I had picked up a book of historical dates and was looking through it when I heard something rapping at my door.
“T’is some visitor and nothing more,” I thought, as I ignored the rapping. It couldn’t be real. No one raps on my door. I supposed that I had spent too much time reading Edgar Allen Poe and it was making me go slightly mad.
“Mad like a hatter,” I thought. “It’s time for tea.”
Maybe I was spending too much time reading Lewis F. Carroll.
The knocking became more insistent. I opened the door. In walked a tall man wearing a very long scarf. He was followed by a mechanical dog. Oh. Um. That looks like Doctor Who. And K9. And not just any Doctor Who. It was the Tom Baker version of Doctor Who. Oh no. This couldn’t be real. I thought that I was spending too much time reading books. It seems that I was also spending too much time watching television. Doctor Who, to be exact. He’s not real. It’s just a bit of undigested meat. Or maybe a bit of potato. No. Not a potato. I gave up potatoes for a month. I’m not eating potatoes. I’m just hallucinating time lords, mechanical dogs, and potatoes.
They were selling potatoes at the farmers market. I really wanted a potato. I bought corn instead. White corn. Oooh, that was so good. But there he was. That undigested bit of corn.
“I see that you’re reading about historical events of July 18th,” Doctor Who said.
“Uh… who are you?”
“I am the Doctor.”
“Yeah, right. And I am the Queen of Sheba.”
“Do you even know where Sheba is?” Doctor Who asked.
“Nope, not a clue,” I responded.
“If you don’t know where your realm is, how can you be its queen?”
I peer into a book.
“It’s in Ethiopia.”
“Too late, mate. Hey, why don’t you pop into my TARDIS?”
“I have to pop to the loo,” I said, wondering why I just talked in such a goofy way.
Before long, I was actually in the TARDIS. The Doctor (or the impostor) said to me, “Why just read about historic events when you can visit them.”
“Um, erp, this machine makes a lot of noise.”
The doors opened, and I saw an enormous dinosaur. Its head was even smaller than I ever imagined possible. And there were flies buzzing everywhere. And flying… um… reptiles… oh, and…. what was that??? Were there flies in prehistoric times? How should I know? There must have been. They were really noisy. They sounded like chain saws. Only chain saws hadn’t been invented yet. The pea brained dinosaur was also making a racket. It started growling and it charged the TARDIS. The Doctor slammed the door and we departed before the dinosaur got a chance to sit on the TARDIS. That monster sized animal wasn’t too quick so we managed to escape. It was fortunate for us that dinosaurs weren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, thanks to their pea sized heads and monster sized bodies. Prehistoric times suddenly didn’t seem as entertaining up close and personal.
Suddenly, the TARDIS landed again, very loudly. The Doctor opened the door. I peeked out, a little bit scared, but was relieved to see no dinosaurs.
“The year is 1334,” the Doctor said. “The place is Florence. Would you like to meet the artist Giotto di Bondone?”
“Sure, you betcha,” I said. “Um, there aren’t problems with the Black Death, are there?”
“No, it didn’t hit Europe until 1347,” the Doctor said.
The Doctor and I left the TARDIS, followed by the mechanical dog. I wondered if that fake dog would be conspicuous but, then, I thought about the way that I was dressed and I realized that I was probably even more conspicuous. We walked and walked and walked and… um… I hoped that we would find our way back to the TARDIS because I had forgotten where it was. Then we arrived at what looked like a house. A man was painting some sort of nativity scene. It was very detailed. I thought that I might like to live in that house. It was beautiful. But then, I would die before I was born. I wasn’t sure how that worked.
The man, who turned out to be the famous artist, invited us to go to the ceremony that dedicated the cornerstone to the bell tower that he had designed. The bell tower was for the Florence Cathedral. He seemed to be very excited about the cathedral and he said that he hoped that people would enjoy worshipping in it. He said that he was hoping that he would have the chance to worship in it but that construction was really, really slow. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that construction wouldn’t be complete until 1436. He seemed like a nice man and a very creative one who left the medieval art style behind for something more realistic.
We watched the dedication and, before long, were back in the TARDIS, traveling through time and space.
Our next stop was in Russia. We didn’t stay long. There were weapons being drawn and loud shouts in Russian and in some other language. Apparently, it was Mongolian. The year was 1391 and we had just witnessed the Battle of the Kondorcha River. It was somewhere in southwestern Russia. After some guy in chainmail nearly fell into the TARDIS, we departed abruptly.
After that bloody battle in medieval Russia, we were relieved to discover that people were trying settle their differences peacefully… or, at least, bring their many wars to a conclusion or… um… a brief halt. We visited 1381 and saw the French and British sign the Truce of Leulinghem. The Doctor told me that this truce would last for thirteen years but it would not bring the Hundred Years War to a stop. Then we visited 1812 and saw the signing of the Treaties of Orebo, bringing an end to the Anglo-Russian and the Anglo-Swedish wars. I wandered away, in search of some nice refreshments to celebrate the magnificent day, but the Doctor corraled me and said that my bizarre 21st century dress could confuse the people of that time and I could change history.
The Doctor said that he would have to bring me home because, all of a sudden, the TARDIS required servicing. He said that I could visit one more July 18th in history. Did I want to see the second battle of Fort Wagner on Morris Island, South Carolina, in 1863? (No more battles, please.) Or would I prefer to see the coronation of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, which occurred in 1841. I was awfully hungry after our jaunt through history, so I was hoping for some refreshments at the coronation of the Emperor. I chose the coronation, so we went to watch the ceremony. This emperor was known as the magnanimous. He insisted on serving us refreshments personally. I looked out of place, but the Doctor didn’t. He had come up with some nineteenth century fashion statement that actually worked. Then there were musical performances and dancing and a huge feast… but at the moment of the Most Magnificent Meal of All, we suddenly found ourselves back in the TARDIS and, before long, I was back in my room, reading my book of historical facts and looking for… refreshments…
3 thoughts on “On this date in history…”
Oh my! I certainly enjoyed that!
And how wise of you to ask about the black death before leaving the Tardis.
Very funny and entertaining!
After that journey, you earned your refreshment. (Or, perhaps, it was time to sober up…) 🙂
What a long, strange trip that was! ;). Thanks for sharing those historical facts in such a creative and interesting way.