Big thanks to Susan Price, for the storyline to this TPL story!
One day, Ruber Salami was quite pleased with himself.
This doesn’t happen often, you must understand. It comes about once every fifteen years, I should think.
“Hey, dad,” he called. “Come and see this new device I built in the backyard.”
Daddy Salami jumped up. He’d been sitting at a table, doing nothing mostly.
“What’d ya do ta me backyard, cur-belly?”
Ruber chuckled. “Just wait until you see it!” And to himself: Dad will be so proud of me, he won’t care about the mess.
Then, they stepped into the backyard.
Daddy Salami had a sudden intake of breath. “Me yard!” he groaned.
And it was true.
See, Salami and Ruber live in a two room hut. The roof is propped up by a thick stick. So, the backyard isn’t overly nice. But it did have one redeeming feature: a hollow in a rotting log where birds bathed.
That feature was quite gone now. And in its place stood…the rotten log. Only, it had been made into a tiny room.
“Don’t worry about it, sheesh,” Ruber said, striding over to the tiny, rotting-log room. “This is a work of art, wouldn’t you know.”
Salami’s mouth dropped. “No, I wouldn’t know, cur.”
“That’s because,” Ruber said, “you don’t know what genius went into this. You don’t know what this is.”
“Surprise me, or die.”
Ruber gulped. It wasn’t going as planned.
“Okay, okay!” he soothed. “Keep your shirt on.”
Bad sign: When Salami started to get quiet.
“This is a…Wayback machine!”
And he said it with such excitement and with such enthusiasm, that Salami decided not to kill Ruber, but rather: “And what…is that?”
“This,” Ruber said, still quite excited and not at all aware of how he’d just prolonged his life, “will change your age. Don’t like how old you are? Get in the Wayback machine and become any age you want!”
Salami frowned. “How did a dummy like you come up with this?”
Ruber took a bit of insult there. “Scientist helped me with the chemical aspects of it.”
Now, Scientist is a chap who lives deep in the forest—even deeper than Salami and Ruber. He makes all kinds of things that are just evil and devilish.
Then Ruber ventured: “Do you wanna try it out?”
“Me?!” Salami was shocked. “No, dummy! Yer daddy would never get in there! Bwa-la-la!”
And that’s when Manly-Man showed up.
“Hey, dude,” he said to Salami, “you get your fat body in there, ‘cause Ruby done did a lot of work to build that for you.”
“He did not,” Salami replied. “He’s a cur-noodle.”
“At least try it out, dad!” Ruber pleaded.
Manly-Man smiled. Sorta like this: :}
“You owe it to him, honey-butts,” he said.
And, so, Salami tried it out. The little room quaked and jolted, and even lit up a few odd colors. Then there was a bang.
The door flew open.
And wonder upon wonders…there was a baby in there.
The baby was crying lots, too.
Ruber jumped. “No…no…it’s not supposed to be this way! What happened, eh?”
“I doesn’t trust your machine, Ruby,” Manly-Man said.
Ruber grabbed the baby. “Dad, I’m sorry, really I am!”
And while Ruber was preoccupied, Manly-Man could swear he heard a chuckle, and maybe he even spotted Daddy Salami disappearing into the forest…