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Bogart meets the Twenty First Century

Cryogenics. It’s not so far fetched. The theory, the Singularity Theory, puts forth that if you can live to the year 2025 there’s a possibility you’ll be able to live forever; healthy, vibrant, youthful, and alive. Forever.

Everyone’s heard the old myth that Walt Disney had his head frozen so he could come back to life when they figured it all out. Unfortunately it isn’t true. The part about Uncle Walt, anyway. That someone could possibly have their head transplanted onto another body is already being tried. So, is cryogenics such a stretch?

Bogart did it. He looked to the future and decided to roll the dice. ‘What the hell,’ he said. ‘If there’s a chance on being revived, why not gamble and see what happens. It’s not like I’ll be able to spend my money when I’m dead, so I’ll toss a chunk at the Ice Man, and we’ll see what cometh…’ That was sixty years, nine months, twenty five days, and ten hours ago. I won’t bother you with the minutia about it being fifty seven minutes and thirty seven seconds ago. That would bore you.


Were the hell am I, Bogart said.

The doctor looked at him.
You’re in California. Do you know what year it is?

Bogart took in his surroundings. Obviously a hospital room, or medical facility of some sort. I’m guessing I’ve had an accident. Is this a hospital?

The doctor looked at Bogart.
Mind if I take your pulse?

Sure Doc.

Bogart held out his arm, and the doctor clipped a pulse oximeter onto one of his fingers.

Say, why are you putting clothes pins on my fingers, Doc?

The doctor settled into his chair.
Do you know why I asked you if you knew what year it was, Bogie?

Why, no Doc. Tell me, why don’t you.

What I put on the end of your finger is taking your pulse. It was invented some time ago. There’ve been lots of changes since… well, since you died.

Quit foolin’ around, Doc. Who put you up to all this? Lauren?

You did.

Oh. I did, Bogart said. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. So you admit this is all a joke.

Do you remember wanting to be frozen after you died?

Bogart patted his chest pocket.

We don’t smoke in hospitals anymore, Sir. If you’re looking for a cigarette.

Actually I was. You a smoker, Doc?

Used to be I vape now.

You what?

I’ll explain later. The year is 2017, Sir. You’ve been in a suspended state since 1957. A lot has changed.

I don’t suppose Lauren, my wife, is still alive… ?

No, Sir. I’m afraid she passed away three years ago.

Never mind with all this “Sir” nonsense. Bogie is fine, Doc.


He’d insisted on wearing a fedora when he first ventured out into the new world. That and a clean suit and tie. It was the way he was used to being seen. After some confusion about being called a hipster when he ordered a coffee at Starbucks and had been outraged at the price…

‘Whadd’ya mean seven dollars? Everyone knows a cupp’a coffee only costs five cents!’

Someone had talked him down from slugging the barista in the nose.

‘If I had the nerve to charge somebody seven dollars for a cup of coffee, I’d expect a pop in the beak,’ Bogart had threatened the barista.

After feeling out of place in a pinstripe suit, ‘Maybe my lapels are a bit wide…’ Bogart was persuaded into a pair of jeans. ‘But don’t ask me to wear sandals; I’ll pop you in the nose if you ask me again if I want to wear sandals… And don’t call me a Hipster.


You know, this living in the future business isn’t all I’d expected it to be, Bogart said. The doctor looked at him.

Listen, Doc. This is crazy. Nobody ever thinks these things through. So what if I can be brought back from the brink of death and have a life again? So what, I ask you.


What did I tell you about this “Sir” business, Doc?

…Bogie, I’m afraid I don’t have any answers for you there. If you like, I can recommend a good friend of mine who listens for a living.

You mean a head shrinker, dont’cha, Doc.

I do. We call them Phycologists, and Psychologists now a days.

They were called that back in my day, too.

Bogart put out the cigarette he was smoking.

Cigarettes don’t even taste the same, Doc. What’s all this ‘low tar and nicotine, malarkey. And don’t wave that mechanical thing at me… that “vape” thing at me, either. They’re worse. Who in their right mind wants to taste chocolate and peanut butter, or — worse yet — Piña Coladas or Doughnuts when they want a cigarette.

Bogart was working into a maniacal rant.

Christ, in MY day, a man could smoke. And can you imagine my surprise when I flirted with that woman in the restaurant and she explained to me her name used to be Humphrey, just like me because her parents always wanted a son named after their favorite actor? What the hell happened here on earth? Did someone invade from another planet and slip crazy sauce into the drinking water?

The doctor could see Bogart was wound up, and just let him rant. It went on for about an hour. Three glasses were thrown against the wall (and two bottles of beer when it was discovered they were No Alcohol — “Why did you buy me near beer? Is prohibition back, too!?”.

Exhausted, Bogart slumped into his chair.

Welcome to the twenty first century, Humphrey Bogart.

Written by Father Luke Thursday November 9, 2017