This story is proof that “dumb” and “power” don’t mix.
Fact is — you don’t have to be smart to be dumb. In fact, the smarter you are the dumber things can turn out for you. But some people have a knack of being a genius-level dummy.
Thirty five year-old Sheldon Sherman wasn’t dumb, in fact he would be considered clever by most people. He was an advertising copywriter and artist with a lot of successful campaigns under his size 46 belt. But, when he inadvertently stumbled upon an artifact that allowed him access to the Braintrust of the Universe, his instincts went out the window in his quest to become the world’s first Trillionaire.
As far as common sense, well… not too much. By farting around with the knowledge of the universe: past, present and future, he disrupted the fabric of time and consequences unraveled themselves like a kitten playing with a bushel of multicolored yarn.
Basically, he inadvertently did everything a human could possibly do to wreck creation. For a while he had it all: wine, women, song — and women. This was good for a nerd — bad for a nerd on steroids with his hands on the till of the future and a legitimate disregard for everything the universe contained that didn’t have anything to do with Victoria’s Secret.
Did he learn his lesson? You decide. With any luck you’ll be capable of reading this; if not… fare well because he blew it.
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Here's an excerpt:
Sheldon appeared back at his Big Three Advertising offices and was still shaking from his experience in the Library. He was confused, not knowing what to do when he stared out of the window and noticed that the John Hancock Center was no longer there and replaced by an empty parking lot. He gasped, “Omigod!”
Fred asked, “What’s wrong?”
Sheldon continued staring out the window, “The John Hancock building just disappeared.”
Susan and Fred stared out the window. “Who is John Hancock?” Susan asked.
Fred said, “What building?”
Sheldon shuddered... he reached into his pocket and took out his wallet. He pulled out some currency and stared at the bill in his shaking hand, “Who’s this bozo?”
Fred glanced at the bill, “Douglas McKiernan... the twelfth president, of course.”
Sheldon staggered backwards...
Fred asked, “Are you okay?”
“No...” he answered, “nothing is going to be okay again.”
Fred reached into an old fashioned wooden ice chest and pulled out a can of beer. He took a beer can opener out of the drawer... “‘Better have a beer...”
Sheldon looked at the beer... “No pull tabs.”
Fred asked, “What’s a pull tab?”
Susan examined the can as Sheldon stared at the beer label. It read: “ADOLPH’S BREW” with a picture of Adolph Hitler on the can.
“What the hell kind of beer is this?” Sheldon shouted.
Susan answered in a German accent, “Der Fuehrer’s favorite beer.”
Fred added, in a thick German accent “Yah... mit a real skunky taste...like our leader loved so...”
Sheldon ran to the window and saw a Swastika flag flying on the masthead in front of the building. He checked his wallet again... a picture of Hitler was on the bill. He picked up a copy of Time Magazine and saw a German Swastika on the cover with a photo of an aging Adolph Hitler, smiling.
Sheldon asked Fred, “Who won World War II?”
Fred answered in a German accent, “Vee did of course.”
Sheldon looked around... Susan was gone. “Where’s Susan?” Sheldon asked.
Fred answered in a German accent, “Who’s Susan? — And who are you?”
Sheldon replied, “A guy who doesn’t think he’s ever going to see lox and bagels again.”
Fred asked in a German accent, “What’s that?”
Sheldon shrugged, “Figures... I’m outta here...I’m history; if there is any history left.”
On Michigan Avenue, Sheldon ran down the street and saw Swastika flags flying over shop windows. Buildings began to fade and were replaced by other buildings as he passed them. It was snowing on one side of the street and the sun was shining on the other side. Sheldon muttered desperately, “Mike Schwartz... ‘gotta find him.”
He flagged down a cab which screeched to a stop. He jumped in, the Cabbie, a fat man with close-cropped hair stared into the rear-view mirror — Sheldon was cautious. The Cabbie asked, in a German accent, “Vhere to?”
“St. Francis hospital...”
The Cabbie replied without the German accent, ‘“Never heard of it.”
Sheldon pulled a wad of bills out of his wallet and shoved them over the front seat. “Here... take these Hitlers and just keep driving, I’ll direct you.”
The Cabbie replied in a Russian accent, “Hitlers... what are they?” Sheldon checked a bill and saw the Kremlin building, “Just keep driving!”
He watched the flags on three poles change from Swastikas to Russian flags... as the building behind the flags faded in and out of the scene. Statues appeared and disappeared on Michigan Avenue with various heroes of other countries. “What happened to Lake Shore Drive?” he yelled to the Cabbie.
“Vat’s dat?” he yelled back.
“This fucking place is coming apart at the seams,” he shouted.