A couple weeks ago, a couple of friends and I were talking, for some reason, about the repurcussions of time travel. I had mentioned that years ago I wrote a sketch about that very thing, for Sketch22. (Season Five, to be specific. Dennis Trainor played Andy, Andrew Sprague played Bobby, and Lennie MacPherson played Charlie.)
I thought I’d post it here, as I quite like it, and maybe someone would want to read it.
This isn’t the version of the sketch that made it to the stage that season. This was an earlier draft. For some reason I can no longer remember, we changed the banana peel to a Crocodile Mile slip-n-slide. We called the sketch “Crocodile Mile” as well. I guess the change was to add to the absurdity of the situation, and maybe as a bigger visual gag? I don’t know, but I think I like the subtlety (and classic gag aspect) of a banana peel.
Time Travel Sketch
An apartment. Andy and Bobby enter. Bobby is peeling a banana.
Andy: I can’t wait to see it! I tell you what. I’ll even buy your ticket!
Andy: ‘Kay, call me later. So I’ll see you tonight at the movies, then.
Bobby: Yeah, see ya.
Andy walks to a chair. Just as he sits, Future Bobby bursts into the room. He looks exactly like Bobby, just more mature.
Future Bobby: Andy!!
Andy: Oh, hey man. Forget something?
Future Bobby (panicked): Where am I? Did I leave?
Future Bobby races to the couch, searches in the cushions.
Future Bobby: Did I get the phone already? (pulls cellphone out of cushions, looks at it, puts it back in cushions) Good! I’m not too late!
Fruit store! Maybe I can still catch myself!!
Future Bobby runs out. Andy, puzzled, sits down and picks up a book. Future Charlie runs in, scaring Andy.
Future Charlie: Dad!
Future Charlie runs to Andy and gives him a big hug. In his shock, Andy allows it.
Future Charlie: Dad, oh my god! It’s so good to get to meet you!
Andy: Who the hell are you? What are you doing?
Future Charlie: I can’t really explain, Dad! But I just had to see you as you before it happened.
Andy: Before what happened? Why do you keep calling me Dad?
Future Charlie: I shouldn’t tell you, Dad, but… I’m your son. Charlie!
Andy: What? I don’t have a son.
Future Charlie: Yeah, well… not yet. You’re so… alive!!
Andy: Get out of my apartment.
Future Charlie: Yeah, good idea. (getting emotional) I just wanted to see you just once as the man you were and not just a lump slowly dying on a bed. And now that I have, I’ll go. Goodbye, Dad.
Future Bobby (from off stage): Well, I”m not at the fruit store!
Future Charlie, hearing Future Bobby, tries in vain to hide.
Future Bobby (entering): I was just there and I think I was just there, but now I’m gone somewhere else.
Future Bobby sees Future Charlie.
Future Bobby: Holy shit! Charlie!?! How’d you get here?
Future Charlie: Bobby, what are you doing here?
Future Bobby takes Future Charlie aside.
Future Bobby: I’m here to make sure that accident doesn’t happen, that’s what I’m doing here!
Future Charlie: What!? No way! The accident HAS to happen!
Andy: What accident? What the hell is going on? Bobby, you know this guy?
Future Charlie (to Future Bobby): Don’t tell him anything!
Future Bobby: Andy. I’m me. Bobby. From the future.
Future Charlie: Shut up about it!
Future Bobby: Today I cause you to have a terrible accident.
Future Charlie: Bobby, shut up!!
Future Bobby: But I’m trying to find myself and make sure it doesn’t happen. Maybe I’m at the bus stop!
Future Bobby exits.
Future Charlie: Bobby, the accident has to happen! Dad, that stupid idiot friend of yours is gonna ruin everything!!
Future Charlie runs out. Andy just stand there, in a bit of a shock. After a beat, Farther Future Bobby enters. He looks older than Future Bobby.
Farther Future Bobby: Andy! Hey! Listen, this’ll sound weird, maybe, but was be from the future just here?
Farther Future Bobby: Was me from the future just here?
Farther Future Bobby: Dammit Andy!! Was I just here?
Farther Future Bobby: Did I say it was me from the future?
Andy: I think you did.
Farther Future Bobby: Dammit! We arrived too late to stop me from telling you about the accident!
Farther Future Charlie enters. He is somewhat disfigured, hobbled, and speaks with a mild speech impediment.
Farther Future Charlie: And you just mentioned the accident again, Bobby! You’re such an idiot!
Farther Future Bobby: I know! Listen, Andy, forget anything I told you about today. Any of me. Turns out, you knowing even a little bit about the accident changes the future. We’re not sure how, but since you found out about the accident, Charlie’s turned into a freak!
Farther Future Charlie: Shut up, Bobby! Stop mentioning the accident!
Andy: Why do you all keep talking about an accident?
Farther Future Charlie: Can’t tell you, Dad!!
Farther Future Bobby: Look, he already knows there’s an accident. We might as well tell him.
Farther Future Charlie: Oh, go ahead then! But be careful what you say.
Farther Future Bobby: Andy, there’s an accident that’s going to happen to you today. It’s my fault. It screws up both our lives.
Farther Future Charlie: Bobby from your future but our past is trying to stop it from happening.
Farther Future Bobby: Right. But the problem is, if the accident doesn’t happen, Charlie here doesn’t get born.
Farther Future Charlie: If you don’t have the accident, Dad, then I cease to exist.
Andy: And you are….?
Farther Future Charlie (a bit hurt): Your currently un-born son. Charlie!
There is a pause.
Andy: Okay. So what happens now?
Farther Future Charlie: We have to find Bobby from the future.
Andy (to Farther Future Bobby): But I thought you were Bobby from the future.
Farther Future Bobby: I am. But I’m from a later future.
Farther Future Charlie: We want to stop the Bobby from the future who’s trying to stop the accident from happening.
Farther Future Bobby: Right. I want the accident to happen. But I don’t. So, where did I go?
Farther Future Bobby: C’mon Andy, keep up! Where’d I go? And where did I go?
Farther Future Charlie: And what about me? Where did I get up to?
Andy: I think one of you mentioned the bus stop.
Farther Future Charlie: Bus stop! Right! Let’s go!
Farther Future Charlie exits.
Farther Future Bobby (to Andy): We’re going to the bus stop to search for me. Both of me. Hopefully I’ll be there. If not me, then maybe at least I’ll be there. Listen, if I come back here, just keep me here.
Farther Future Bobby starts to exit. Stops.
Farther Future Bobby: Make sure it’s me, though. Not me, but me. I’m me me. Keep me here, but wait for me me.
Farther Future Bobby starts to exit again. Stops.
Farther Future Bobby: If I don’t return, then for god’s sake, make sure you slip on that banana.
Farther Future Bobby exits.
Andy (yelling after him): Banana? Bobby, what happens to me?
Future Bobby enters.
Future Bobby: I can’t find me anywhere!!
Andy: Bobby, why should I slip on the banana?
Future Bobby: You know about the banana?
Andy: You just told me.
Future Bobby: No I didn’t.
Andy: You told me to slip on the banana.
Future Bobby: Um, no. I DON’T want you to slip on the banana. If you slip on the banana, you crack your skull and go into a 20 year coma and then die. I get sued by your family for every penny I have and live a miserable life of destitution.
Farthest Future Charlie enters. He is even more disfigured and hobbled and speech-impeded than before.
Farthest Future Charlie: You had to tell him about the coma, didn’t you Bobby! Jesus, now I’m more deformed than ever!
Future Bobby: Charlie?
Farthest Future Charlie: Might as well spill the beans! Can’t get much worse than this. Dad, while you were in your coma, your sister Beverly sold some of your semen to a sperm bank. I was born from that batch of sperm.
Andy: What the hell is going on here!
Future Bobby: Jeez, Andy. It’s not that complicated. Later today, I’m going to cause you to have an accident. Any second, I’m going to arrive and tell you I can’t go to the movies tonight. I’ll be eating a banana and drop the peel on the floor. You slip on the peel, hit your head on the floor, and go into a coma. And I get sued.
Farthest Future Charlie: And I get born!
Andy: So, why don’t I just NOT slip on the banana?
Farthest Future Charlie: But you DO slip on the banana!! You have to! Or else I don’t get born!
Andy: Well, is that such a bad thing? I hardly know you.
Farthest Future Charlie: Well, from my perspective, Dad, me not being born is a pretty big deal.
Andy: I see your point. Gee, I don’t know what to do.
Future Bobby: Don’t slip on the banana and you totally change our futures for the better, buddy!
Farthest Future Charlie: Not mine! Do the right thing, Dad! Slip on that banana!
Future Bobby (looking out the window): Here I come! Charlie, we gotta hide!!
Future Bobby and Farthest Future Charlie exit.
Andy: Interesting dilemna.
Bobby enters, finishing eating a banana.
Bobby: Hey Andy, I forgot. I can’t go to the movies tonight. I have that thing I have to go to.
Andy (staring at the banana): Oh, right. Okay.
Bobby: I woulda called, but I think I left my cellphone here.
Bobby casually drops the banana peel on the floor, then digs in the cushions of the couch, pulls out cellphone. Andy can only stare at the banana.
Bobby: Yep, here it is. Anyway, I gotta go.
Andy: Yeah. There it is. Alright. See you, Bobby. Probably.
Andy stares at the banana peel, unsure of what to do. Carefully approaches the banana peel. Tentatively touches it with the toes of his foot.
Studies the situation.
Lights fade to black.