HARDYS INN DANGER by Ann
Okay, my little brother thinks it’s 1927. I can read him pretty well, and he’s definitely not pranking me. So what’s going on? Does he have a head injury? Amnesia? I know this is not a dream, so there must be some other explanation. Time to figure this out.
“Does your head hurt?” I asked him, checking his eyes.
He rubbed his head. “Yes.”
“Where? Did you get hit on the head?”
He shrugged. “I do not think so.”
“You really think this is 1927?” I asked. “No prank?”
He looked at me. “I don’t just think it, I know it. When I went to sleep last night, it was 1927 and when I woke up it was 1927. August to be more specific.”
I ran a hand through my hair. He definitely wasn’t kidding and was truly convinced of what he was saying. Had to be a head injury.
“You know we have EMT training, so do you mind if I check your head for a bump? Where specifically does it hurt?” I asked.
“Mostly throbbing all over. Just a regular allergy headache with a little stress thrown in.” He realized he hadn’t answered about my request to check if he had gotten a bump on the noggin. “Go ahead.”
Gently and carefully, I did a fairly thorough exam. Wanting to double-check to make sure they were dilating correctly, I looked at his pupils again, until he crossed his eyes at me.
“Nothing seems to be wrong with you. I mean anymore than normal,” I joked, trying to lighten the mood. He was looking stressed.
“Frank?” he asked. “What year do you think it is?”
I leaned down and put a comforting hand on Joe’s shoulder. “It’s 2015, little brother. But it is August.” I hoped my smile was encouraging.
He looked up at me, eyes wide. “But….how? I was concerned maybe you had gotten hit on the head and was wrong about what year it is, but the evidence points to you being correct. Like me seeing a building that has not been completed yet. Or actually, it has.” He got quiet, thinking.
“Hey, you know what?” I looked around the room. “Check your pockets. See if your phone is there.”
Joe did a double take. “How big do you think my pockets are?”
“You think I can fit a telephone in my pockets?” Joe was definitely looking at me like I nuts.
“Oh.” It hit me that he still didn’t know what his phone looked like and was picturing a 1927 one. “Our personal phones are small, rectangular devices that fit very easily in a pocket. Check and see if you have anything in your pockets.“
There wasn’t anything in his pockets. I let him look at my phone. He took it with curiosity. And like he’d never seen it before. I showed him the basics and he listened quietly, with an occasional question. Finally he looked up at me.
“This is amazing. It’s like the videotelephone we heard about and read about of the broadcast display from American Telephone & Telegraph Company Bell Laboratories. Then you can see the person you’re talking to. It is good they have fine-tuned it so that it is small and affordable. It is so much smaller than the larger phones we have, er, had?” The fascination from the phone gave way to once again wondering what had happened. His expression asked me to please explain it all and make sense of everything. I couldn’t though, at least not yet.
“In 1929 there was color television and 1930 saw the development of two-way interactive television. We now have this. It’s pretty cool,” I agreed.
“It is not hot,” he agreed with a nod.
“‘Cool’ can also be used to say ‘neat’, ‘good’, or ‘great’, besides a temperature reference,” I explained. Then I thought of another word. “It basically means ‘swell’.”
He nodded and I could see him mentally tucking that information away for later reference. Then he tried it out. “Cool.”
Except for sounding like he’d never used that expression before, he did very well. He stood up and walked around, picking things up and putting them down. He paused by his desk. I knew his next question.
“That’s a laptop computer.” I turned it on and showed him. He was pretty fascinated at the technology that was dreamed up before 1927.
“I had a jacket on the back of my desk chair,” he said as he looked at the hoodie. “This looks comfortable.”
“It is. You wear them a lot.” I sat down on the bed and watched as Joe continued to look in his closet and chest of drawers. “There were jeans in 1927, but we wear them even more now.”
“Where’s all my hats?” Joe asked.
“Um, you mostly have some baseball caps. Our team at Bayport High. Plus a couple of New York Yankee ones, and a few others. That hat you wore today we got special for this event.”
He raised his eyebrows, surprised, but trying to take it all in.
I was about to say more, but we suddenly heard my ringtone. Joe watched as I answered my phone. It was Peter from the Bayport Bijou. I had it on speakerphone so Joe could hear, too. Peter had just made a regular call, not a video chat. I think Joe was a little disappointed. After this phone call, I’ll suggest calling and face chatting with Iola. He will love that.
“Hi Peter, what’s up?” I asked.
“Hey, Frank,” Peter said. “You know how I told you not to worry about those punks?”
“Well, I wondered if you and Joe could stop by tomorrow. I have an idea. It’s a long-shot and I need your help.”
Joe was nodding vigorously and I told Peter, “Sounds good, we’ll do that.” I paused a moment, trying to read between the syllables of what Peter had said. Something had changed his mind since we last talked. “Something happen?”
“Yeah,” he said with a sigh. “Someone was messing around, even spray painted my door. I’m not putting up with that. I called the police and they came to check it out, but didn’t find anything.”
“We’ll be there tomorrow,” I promised.
Peter thanked me and we ended the call. Joe and I discussed possibilities of what to do dealing with the thugs trying to buyout Peter.
“How about a virtual face to face with Iola?” I asked Joe with a grin that I was sure said I knew what his answer would be.
I guided him through the call and a short time later he was gazing happily at Iola on the phone.
“Hi!” she said.
He returned her greeting with a smile and a hearty, “Hi!”
Joe seemed content watching her, so it was good Iola kept up a steady flow of dialogue. They talked a while and although I usually don’t listen in on my brother’s and his girlfriend’s conversations, I did this time. Just in case he needed some help.
After he and Iola had ended the call, I motioned for him to follow me. “Almost time to meet the others in the kitchen.”
Once there, I directed his attention to the rectangular appliance on the counter. I boiled some water in it to show him. He was impressed.
“Very ‘Jetsons’, don’t you think?” I asked.
“Jetson’s?” Joe had a quizzical expression on his face.
Oh, right. He wouldn’t have heard of them.
“It’s a space-age cartoon,” I explained.
“Oh, okay,” he said with a nod.
Aunt Trudy came in and Joe looked startled, but didn’t say anything. Mom and Dad arrived then we worked together to prepare a great snack.
They didn’t yet know that their youngest son really thought he was from 1927.