Story Over a Cup: A yarn of Michael Van Winkle

Published 6:08 pm Sunday, March 17, 2019

I have been plagued by sinus problems all this week. It started off as a cold and ended up just being stopped up sinuses that allergy relief medicine was clearing up.

So, we went out and bought two bottles of allergy medicine. We usually find that the over the counter generic drugs work just as good as the name brand stuff.

And the price is really good.

So, Friday morning comes around. I get up at about 5 a.m. stopped up and feeling just horrible. I did not have the man-flu, so there was no need for theatrics to gain sympathy from my wife.

I went in and saw the two bottles. One had a blue top and one a white top.

I figured what the heck, they are both allergy medicine. I take two from the white bottle and start my day.

This was my BIG mistake.

Something strange happened about an hour later. I was groggy and fighting to stay awake.

I felt myself nodding off. I looked at the container, and to my chagrin, I had purchased the one like Benadryl.

Well, that explained the drowsiness.

I did what any responsible person would do.

I went back to bed and set an alarm for a couple of hours.

I slept through the alarm.

I awoke to a whole new world. My eyes opened and I was not sure where I was.

Or even, WHEN I was.

Was it still Friday? March?  2019?

Had I slept so long that I had outlived all my friends and family?

I looked around the room, and other than being a little bit brighter, not much had changed. The room was quiet. Not even my dog Jada, who usually hogs my bed when I am sleeping, was there.

I knew that it was later in the day so my wife would already be out and about doing things. Had she waited for me to wake up? Or had she met someone, remarried and now had grandkids?

How far had technology progressed?

Would I be a man out of time?

Should I get out of my bed and investigate?

Should I steel myself in preparation for this culture shock?

I yawned. Perhaps I should sleep on my answers.

Next thing I know, I am being jostled awake by Jada pawing at my face and my wife calling to me, asking if I was going to get up today.

I sprang out of the bed and grabbed her, hugging her tightly.

“You’re alive! And you haven’t remarried!”

“And you don’t look like you have aged a day since I saw you last!”

It dawned on me, perhaps the future has the fountain of youth.

My wife asked me what I was talking about. I explained that I was the new Rip Van Winkle, and I had slept to the distant future.

She looked at me and pointed at her watch.

And I shrugged. It was still the future, I had lost eight hours to my predicament I told her smugly.

Apparently, according to her, my sense of humor had not improved with age.

Well, I guess I am just ahead of my time on jokes.


Michael Cole is a syndicated columnist that when he is not writing, he is plotting global domination. You can follow him at