Tim and I invented spontaneous combustion.

It actually sounds cooler than it is. Really, we were just bored. History was boring. Extremely boring. Who knew? Not these two time-traveling mavericks. Why do you think Paul quit teaching it? You have to be a god-damned illusionist to try and get kids to pay attention to all the boring shit. Yeah, we know, Cromwell, Hammurabi, Tesla, blah blah blah. 332, 1280, 1668, 1776. Yes, there were some interesting people and times in our world history, but they’re only a minuscule part of the vast void of history.

The Renaissance? BORing. You want to know what the Renaissance was like? Try watching “Days of Our Lives,” only with ugly people. The people were just so ugly and filthy–literally covered in dirt, working in the fields, in the stables, or on their backs. Not to mention, they had not developed any of our witty banter back then. So none of these morons even “had a good personality.“ Oh yeah, and some great art was created. Whoopdeedoo. How many great works of art were created then? A lot? Great. Not enough.

Thank god for #latergrams or Matt would have been forced to go centuries without referring to himself in the third person.

The Roaring Twenties were a lot of fun! Yeah, except for that whole Great Depression thing. Yeah, that was kind of a downer. Sure, the whole clandestine speakeasy thing was cool for a minute, but other than that not much happened. We didn’t really care if Bernice bobbed her fucking hair.

Pick up a history book, any history book. That book is the cliff notes of history and it’s only one percent of what happened. The rest of the pages in the unabridged version are blank. Oh and just an FYI, there is no wifi ANYWHERE when you go back in time. So zero chance to Tweet anything. Thank god for #latergrams or Matt would have been forced to go centuries without referring to himself in the third person.

At first, time travel was like a new video game; we’d stay up all night playing it and just trying stupid shit. Anything really. Of course, we wanted to right wrongs, and save the world! What a couple of dummies. You just can’t rewrite history. In the end, you don’t want to deal with the consequences of altering anything.

The Renaissance? BORing. You want to know what the Renaissance was like? Try watching “Days of Our Lives,” only with ugly people.

For example, we couldn’t figure out a way to save the volunteers at the Alamo without causing catastrophic changes to our world/universe. So instead we decided to exact some revenge on the enemy forces afterward. We poured a bunch of Visine into the water supply of General Antonio López de Santa Anna, near San Jacinto. His troops were useless during the ensuing battle, and the Texans reamed ‘em. How were we to know that we’d ruin Mexican drinking water for the next several centuries?

Simons

We’ve both killed Hitler on multiple occasions, but unfortunately that is a period that just can not be undone. Every time we killed Hitler, the television show Simon & Simon would disappear from the face of the Earth. Well, we couldn’t have that, could we? A world without AJ Simon’s charisma or Rick Simon’s street smarts? Get real. So we’d go back and stop ourselves from doing anything during the WWII era. And by the way, it’s not easy to convince past/future you that you’re future/future you from the past/future’s future and not some Nazi future you, and that past/future you should trust future/future you and chill the fuck out. Especially Tim–Time Travel Tim is one paranoid sumbitch.

Oh, so you’re probably thinking, “wait, you can’t contact previous versions of yourself!” Relax, it doesn’t cause a rip in the space time continuum or whatever. That’s just some bullshit that Robert Zemeckis came up with. How does Matt know? Well, let me just tell you that the greatest laugh I’ve ever experienced was when Old Man Me yelled “Slow down, dumbass. It’s not a race,” to Teenage Me, while about thirty versions of me were engaged in an orgy. Full on belly laugh multiplied by thirty. Oh man, so funny. Anyway, it’s definitely not a problem if you come into “contact” with other versions of yourself.

mattO1

If you’ve partied with Tim, you’re familiar.

So, we tried a bunch of shit over a wide range of timelines and just plain got burned out. We decided to slow things down and try to appreciate the whole world one era at a time. Holy shit was that a mistake. So mind numbingly boring. We seriously drove ourselves crazy a couple of times–ever hear of Jonestown?

Anyway, during our “Roman Period,” we’re hanging out, playing “I Never,” with Caligula, which was fun at first, but then he got wasted and we got bored. So, what do we do when we’re bored? Tim starts his tirade about how wrongfully persecuted Uri Geller was. And he starts to prove the reality of telekinesis and so on. If you’ve partied with Tim, you’re familiar. And so I’m pushing Tim’s buttons, because we’ve had this conversation a few dozen times over several millennia, and because I like to push buttons after a few honeyed wines.

So Tim is sitting in the corner staring intensely at this Roman spork for hours. So I decide to debate the pros and cons of democracy with the ruggedly handsome drunk guy. (a mirror) So at the point that I’m complaining about the corruption inherent in the system, I notice that Tim is trying to shake Caligula awake to show him this bent spork. And it takes me a minute to realize that Tim is completely engulfed in flames–staggering around, laughing, and crackling with fire. He isn’t burning or anything, just on fire.

It took us a few nights to recreate the events exactly and figure out the cause of Tim’s combustion. And honestly it should have only taken one night, but Caligula wanted to “try stuff.” He’s very “thorough.” So without further ado…

Spontaneous Combustion Recipe

Ingredients

  • Intoxication (preferably from depressants)
  • Lead Sporks
  • Intermittent Sneezing
  • Flatulence
  • Late night bowl of Roman grains (emmer, rivet wheat, einkorn, spelt, and common wheat)
  • Funyuns (bag o’)
  • Passionate belief in Uri Geller
  • Fan (if necessary)

Steps

  1. Achieve intoxication whilst defending the mental feats of Uri Geller preferable after a meal of goat and cheeses.
  2. Pull out your lead spork to prove the existence of telekinesis.
  3. Either go to a room/stable that houses horses, or have horse dung* on hand. Use the horse dung to irritate your hay fever causing intermittent sneezing.
  4. Reach the point of intoxication that you have to ingest large quantities of grains, such as an assortment of Roman wheats and/or Funyuns.
  5. Once flatulence commences, concentrate on that spork, and just wait for a sneeze to induce a fart, which should cause the spork to spark.
  6. Fire should engulf you. If not fan any smoking embers you may find on your person and repeat steps 5 until fire is induced.

*It hasn’t been proven, but you may have to eat a horse apple after losing a bet. We’ve achieved combustion without it, but especially for the first time it seems to grease the wheels.

Matt is a storyteller. They’re often about the past, they’re about time travel, and they’re often about Tony Danza.The important thing to remember is that they are all absolutely true.