now, when I no longer write or teach. I could easily travel during my retirement but that would be surprisingly logical. No, my dream is to open a celebrity themed burger restaurant. I thought I might share the menu with you today:

The Taylor Swift Burger: There isn’t much meat on this lean turkey burger, but it tries really hard.

The BLT: The Bieber, Lettuce, and Tomato boasts a hardy helping of apple wood smoked bacon, iceberg lettuce, and roma tomatoes. Remember, it looks pretty, but don’t fall in love with it.

The Cher Roast Beef: This delightful serving of certified angus wears more cow than Cher.

The Kardashian Crab Cake: Jumbo-lump crab meat graces an extra large brioche bun.

Katy Perry Sliders: Cheese topped some beef and she liked it. I hope the vegans don’t mind it.

The Benedict Cumberwich: The world’s sexiest sandwich. This generous helping of turkey, ham, and roast beef will keep you satisfied for hours. Available with Freeman Au Ju sauce.

The Late Great Ben Ditmars

On my deathbed in 2584:

Holographic News Anchor: Ben Ditmars, having invented flying broomsticks, and pioneered quidditch for realsies in 2230, is about to die. Naturally, the deaths of all famous celebrities are streamed live on intergalactic holovision, formerly known as TMZ. Let’s capture his last words.

Ben: Hello, Holographic News Anchor.

Holographic News Anchor: Hello, Ben. How are you feeling?

Ben: I’m about to die, but it could be worse.

Holographic News Anchor: How’s that?

Ben: My soul could be split into eight pieces.

Holographic News Anchor: That would be a buzz kill- which is actually a form of brutal execution in the future. Do you have any regrets?

Ben: Regrets? No, none of my own.

Holographic News Anchor: But you have someone else’s?

Ben: Of course. I have collected many regrets from fictional characters. And I never got over the ending for Corpse Bride. He should have chosen the Corpse Bride.

Holographic News Anchor: I have access to the Wikipedia and refute your claim. Victor had a life to live, you see.

Ben: The Corpse Bride was quirky and hot. Screw being mortal.

Holographic News Anchor: Any other fictional regrets?

Ben: Yes, I think Snape should have been nicer to Harry.

Holographic News Anchor: But, Voldemort would have seen it in his mind!

Ben: That’s true, but when he was dying, he could have thrown in “my son” or “I love you.”

Holographic News Anchor: That is inconsistent with his character’s development!

Ben: You know a lot about culture in the early 2000s for a hologram in the present.

Holographic News Anchor: Don’t tell anyone, but (takes off a mask.) I’m J.K. Rowling. I’ve come to tell you how awesome you are. Also, how sorry I am for killing everyone.

Ben: I knew it! So you do regret killing Dobby, Hedwig, Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, and Fred?

J.K. Rowling: Yes, yes, the books. Everyone remembers the books and not my tyrannical reign as Queen of Scotland.

Ben: I didn’t know you were Queen of Scotland. Or there was one.

J.K. Rowling: That’s because I invented it and fled for Jupiter the next day. Let’s just say, I got in a bad place with some Highlanders, and thought 4,000,000 horcruxes might save me.

Ben: Highlanders are real too!?

J.K. Rowling: Yes, but don’t tell anyone.

Ben: I’m about to die and we’re on intergalactic holovision.

J.K. Rowling: I thought this through about as well as I did the time turners in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Ben: How will you make people forget it?

J.K. Rowling: I’ll just add something on Pottermore tomorrow and come out with a new movie. People love new movies.

(The heart monitor starts sounding erratically.)

Ben: Well, I guess this is the part where I blow up.

Buzz Lightyear: Not today!

(Buzz uses his laser.)

Ben: Now I can live another fifty thousand years!

Buzz Lightyear: Exactly, because lasers really do light up in the future! Unfortunately, I’m still not a flying toy.

Ben: Freaking science.

Buzz Lightyear: I know, right!?

Suicide Pact




A small apartment with a broken television.

Image Source: Flickr

(VINCE sits next to THRASH on the floor. They flip through bills, most with FINAL NOTICE written on them.)

VINCE: Thrash, we’re never gonna make it as artists.

THRASH: Don’t say that, man. I think my sculpting will really take off.

VINCE: No one sculpts, Thrash and no one’s gonna read my poetry.

THRASH: We just gotta keep at it.

VINCE: You said that six years ago when we moved to New York.

THRASH: It’s still true.

VINCE: It isn’t Thrash. No one ever lives to see themselves famous.

THRASH: So what do you suggest? Suicide?

VINCE: Yes, actually.

(THRASH gets out his cell-phone.)

What are you doing?

THRASH: I’m calling the hotline. You’re talking to them.

VINCE: No, I’m not. Think about it, Thrash. Every famous artist killed themselves before making it big.

THRASH: Edgar Allen Poe didn’t.

VINCE: He drank himself to death. Same difference.

THRASH: (putting away cell-phone.) So, we kill ourselves?

VINCE: Yes, but the death has to be memorable.

THRASH: We could do a bunch of drugs.

VINCE: Can’t afford it.

THRASH: Stick our heads in the oven?

VINCE: Sylvia Plath already did it. We don’t wanna be posers.

THRASH: (indignant.) Well, I’ve listed two. Why don’t you suggest something?

VINCE: I could brick you into a wall.

THRASH: Come, on! That was Poe’s short story. And you accuse me of being unoriginal?

VINCE: Okay, I’ve got it. We lie down in the middle of the road and wait for a truck.

THRASH: Won’t that hurt?

VINCE: Not very long.


THRASH: What if we eat each other?

VINCE: It could work.

THRASH: The whole art world will be talking about those two roommates who ate each other.

VINCE: And of course they’ll want to buy our sculptures and poetry. We’ll be novelties.

THRASH: Who goes first?

VINCE: I’ll start on your leg. (He goes toward a drawer in the kitchen.) It should be the most appetizing part.

THRASH: I think I should start eating you first.

VINCE: (closing drawer.) Why’s that?

THRASH: You’re a lot fatter.

VINCE: Screw that, you got ten pounds on me.

THRASH: We’ll never decide who eats the other. Let’s flip a coin.

VINCE: I’ve got a better idea.


VINCE: Let’s go on a killing spree. That way we live and other people die.

THRASH: But no one remembered Manson for his music.

VINCE: They still remembered him.

THRASH: I won’t look good with a swastika carved into my forehead.

VINCE: I’ll do it for you. My geometry teacher always liked the way I drew lines.

THRASH: Okay, let’s do this.

VINCE: I’ll get the car.

THRASH: It doesn’t run.

VINCE: Shoelace express?

THRASH: No way. We’re doing this rampage on roller skates.

THRASH: That’s dope.


© Ben Ditmars 2014