Bunnies and fawns grazed peacefully in a verdant meadow. Suddenly there was a blinding flash of light! A hole appeared in mid-air, and a man stepped through. He brushed himself off as the hole sizzled to a close behind him, leaving only a faint whiff of ozone.
Slattery checked to make sure his satchel was still securely tightened. Inside were a thousand crisp dollar bills. It was the last of what had been an enormous fortune, nearly all of which had been spent researching and developing a working time machine. With this remaining thousand, though, he’d build a fortune that would dwarf even his former riches!
Slattery had gotten the idea after watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie, in which Half-Pint and Mary had bought an assload of candy at Oleson’s Mercantile for a mere penny. He remembered reading about how, back in the 1800’s, you could buy a steak dinner for something like a nickel, and a horse was maybe a hundred bucks. “Imagine if someone from today went back in time with a bunch of money,” Slattery thought to himself. “He could live like a king for what wouldn’t even buy a hamburger in today’s dollars!”
Five years and millions of dollars later, Slattery had invented his time machine, withdrawn the last of his cash — a thousand dollars — and stepped into the Chrono-Portal, which he had set to the year 1870.
Giddy with thoughts of the lavish lifestyle he’d lead in this primitive age, Slattery made his way to the nearest town, which was Rattlesnake Gulch. He made a beeline for the general store. Striding boldly up to the counter, he told the proprietor, “What is the most expensive item in your establishment, my fine man?”
“Why, that’d be this here solid gold outhouse commode,” the storekeep replied, gesturing to the solid gold outhouse commode behind the counter. “That’ll cost ye pretty dear, though.”
Slattery chuckled. “And how much would that be?” he asked, grinning.
“I reckon I could let ye have it for…” the storekeep calculated. “Five dollars?”
“Here ya go, my man!” Slattery proclaimed, and slapped five dollar bills onto the counter. “Wrap it up for me and I’ll throw in an extra fifty cents!”
The storekeep merely stared at him.
“What’s the matter, friend?” Slattery demanded. “Isn’t — er, ‘ain’t’ my money good here?”
“Why, if this is money, I’ll be a raccoon’s uncle!” the storekeep exclaimed, shoving the bills back across the counter. “Tryin’ ter pass off phony scratch is a hangin’ offense ’round these parts, hombre!” he added, ominously.
“Now see here–” Slattery began to protest, when a meaty hand clapped onto his shoulder.
“What’s all the ruckus?” the Sheriff demanded.
“NOOOOOOOOO!!!” Slattery wailed.
As you can probably tell, the story did not end well for Slattery. You see, he plumb forgot that 21st century currency bears no resemblance to currency of the 1870’s.
Miraculously, Slattery managed to escape the lynch mob and return to his own time, where he revised his plan. Unfortunately, when he attempted to secure some 19th century money, he realized that currency from that time was exceedingly rare and therefore just as pricey if not more so than if he were actually living in the 1800’s! Oh, and needless to say, all of his 21st century money was confiscated by the sheriff, so when he got back, all the 19th century money he could afford was like $5. “NOOOOOOOOO!!!” Dumbass.