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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

This Day In History 1: Pony Express IM

Here at Eyes On The Ball we like to look back in history to see what people were thinking. Recently we found a time capsule from the year 1840. In this time capsule were predictions for the future. We bring you one such prediction.

We'd like to thank the Sketch Therapy class of Jerk Alert Productions taught by Phil Mottaz for help compiling this article.

Pony Express Instant Messaging

In the future everyone will have their own Pony Express rider, or even several. This will make communication seem almost instant! Here is a scenario we envision, involving two friends, Crazy Guns Howard and Wild Will, who are both living in the year 1999.

Rider 1 and Rider 2 are standing beside Howard as he writes at his desk. Crazy Guns Howard is a banker, and he is taking a break from a hard days work giving loans to farmers, and protecting the people's money from robbers. That is why he has two Pony Express riders.

Howard (speaking to self as he writes): Hey Will what's up?
Howard hands paper to Rider 1. Rider 1 takes off! He runs out the door, jumps on his horse, and rides like crazy to next door to where Wild Will works. He ties up his horse and runs inside.

Wild Will is busy at work, he runs a printing press, where he is printing up leaflets to mobilize the South against further Northern enroachment into other people's business. Standing next to him is Rider 3.

Wild Will is so buy, he ignores the rider, who just leaves the paper at Will's desk and then rides back to Crazy Gun's bank.

Crazy Gun Howard goes through some bank ledgers for awhile, and notices the rider didn't come back with a note. So he writes up another note.

Howard (speaking to self as he writes): Hello? Busy?
He hands the note to the rider. Rider 1 takes off! He runs out the door, jumps on his horse, and rides like crazy to next door to where Wild Will works. He ties up his horse and runs inside.

Rider 1 drops the note off at Wild Will's desk. Wild will sighs with annoyance.

Will (speaking out loud to self as he writes reply): I'm busy printing up leaflets. The North is trying to push us around. I M H O there's gonna be a war soon.

Will hands the note back to Rider 1 who takes off back to Crazy Gun Howard's bank, and hands the note to Howard. Howard reads it and begins writing a reply.

Howard: L O L! They wouldn't dare if they are smart! Hey wanna go catch a burlesque show later?

While he is waiting, Will decides to write another note back to Crazy Gun Howard.

Will: Wanna do some gambling tonight?

Will hands his note to Rider 3, at the same time Howard hands his note to Rider 2. They both race past each other to deliver their notes. Both Will and Howard read their notes at the same time.

Howard writes a response: Sure, if you don't want to see the show, gambling is ok.
He hands the note back to Rider 3.

At the same time, Will writes: Yeah, the show sounds better than gambling. I hear Sultry Sue is in town this week.
Will hands the note back to Rider 2.

Both Pony Express riders jump on their horses, passing each other as they race back to deliver their messages.

Howard and Will both realize they crossed paths and laugh to themselves. Then at the same time they both write responses to each other:
They both write the same thing: L O L Let's just go to the cathouse.
And hand the notes off to their riders who race back to deliver it. When they receive the notes, they both smile and nod approvingly.

Suddenly, a fourth rider enters Will's workplace. Will recognizes it as the personal Pony Express Instant Message rider of his girlfriend, Betty Sue. He dives under his desk hoping the rider hasn't seen him yet.

Rider 4 looks around and doesn't see him. "I guess he's away from his desk" he says to himself, "his girlfriend sure will be disappointed." He leaves the message on the desk and walks back out.

Will peeks above the desk realizing he is gone. "Whew that was a close one."

Will pens another message to Howard: You did not just try to message me did you? I had to pretend I was away because Betty Sue's messenger arrived.

He hands the note off to his rider, who races next door to the bank. Howard takes the message and reads it.

He starts to write a reply, when suddenly another fifth Pony Express rider pops up out from behind another desk at the bank.

"Hey, you shouldn't be back here, you broke in!" Howard shouts reaching for his guns at his hips.

The fifth rider doesn't hand him a note, instead starts talking very loudly to no one in particular. "If you can see me, then your bank is not secure. You need Anti Rustler 2000 to stop seeing these unwanted message-"

Just then Howard plugs the unwanted messenger full of lead, and he falls dead. He spins his shooting irons on his fingers and then as he puts them back in his holsters, says "thanks Popup Killer and Spaminator". Howard loves to talk to his guns.

He writes back to Will: The Cathouse sounds good. I need to get some better security, another damn messenger popped in. See you at 8 o clock. L eight R.
He hands the note to one of his riders who races over to the press.

Will reads it, and writes back: L eight R.
Will hands the note back and goes back to work.

When Howard receives the note, he nods, and goes back to work.

That is what the future will be like. The days of waiting for mail will be no more, as messages will be sent almost instantly, thanks to Personal Pony Express.