It's great to be back! Wow!! Never thought I'd make it!!! I truly, truly missed you all!!!!
Let me explain... For those of you who aren't aware, I finally got my time machine working. (I know, it's been a long time tinkering, but a labor of love.) When I finished the prototype it was time to put it to the test. For the maiden voyage I decided to set the coordinates to a time I felt comfortable with – ancient times would be too foreign and the future, too uncertain. I could've (should've) set the dial to the previous day, to play it safe, but I got a little cocky and set it to 1976. I have fond memories of '76 from when I was a child – being the country's Bicentennial and all.
I pushed the button and ZAP!... I arrived safely in '76 – in California for some reason – but I blew an electromagnetic plasma thruster upon rematerialization. To build another thruster would cost roughly $7,000 dollars – $1,830 dollars in 1976 currency. The problem, I only had about $35 dollars in my pocket and my credit card was worthless – it was issued in 2010. (WARNING: If you're planning to do some time travel, make sure to carry lots of cash.)
I needed to raise the money to repair my time machine, but that proved to be difficult. Besides having only $35 dollars to my name, I didn't have proper identification. Not only was my driver's license issued in 2008, it had a birth year of 1971, so technically I was five years old. Try getting a real job without I.D. – not gonna happen, even in the relaxed '70s. So I took a job washing dishes at a taco stand on Venice beach. There I befriended the cook, Hector Elizondo (no, not the Hector Elizondo). Hector let me sleep on his couch for $20 bucks a week. He also hooked me up with his cousin who made fake I.D.'s. From then on I was Steve Chambers.
As Steve Chambers, I became an assistant to a photographer who specialized in catalog fashion. One day, on a shoot for JCPenney, the male model was inappropriate with the stylist and was thrown off set. We desperately needed to shoot the clothing line that day in order to make the presses. As luck would have it, I was the only one on set with the same build as the model. I fit the wardrobe perfectly. My career as a catalog fashion model had begun. (The photo at the top of this post was taken for the '76 Fall Fashion catalog.)
After just three shoots I had made the money to fix the electromagnetic plasma thruster. I considered staying in 1976, because quite honestly I was having a blast, but then I thought about my family and friends and how I'd be missed and how I missed them so I decided to head back to 2011.
After fixing the thruster I hit the "reverse trip" button on my time machine and ZAP!... I rematerialized in a bus depot in Flint, Michigan. (I really should fix the GPS on that thing.) I looked over the shoulder of an old man reading a newspaper and realized the date was May 9th, 2011. The same day I left on my adventure! It was like the six months spent in 1976 never happened. Luckily, I still had a few extra dollars in my pocket, just enough for a coffee and a bus ticket back to Jersey. I think my time travel days are behind me.