To read the first episode of The Adventures of Grant Peeples, go to:
Grant and Pablo were on the 14th hole of their back yard miniature golf course where Pablo was working his way out of a double-bogey. Lining up the shot to the green from the mini sand trap, he gently put his Bloody Mary down on the astro-turf, picked a 7 iron out of his bag and started to line up his shot when suddenly the Grant Alarm could be heard summoning them from the house.
“Keep going, Pablo,” said Grant taking a long draw on his Gin Rickey, “I’ll get it.”
Hustling into the house he went into his home office where the vintage 1867 Edison Gold And Stock Ticker-tape machine, noisily hammered out a secret message from Time Travel Headquarters. Reading the message to himself as it banged noisily out letter by letter, he suddenly heard Pablo telepathically complaining from outside.
“Dammit,” shouted Pablo silently, “a f**king triple bogey. Arghhh!”
“Don’t sweat it, kiddo,” Grant shouted to him through the open window. I got something that’ll take your mind off today’s game.”
Pablo dropped his 7 iron, grabbed his Bloody Mary and rushed into the house to see what Grant was talking about. Hopping onto the desk where Grant was sitting, he read the secret message his time travel boss was holding out to him.
“You can’t be serious,” telepathed Pablo.
“Hey, bud, the time-travel ticker message never lies,” Grant replied.
“But I thought honesty was the best policy?” Pablo groaned, realizing that now he would never be able to salvage the days golf game.
“Pablo,” Grant said sternly, “a time-traveler’s gotta do what a time-traveler’s gotta do. You ready, bud?”
“Oh, okay,” Pablo acquiesced as he took a long last sip on his Bloody Mary while Grant did the same with his Gin Rickey.
Together, they hustled off down the hallway to the broom closet. Grant opened the door, they both hopped in and Grant firmly kicked the mop bucket on the floor. As usual, the floor descended into the Earth as Grant and Pablo twiddled their thumbs and paws while waiting for the elevator to reach bottom. As eons of bedrock slid by, each time traveler patiently waited in contemplation of what their new adventure would bring them.
When the descent ended, Grant and Pablo hopped out into their sub-terrainian, secret time-traveling laboratory where the only known working version of H.G. Wells’ 1895 Time Machine sat in the middle of the room complete with modern accouterments like duel-barrel super-chargers, over-head cam turbo-chargers, and vintage 1950 Marco and Burretti purple fuzzy dice. Sprinting across the room to the wardrobe section where they donned time-period appropriate attire, they hustled back to the center of the room and took their respective seats inside the behemoth feat of engineering.
“Okay, Pablo,” instructed Grant, “set the time-travel dials to noon on April 4th, 1865.”
“Grant,” asked Pablo, “is this really necessary. After all, it’ll all be over in a few hours, anyways.”
“Pablo,” Grant softly responded, “we’re not changing what happens later that day. We’re just making sure everything is how it’s supposed to be when the day does end. Okay?”
“Oh, alright,” acquiesced Pablo as he set this dials.
“Here we go,” exclaimed Grant after the dials were set and he hit the green “Go” button located on the center console. Suddenly, a cacophony of bangs, groans and sputters filled the room as a swirl of lights and dust enveloped the heaving and lifting time machine and then – BANG – they were gone!
When the dust settled, Grant and Pablo stepped out into the back kitchen of the White House where President Abraham Lincoln stood over a cutting board making twenty five ham and cheese sandwiches.
“Oh, hi Grant,” the President exclaimed with a nervous look on his face, “you startled me. And Pablo, good to see you, too. You want a Bloody Mary little fella?”
“No, thanks Mr. President,” Pablo telepathed, “we can’t drink on the job.”
“I fully understand,” Abe responded anxiously, “so what brings you two here?”
“Oh, just stopped in to say hi and see how the abolition thing’s been going,” Grant said. “Everything okay?”
“Why of course it is,” the President said with a slightly shaky voice. “Why wouldn’t it? After all, we won the war!”
“True, true,” Grant agreed. “By the way, that’s a lot of sandwiches you’re making there. Are we interrupting company you’re entertaining?”
“Oh, these,” Abe said, sweat beginning to form on his brow, “just putting a few together for me and Martha. You have no idea how much that woman can eat.”
While Grant and the President continued their cat and mouse conversation, Pablo began sniffing around the room and then, after taking a few whiffs by a small door leading off the back of the kitchen he began to bark.
“What is it Pablo?” Grant asked going over to the door.
“No, Grant,” implored the President. “There’s nothing in there, I assure you.”
“Of course not,” said Grant as he slowly opened the door.
The president stood there red-faced as Pablo and Grant looked inside to find what they expected. There, in a modestly furnished room sat twenty five un-emancipated Afro-Americans.
“Abe?” Grant stated emphatically, “what’s this all about?”
“Oh, come on Grant,” Abe bemoaned, “George had them. Thomas had them. Everyone had them except me.”
“Abe,” Grant implored, “no one should have slaves.”
“Look,” Abe explained, “I’m gonna set them free. I promise. But I just need them a little while longer. I’m gonna be outta office soon, but until then, who’s gonna take care of this place? The federal budget’s gone bust since the war and Martha and I can’t do it all by ourselves.”
“Mr. President,” Grant said, “I’m sure if you offered them a fair wage that they’d happily stay and help you, but as free people, not slaves.”
“But Grant….,” Abe tried to argue.
“Mr. President,” Grant cut in.
“Grant?” Abe pleaded.
“It’s not honest, Abe,” Grant insisted.
Abe paced back and forth looking down at the floor. After a few moments he stopped, and said, “Okay, you’re right.” Walking over to the doorway he peered in and said, “Sandwiches are ready, anyone interested in hourly wages?”
“Does that include over-time?” a voice shouted out from the crowd.
Abe looked blankly back at Grant as Grant nodded.
“Yes, that includes over-time,” the President confirmed as twenty five newly emancipated White House employees stepped into the kitchen for lunch.
“Good job, Abe,” Grant congratulated the President. “So, what’s next on your agenda.”
“Oh,” the President sighed, “I thought I’d take Mary out to watch Our American Cousin at Ford’s theater. She’s been dying to see it.”
“And so will y….,” Pablo tried to say telepathically before Grant shot him a look that froze him mid-word.
“Excuse me little fella,” said Abe, “I didn’t quite get what you were saying.”
“Oh, nothing Mr. President,” Grant said wistfully, “I’m sure everything will be fine. Well, now that that’s settled, we gotta be going. After all, we have to get ready for my upcoming 8pm to 11pm May 2nd Music Land show at Your Big Picture Café.”
“Oh,” said the President, “you mean that cafe out in Davie with free admission and great pizza!”
“Why, yes,” confirmed Grant.
“Nice place,” stated Abe.
“It honestly is, Mr. President,” Grant agreed, “and it was good to see you again.”
As Grant and Pablo climbed back into their time machine, Pablo had just set the time-travel dials back to the future when he stopped and looked up at Grant. A tears were forming in the corner of Grant’s eyes.
“Mr. President,” Grant began.
“No!” Pablo shouted telepathically to Grant, “you can’t. Don’t do it.”
“Yes, Grant,” the President asked in anticipation.
Grant paused, looked down at Pablo who looked back at him sternly, then turned back to the President.
“Have a nice evening,” Grant said softly.
“Thank you Grant,” said Abe, “and thanks for your advice today.”
Grant exchanged waves with the President and the newest federal employees, wiped tears from his eyes and hit the “Go” button.
“Good job, boss,” Pablo assured Grant as they vanished from the antique White House kitchen.
Sitting at his desk back in his home office, Pablo scampered in and handed Grant a Clover Club Fizz and then settled down to nurse his refreshed Bloody Mary.
“You did the right thing, Grant,” Pablo assured him.
“I know, but I could have warned him,” Grant said dryly.
“We travel time, boss, we don’t change it,” Pablo said emphatically.
The two travelers sat quietly sipping their drinks, both contemplating what might have been.