Back in late 2019, I had a job that afforded me a lot of "down time" - that is, time where I was waiting for things to run. I used it very effectively to train for an ultra. Then winter hit and I didn't have an ultra to train for anymore, so I had to come up with something new to do.
At the time, my kids were also watching the original Back To The Future movies. Which was great! I loved them as a kid, and they hold up reasonably well, except for the horribly inappropriate thing they do with Jennifer in 2015.
All that got me thinking: could you rework BTTF2 so that the future as we know it plays the primary role? Basically, let's turn BTTF2 into a work set in real-life 2015, and explore what that means for the story. So without further ado, here's my method of rewriting BTTF2 and reworking all the things they got wrong about the future into the 1985 and 1955 scenes, but correctly this time.
(Obviously, I'm not a screenwriter, so I'm going to have a ton of weird phrasings. Sorry if it gives anyone in the industry anxiety.)
Back To The Future 2
<Delorean enters on road, pulls up, Doc jumps out. Doc wears tight jeans and a tight, black turtleneck.>
Doc Brown: Marty! You've gotta come back with me!
Marty: Back where?
Doc Brown: Back ... to the future!
<Doc kicks boxes out of the way to expose outlet, crouches to plug in phone charger.>
Marty: Wait a minute. What are you doing, Doc?
<Doc is trying to fit the USB charger into the port on his Samsung smartphone, eventually flips it the right way and plugs it in.>
Doc: I need to charge my <realizes he has no time for this and yanks the charger from the outlet> ... Ah, forget it. Get in the car!
Marty: No. No no no no no, Doc. Jennifer and I just got here, we're gonna take the new truck out for a spin.
Doc: Bring her along. This concerns her too.
Marty: Woah! Wait a minute, Doc, what are you talking about? What happens to us in the future? What, do we become assholes or something?
Doc [stuffing phone and charger in pocket]: No no no, Marty, you and Jennifer turn out fine. It's your kids, Marty. Something's gotta be done about your kids!
[Inside the car.]
Marty: Hey Doc, you better back up. We don't have enough road to get up to 88.
Doc: Oh, right, good idea. <Plugs phone into car charger, which we can see is rigged directly into the flux capacitor - Audible comes on playing The Time Machine. Doc backs up the DeLorean.>
Marty: Woah, is that, like, a cassette of the future?
Doc: No, it's my phone. Hang on!
<Marty leans back in his seat.>
Biff [running from the house]: Hey Marty! Marty, I wanted to show you these new matchbooks from my detailing I had printed up! <Watches the car accelerate then make a high-speed stop as a ped steps in front of it.> [Biff taps his foot as he watches the DeLorean back up again.] <DeLorean accelerates a second time, this time unimpeded.> A DeLorean? <Car vanishes> What the hell is going on here?
[After the Title]
<Sonic booms as the DeLorean arrives in the future, headed straight for an oncoming Prius with a prominent "U" pasted on the side. DeLorean swerves to dodge, then slows to a highway speed through the residential neighborhood.>
Marty: What the hell was that?
Doc: Damn Uber driver.
Marty: *What* driver?
Doc: Uber. You hail it with an app on your phone.
Marty: So...a cab?
Doc: Like a cab, but there are also cabs, and Uber isn't a cab.
Marty: So you call it. Like a cab. But it's not a cab. Right, Doc, what's going on? Where are we? When are we?
Doc: You don't call it, you use your phone and...that's not important. We're still in Hill Valley. It's 4:29 pm on Wednesday, Oct 21, 2015.
Marty: 2015? You mean we're in the future?
Jennifer: The future, Marty? What do you mean? How can we be in the future?
Marty: Uh, Jennifer...I don't know how to tell you this, but you're in a time machine.
Jennifer: And this is the year 2015 ...
Doc: October 21, 2015.
<Doc pulls onto the freeway entrance ramp, sees the traffic jam, pulls in anyway. He fiddles with his phone, bringing up the map.>
Doc: I only wish I could check traffic.
Jennifer: God, so like you weren't kidding! Marty, we can actually see our futures! Doc, you said we were married, right?
Doc: Uhhh... [half-hearted smile]
Jennifer: Yeah, was it a big wedding? Marty, we'll be able to see our wedding!
Jennifer: I'll be able to see my wedding dress.
Jennifer: I wonder where we live, I bet its a big house, with lots of kids. How many kids...
<Doc gets out a mid-size mag light wrapped in a towel. He shines it on Jennifer. She looks at him quizzically. Doc flips it over and wonks her on the head with it, knocking her out.>
Marty: Doc, what the ... WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?
Doc: Relax Marty, in the future they call that ... uh ... sleep-induced alpha-rhythm generation. She was asking too many questions and no-one should know too much about their future.
Marty: Then what did you bring her for?
Doc: I had to do something! She saw the time machine, I couldn't just leave her there with that information. Don't worry, she's not essential to my plan.
Marty: You're the Doc, Doc. [Side note: Why isn't Marty more upset about Jennifer being INCAPACITATED FOR NO REASON?]
Doc: Here's our exit.
<The DeLorean exits at a traffic-filled ramp with an orange construction sign reading "Hill Valley DETOUR: Exit ->". A black light-up utility sign in the background says "CONGESTION. EXPECT DELAYS." At the bottom of the entrance ramp is a sign reading “Welcome to Hill Valley. Mayor Goldie Wilson II. A nice place to live. Please drive carefully.” The DeLorean makes an immediate turn, then pulls into an alleyway adjacent to downtown Hill Valley.>
<Marty and Doc get out to find boxes stacked up, an overflowing recycle bin area, and a couple bags of trash next to the trash bin section.>
Doc: First you gotta get out and change clothes.
Marty: Right now? It's hot as hell out here.
Doc: It's not getting any colder, I'm afraid. <Doc rubs some moisturizer into his face.> Sorry for making you wait, Marty, but the spa I went to said I had to use this salt scrub every 6 hours. It makes my skin feel nice and smooth. Takes a good dozen years off my look. What do you think? <He models his new face.>
Marty: You look great, Doc. [looks around, then to himself says] The future...unbelievable... I gotta check this out, Doc.
Doc: All in good time Marty, we're on a tight schedule here.
Marty: Tell me about my future. I mean, I know I make it big, but what do I become like a rich rock star or something?
Doc: Please Marty, no-one should know too much about their own destiny.
Marty: Right, right...I am rich though?
<Doc gets a reusable grocery bag out of the DeLorean.>
Doc: Marty, please, take off your shirt. <Marty removes his shirt.> Put on the jacket and shoes. <Doc goes into the car and gets out a small pair of dollar store binoculars.> We've got a mission to accomplish! <He runs to the end of the alleyway and uses the binoculars. Through them we see a street with a woman walking down it, then Marty McFly Jr. walks past her. Doc follows Marty Jr as he nearly falls off the curb while looking at his phone.> Precisely on schedule.
<Marty Sr. takes out the shoes, a pair of minimalist running shoes, and tugs them on.>
Marty: They're pretty tight. And thin.
Doc: Sorry, I didn't know which size you were. The woman at the store said they'd last at least 300 miles.
<Marty takes the jacket out of the bag.>
Marty: Isn't it a little hot for a jacket?
Doc: Yeah. Here, you need this shirt. <Gives Marty a fitted T-shirt with an ironic throwback logo for a made-up local event on it, straight off the Old Navy rack. Marty puts it on.>
Doc: And you need different pants. Those make you look like a 50-year old. All kids in the future wear their pants tight. <Marty disappears behind the recycling bin with the bag, emerges with tight, boot-cut jeans, tugging at them and looking kind of uncomfortable. He also emerges with a Seahawks baseball cap.>
Marty: Doc, this is southern California. The Seahawks are the Raiders' enemy, division rival, and punching bag.
Doc: LA doesn't have the Raiders anymore. Or the Rams.
<Blank look from Marty.>
Doc: Don't worry, they get the Rams back. [Inspects Marty.] Perfect, you're the spitting image of your future son.
Doc: Help me move Jennifer over here!
<Marty and Doc carry Jennifer from the back seat.>
Marty: So what's the deal?
Doc: Grab her feet.
<They carry her to the piled boxes and set her down.>
Marty: OK, now what?
Doc: In exactly 2 minutes, you go around the corner into the Café 80's.
Marty: Cafe 80's?
Doc: One of those ironic hipster places, but not done very well. Go in and order a Pepsi. Here's a 20. And wait for a guy named Griff.
Marty: Right, Griff.
Doc: Griff's going to ask you about tonight. Are you in or out? Tell him you are out! Whatever he says, whatever happens, say no, you're not interested.
Doc: Then leave, come back here and wait for me. Don't talk to anyone, don't touch anything, don't do anything, don't interact with anyone and try not to look at anything.
Marty: I don't get it, I thought you said this had something to do with my kids?
Doc: <Pulls a tablet from inside his lab coat> Look what happens to your son!
<Gives Marty the tablet, where we see a Twitter stream linking to an article with the headline "Youth Jailed For Attempted Robbery", with tens of thousands of r/ts, thousands of comments, and very few likes. A bunch of insulting comments on the perp's stupidity appear below it.>
<Marty turns the tablet over in his hand.>
Marty: I ... I don't understand what's going on here.
Doc: This is Twitter. He's getting...what do they call it?...oh yeah, "dragged" on Twitter!
Marty: What ... ?
Doc: Trust me, it's bad. <Doc clicks on the headline, which takes him to a news site with a full article and lots of clickbait crap on the side.>
Marty: My son? <Scrutinizes picture.> God, he looks just like me. “Martin McFly Junior was arrested on the scene.” Arrested?
Doc: Exactly. And now he's Twitter-famous.
Marty: I don't know what that means. Isn't getting arrested worse?
Doc: It's hard to tell.
Marty: This is heavy.
Doc: Oh, it gets worse! Next week your daughter attempts to break him out of jail and she gets dragged even worse. Your whole family gets targeted online, then you get doxxed in real life.
Marty: "Doxxed"? Like, I turn into you? I'm so confused ... My daughter? I have a daughter?
Doc: You see, this one event starts a chain reaction which completely destroys your entire family. You're the laughingstock of the internet. Your kids both spend time in prison and your son joins Nazi marches in 2017, then dies storming the Capitol in 2021.
<Marty looks at the tablet again, clicks on a link. The page loads to "Not Connected to Internet", which Marty reads with curiosity. Doc taps the Back button and the old page shows up.>
Marty: Hey Doc, this date...wait, this is tomorrow's ... uh ... article?
Doc: Precisely! I already went further ahead into time to see what else happens. I backtracked everything to this one event. I've been in Airplane Mode so it doesn't reload. But that's why we're here today: to prevent this incident from ever happening. <Phone starts beeping.> Damn, I'm late!
Marty: Wait a minute, where are you going now?
Doc: To intercept the real Marty Junior. You're taking his place. Round the corner, Café 80's, guy named Griff, just say no!
Marty: Hey, what about Jennifer? We're not just gonna leave her here?
Doc: Don't worry, she'll be safe, it'll just be for a few minutes. <Marty sets off.> Marty, be careful around that Griff character. <Doc gives really wide eyes to show Griff is crazy.> He's stopped taking his prescriptions, and I think he's schizophrenic.
<Marty on the Square, walks out of an alley and looks around.>
Marty: The future.
<Courthouse is still there, clock says 10:04. Marty looks around and sees that a green bicycle lane has been painted on the road. The entire square is devoid of traffic, its entry points blocked off to make a pedestrian mall. Cars are visible beyond this, just random new cars and very few boxy old ones.>
<The movie theater has been converted into a theater/bar/entertainment space. The center of the square has an attractive pedestrian-focused area with a fountain and people sitting at the scattered tables-with-built-in-benches.>
<Each corner of the square is a coffee shop - two Starbucks, one Peet's, one a local joint. Each sports a chalkboard out front. A "bar" is next to one, but it also has a chalkboard that lists a half dozen local beers, mostly IPAs, with high ABV. Next to another is a "whiskey bar" with a minimalist-appearing facade. Above this bar is a large empty space on which a movie is being projected.>
Marty [Approaching the beer bar]: What the hell's an IPA?
Goldie Wilson III: Hi friends, Goldie Wilson, III, here. You know, when my grandpa was mayor of Hill Valley, he had to worry about traffic in downtown Hill Valley, but today you don't have to! Come visit me at the Wilson Whiskey Bar, or check out the Alabaster Coffee Co or Bakery Brava. Sit and relax on the green, or check out movie night every Tuesday. There's always something going on here in Hill Valley Square!"
<Marty spots an antiques shop and looks in the window, where "Grey’s Sports Almanac 1950-2000" sits next to a Roger Rabbit, a Dustbuster, a walkman, an Animal House videos, an old PC monitor, an Atari, and Marty’s shirt and jacket from Part I.>
<Inside Café 80’s - This is Lou's Cafe from 1955, re-updated with shiny red-topped stools, a laminate counter, booths sporting faux leather. TVs along the back wall play various '80s and '90s TV shows and movies: Family Ties, Goonies, early Simpsons and Seinfeld, Ducktales, Ghost Busters. Old Biff sits at the bar, but Marty doesn't see him. Decorations are all '80s and '90s nostalgia: video cassettes and audio cassettes tacked to the walls, arcade games along the side wall, hair band posters, a WHAM! concert photo, ironic bowling jerseys, posters and light-up characters from Nintendo and Sega games, etc. A waiter dressed as Michael Jackson talks with a customer.>
"Michael Jackson": …it's got a hot salsa, avocados, and an all-natural mixture with your choice of beans, chicken, beef or pork. You can make it vegan. ...
<Marty stands in the doorway looking confused. So much light and sound and familiar and unfamiliar.>
<Another waiter with Steven Tyler hair approaches a Customer sitting at the bar.>
Waiter: Are you ready to order?
<Customer is playing on her phone. Waiter shrugs, walks to get a clear view of Marty.>
Waiter: Welcome to the Café 80's, where it's always morning in America, even in the afternoon. Can I get you anything? Our special today is grilled avocado toast with tater tots.
Marty: Wait ... tater tots?
Waiter: Just the tots? Something to drink?
Marty: No no no, no tater tots. That's disgusting. I haven't had tots since the junior high cafeteria. Just a Pepsi.
Waiter: One Pepsi. <Brings up a glass, points to the dispenser machine - with the interactive touch screen displays - adjacent the bar.>
<Marty approaches the machine, looks for external levers. Finding none, he begins pressing the screen. He's faced with all the flavors and dispenses small amounts, tasting several of them before settling on one. While filling the cup for the last time, Old Biff walks in.>
Old Biff: Hey McFly! <Marty turns to Biff. He's still holding the dispenser button> Yeah, I seen you around. You're Marty McFly's kid, aren't you?
Marty: Biff? <Cup overflows, and Marty pulls his hand away from the dispenser, covered in Pepsi.>
Old Biff: You're Marty Jr! Tough break kid, must be rough being named after a complete butthead.
Marty: What's that supposed to mean? <Stands with hand stretched out, dripping on the floor. He's unsure what to do with this hand but can't respond to Biff.>
Old Biff: Hello, hello, anybody home? Huh? <Old Biff rings Marty's head with his cane.> Think, McFly, think. Your old man is still a loser?
Old Biff: That's right. Loser with a capital L.
Marty: Look, I happen to know that George McFly is not a loser. <Marty points a finger in Biff's face, the soda dripping down his arm.>
Old Biff: No, I'm not talking about George McFly. I'm talking about his kid. <In the background, a car rolls up and parks partway on the sidewalk. It is, per the typical traits of a pedestrian mall that's being driven on illegally, the only car in sight.> Your old man, Marty McFly Senior. The man who took his life and flushed it completely down the toilet.
Marty: I did? Uh, I mean, I mean he did?
<Enter Griff, wearing Street Goth clothes: black knit hat, white shirt, tight black long-sleeved shirt, tight black jeans, studded belt, cross necklace.>
Griff: Hey Gramps, I told you 2 coats of wax on my car, not just 1.
Old Biff [standing]: Hey, hey, I just put the 2nd coat on last week.
Griff: Yeah, with your eyes closed?
Marty: Are you two related?
Old Biff: Hello, hello, anybody home? <Old Biff bonks Marty's head again with his cane.> What'd you think, Griff just calls me grandpa for his health?
Marty [worried]: He's Griff?
Griff: Gramps, what the hell am I paying your phone bill for?
Old Biff: Hey kid, say hello to your grandma for me. <Griff drags Old Biff out of the cafe.>
Griff: Get out of here Gramps!
Old Biff [off-screen]: Hey, take it easy!
Griff: Hey McFly, don't go anywhere, you're next!
<Griff exits. Marty looks around the Cafe to find napkins, goes to the high top to get some, and while wiping off his fingers spots ‘Wild Gunman’, an arcade game, among a few others. Two boys are next to it.>
Boy 1: Look, I got it working!
Boy 2: My dad told me about these old arcade games.
Marty [to himself]: It IS Wild Gunman. <Approaches the game.>
Boy 1: How do you play this thing?
Marty: Let me show you kid. <Throws hat on top of the game, picks up the gun controller.> I'm a crack shot at this.
<Marty shoots at the game, showing his skillz. The words "Crack Shot" appear on the screen.>
Boy 1: Can you do multiplayer?
Marty: Multi-- <realizes what it means> No, it's...just you.
Boy 2: What a boring game!
Marty [to self]: Boring?
<Through the window we see the boys sort of walking by, one of them with his phone out and trying to take a selfie. Marty Jr. walks the other way on the sidewalk. He walks past Griff's car, which Old Biff is buffing. Griff sees Marty Jr and follows him. Marty Jr enters.>
Marty Jr. [to Steven Tyler waiter]: Pepsi Zero.
Marty [under his breath]: Damn!
Marty Jr.: Pespi Zero, please.
<Marty dives behind the counter. Griff enters the cafe with his gang. "Data" has a phone in his hand and a pair of Beats headphones on. Spike, the woman of the group, is dressed almost identical to Griff but with a shock of purple hair. Whitey is obviously not quite up to snuff, sporting the white shirt and jeans/jean jacket, both fitted slightly off.>
Griff: Hey McFly, I thought I told you to stay in here.
Marty Jr.: Griff, guys. How's it going? <His T-shirt has a stain on its front and looks a size too large. His cap, which was supposed to be flat-brimmed, has a slight bend at one end that makes it look "just a little off".>
Marty Jr.: Yeah?
<Marty crawls out from behind the counter during this exchange:>
Marty Jr.: What?
Griff: Your shoe's untied. <Marty Jr. looks. Griff pushes him and the gang laugh. Griff then pulls Marty Jr up.> So McFly, have you made a decision about tonight's opportunity?
Marty Jr.: Um, yeah Griff, you know, I was thinking about it and I'm not sure it's a good idea because I just think it might just be a little bit dangerous.
<Spike touches Marty Jr.'s face.>
Spike: What's wrong McFly? You got no scrotes? <She grabs him by the crotch.>
Marty Jr.: Ooh!
<Marty Jr falls back on the counter. The gang laugh, and Marty appears in the background looking out from behind the counter.>
Marty [horrified]: He's a complete wimp!
Griff: So what's it going to be McFly, are you in, or out?
Marty Jr.: Um, I just, um, I'm not sure that I should, you know, because I think that I should discuss this with my father.
Whole Griff Gang: "Your father?"
Griff: Wrong answer McFly!
<Griff shoves Marty Jr. the rest of the way onto the counter, then pushes the bottom of his shoe until he's tipped over it. Marty Jr clatters to the ground behind, hitting his head.>
Marty Jr. [shaken]: OK Griff, I'll do it, I'll do it buddy, whatever you say.
<Marty Jr. falls unconscious. Marty looks at him.>
Marty: Stay down and shut up!
<Griff is being stared at by the Michael Jackson waiter, who has emerged from the room behind with a mop and bucket. The Steven Tyler waiter is on the other end of the counter, phone in hand, clearly calling the cops. Griff turns to MJ waiter.>
Griff: Keep cleaning, dish monkey!
<Marty shoves Marty Jr's hat on his head and stands up. He hops the counter. Griff looks surprised.> Now let's hear the right answer. <Marty pushes Griff.> Well! Since when did you become the physical type?
Marty: The answer's no, Griff.
Griff [disbelieving]: No?
Marty: Yeah, what are you, deaf and stupid? I said no!
<Marty turns to leave.>
Griff: What's wrong McFly, you ... chicken?
<Data taps at his phone, and Marty Jr's phone pings with a text message from behind the bar. Marty stops, turns to face Griff.>
Marty: What'd you call me, Griff?
Griff: Chicken, McFly.
<Data shrugs, puts his phone away.>
Marty: Nobody calls me...<Whitey passes Griff a bat.> … chicken. <Marty smiles apologetically.>
<Griff charges Marty, swings and misses, hitting the Pepsi machine instead. Pepsi sprays everywhere. In the background, MJ waiter drops the mop and retreats to the back in resignation.>
Griff: Argh! All right, punk!
Marty: Hey look!
<Griff looks back. Spike is now filming this on her phone. Marty tries to punch Griff, but Griff catches Marty's fist and smiles evilly at him. Marty, realizing Griff is standing in a soaked mess of floor, kicks Griff's leg so it slips out from under him, then shoves him into Whitey and Data, who avoid taking down Spike; Spike jumps back, slips on her own, ends up on her ass.>
<Outside: Marty running out of the cafe passes Old Biff cleaning the one car - Griff's. Two girls cruise by on Hoverboards - the wheeled kinds with no vertical support. Marty runs over to them.>
Marty: Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey! Stop, little girl, little girl, stop.
<Marty lifts one off her Hoverboard.>
Girl 1: Hey!
Marty: Look, I need to borrow your...<looks down, where "Hoverboard" is scrawled across it> Hoverboard?
<Griff’s gang runs out of the café.>
Data: Where is he?
Whitey: There! <pointing at Marty>
(Marty steps uneasily onto the Hoverboard, which bucks him off. He steps on again, unsteadily, and it rolls forward. He falls off again. Third time's a charm, and he gets up a little momentum, heading away from the cafe.)
Whitey: He's got a Hoverboard!
Spike: Get McFly!
<Marty is close to getting this whole Hoverboard thing but barely avoids running into some people.>
Marty: Argh! <Falls off the Hoverboard one more time.>
Data: Get him!
<The gang runs after him. Marty gets up and sees them coming, jumps back onto the Hoverboard, and "speeds" off at just slower than the pace of Griff's gang on foot. He's just doing no work, so good for him?>
Spike: Yeah, we got him!
<When the gang gets close, Marty zigs as Whitey tries to grab him. Old Biff watches from the car.>
Old Biff: There's something very familiar about all this.
<Griff leaves the Café, his shirt front wet and brown with cola. Marty rolls around the pedestrian section, cuts between the tables. Griff walks to his car with his bat, cuts across the green, and winds up to hit Marty with his bat. He misses, instead breaking a "Please Clean Up After Yourself" sign on the follow-through.>
Marty: Woah! <Veers into the street and sees an oncoming bike.> Argh! <Marty just misses the bike, then turns toward the Whiskey Bar, which is blocked by the fountain.>
<The gang laugh as he heads toward the fountain, which he takes a spectacular bail into.>
<The gang all walk down the street toward the fountain and stop at the water's edge. Girl 2 is now filming everything.>
<Griff lines up his bat as though to swing at Marty.>
Griff: Batter up!
<Now distracted he steps on the Hoverboard just as he swings, shooting his body back toward his gang members. His bat pops out of his hands, lands on Data's headphones as Griff, Spike, and Whitey hit the ground in a pile. Griff is knocked out, Spike seems to be hurt, Whitey stands a moment then runs off. The whole thing is on video, and everyone in the green is staring.>
Marty: Holy shit!
<Marty climbs slowly out of the water, steps lightly on the Hoverboard, and makes his way back toward the girls. He's soaked.>
Old Biff: Buttheads.
<Marty returns the Hoverboard.>
Marty: Hey kid, little girl, thanks.
Girl 1: That's...that's not how you're supposed to use it. And I was just test riding it from the toy store over there.
Girl 2: That's gonna get a TON of views! <She taps her phone a couple times and grins.>
Terry (dressed in jeans, T-shirt, and fleece vest): Save the clock tower. [To Marty] Hey kid, help save the clock tower.
Marty [now distracted, Hoverboard under his arm]: I... Sorry, no. Another time.
Terry: Come on, kid. That's an important historical landmark. Lightning struck that thing sixty years ago.
<Where Goldie Wilson III's advert was earlier, a "Sportsflash" review starts. It says that the Kansas City Royals are up 2-0 on the New York Mets and play tomorrow in World Series Game 3.>
Marty: Wait a minute...Mets in the World Series?
Terry: Yeah, something huh? Who would have thought? 50 to 1 shot. I wish I could go back to the beginning of the season and put some money on the Mets.
Marty: No, I just ... what did you just say?
Terry: I said I wish I could go back to the beginning of the season, put some money on the Met-ro-politans! <Terry walks off.>
<Blast from the Past Antique Store>
<The saleswoman takes the almanac from the window and gives it to Marty.>
Saleswoman: Now, this even has the dust jacket. And if you're interested in dust, we have a quaint little piece from the 1980's, it's called a Dustbuster. It's like the mini-Dyson but pretty terrible.
<Outside: Marty looks at the book as he rounds the corner into the alley. Doc pulls up.>
Marty: I can't lose!
Doc: Marty, over here!
<Marty turns and sees Doc leaning out the window. In the background, we see Old Biff leave the Cafe 80s.>
Marty: Yeah, all right. Hey, right on time.
<Close cut to Old Biff>
Old Biff: A DeLorean? I haven't seen one of those in ... thirty years!
<Marty Jr stumbles out of the Cafe behind him, bumping into Old Biff.>
Marty Jr.: Sorry, excuse me, sorry. <He moves shakily into the bike lane, where a bike almost hits him, the rider yelling as he goes by.>
Marty Jr: Hey, I'm walkin' here, I'm walkin'! <Marty Jr pulls out his phone and looks even more confused as he walks, head down, away from the Cafe.>
<Old Biff looks at Marty Jr, then at Marty, then Marty Jr., whose phone suddenly plays a loud chicken squawk.>
Biff: The hell?
Marty Jr. <looking at his phone>: Who DMs chicken sounds? What?
Old Biff: Two of them?
<Inside the DeLorean: Marty greets Einstein>
Doc: I left him at a kennel. Einstein didn't care I was gone. They've got a dog park right next door!
<Doc gets out of the car. We see a 3D printer and a laptop in the back as well, along with a pair of quadcopters and a bag with an electronics store name written on it. A Raspberry Pi sits in the cup holder. Doc's picking up some fun stuff!>
Doc: Marty! What in the name of Sir Isaac H Newton happened here?
Marty: Oh yeah, Doc, listen, my kid showed up, all hell broke loose.
Doc: Your kid? Great Scott, the sleep inducer! <he looks at his mag light/truncheon, then picks up the tablet and turns off airplane mode. No immediate effect, because it takes a second to get a signal and all that.>
<Doc sits down as we see Biff sneaking a closer look at the pair.>
Doc: I should have roofied him instead. Damn!
Marty <looking at the tablet on his lap>: Doc, Doc, Doc, look at this, it's changing!
<Marty picks it up and stares as the headline changes from "Youth Arrested” to “Page Not Found”. Doc snatches it from his hand and clicks on the main site, then scrolls down to where the picture of Marty Jr. was. It's changed to one of Griff and his gang - an embedded video link - captioned "Watch this hilarious fail by Hill Valley Square Vandals!". Marty clicks and watches Griff's dive. In the background of the live scene, Griff is being arrested.>
Griff [distant]: I was framed!
Doc: Why yes, yes of course! Because this Hoverboard incident has now occurred, Griff goes to jail. Therefore your son won't go with him tonight and that robbery will never take place. Thus history, future history, has now been altered and this is the proof! Marty, we've succeeded, not exactly as I'd planned but no matter. Let's go get Jennifer and go home!
<Marty puts the almanac in its bag, but the book falls out and lands at Doc's feet.>
Doc: What's this?
Marty: Uh, it's a souvenir...
Doc: 50 years of Sports Statistics. Hardly recreational reading material Marty.
Marty: Hey Doc, what's the harm of bringing back, er, a little info on the future? Thought maybe we could place a couple of bets.
Doc: Marty! I didn't invent the time machine for financial gain. The intent here is to gain a clear perception of humanity. Where we've been, where we're going. The pitfalls and the possibilities. The perils and the promise. Perhaps even an answer to that universal question, why?
Marty: Hey Doc, I'm all for that! What's wrong with making a few bucks on the side?
Doc: I'm going to put this in the recycling!
<Doc runs over to the alleyway where the recycling pile was, but he sees a police car right where Jennifer was left. He stops to watch. The cops, Reese and Foley, have found Jennifer.>
Doc: Great Scott!
Reese [reading off her in-car display while holding Jennifer's massively expired license]: McFly, Jennifer Jane Parker. Says here 3793 Oakhurst St, Hilldale. Age 47. Priors.
Foley: 47? She looks just like the photo on her license. That's a hell of a good facelift.
<Marty and Doc watch the cops.>
Marty: What the hell are they doing Doc?
Doc: They assume she's the Jennifer of the future. But if they take her to her address, ... <Doc trails off a bit as he thinks of the implication, but he's cut off by Marty.>
Marty: Well, we gotta stop them!
Doc: What are we going to say, that we're time travelers? Hey, they'd have us committed.
<Officers are checking Jennifer's vitals.>
Foley [getting off the phone]: Her husband says he'll take care of her at home.
Reese: Home, in Hilldale? It'll be dark by the time we get out there.
Doc [quietly]: They're taking her home, to your future home! We'll arrive shortly thereafter and get her out of there and go back to 1985.
Marty: You mean I'm going to see where I live? I'm going to see myself as an old man?
Doc: No, no, no Marty, that could result in a... *gasp* Great Scott! Jennifer could conceivably encounter her future self, the consequences of that could be disastrous.
Marty: Doc, what do you mean?
Doc: I foresee two possibilities. One - coming face-to-face with herself thirty years older could put her into shock and she could simply pass out. Or two - the encounter could create a time paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe. Granted, that's the worse case scenario. The destruction might, in fact, be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.
Marty: Well, that's a relief.
<The police car backs out of the alley.>
Doc: Let's go, I sure hope we find Jennifer before she finds herself! <He checks his phone.> Damn, Waze says the freeway's jammed. It's going to take us forever to get there. And *this* <waves almanac> stays here, I didn't invent the time machine to win at gambling, I invented the time machine to travel through time!
Marty: I know, I know Doc!
<Doc puts the almanac on a recycling pile and the two leave. Biff waits an appropriate amount of time, then slips in and scoops the almanac up.>
Biff: So, Doc Brown invented a time machine.
<Police car arrives. The signs outside say "Hilldale - The Address Of Success" but have been altered to say "The Address Of Suckers". The patrol car pulls up outside a house and the officers open the door.>
Reese: Hilldale. Nothing but a breeding ground for potheads, hobos, and meth-heads.
Foley: Yeah, they ought to tear this whole place down.
<The officers find Jennifer's door slightly ajar. They push it open tentatively, bring her in, and look around. Jennifer begins to stir.>
Reese: Looks like you hit your head, but I think you can walk.
Foley: Ma'am, you shouldn't leave your door open. <Reese turns on a light.>
Foley: Just take it easy and you'll be fine. And be careful in the future.
Foley: Have a nice day Mrs McFly.
<The officers leave. Jennifer looks around. Upstairs, a teenage girl, Marlene, can be seen walking around. Jennifer looks at the 70-inch TV, where there's a picture of a nice garden.>
Jennifer: I'm in the future.
Marlene [off-screen]: Mom, mom is that you?
<Jennifer sees some photos and has a look. One is of her wedding.>
Jennifer [horrified]: I get married in the Chapel of Love? I've got to get out of here!
<She goes to the front door and reaches for the doorknob, but first the doorbell rings. Jennifer steps back, spots a closet and hides in it. Marlene McFly comes down the stairs. She's Marty's daughter, and looks like a female Marty.>
Marlene: Mom? Mom, is that you? <She opens the door to reveal Grandma Lorraine holding 3 pizza boxes.> Grandma Lorraine!
Marlene: What happened to Grandpa?
Lorraine: Oh, he put his back out again. <She steps in and we see George driving a Rascal.>
George: How's Grandad's little pumpkin?
Marlene: How did you do that? How did he do that?
George: Oh, out on the golf course.
Lorraine: Are your folks home yet? I bought pizza for everyone.
Marlene: Oh, who's going to eat all that?
George: I will!
<Traffic jam: Somewhere en route>
Doc: Damn this traffic! Jennifer, that is old Jennifer, usually gets home around now. I hope we're not too late. <Checks phone.> I see your dad is still stuck on the 101.
<Doc looks at the rear view mirror, down at his phone, back in the side view mirror.>
Marty [tablet on his lap, he's fiddling with it] Hey Doc, I got three stars in Level 12 in Candy Crush Saga! <Looks at Doc.> How do people in the future get anything done? And how do you know where my dad is?
Doc: It almost looks like there's a Prius following us. Weird. I got hold of your dad's phone and had it let me location track. He hasn't noticed. And smart phones and tablets are both the impetus and bane of productivity.
Marty [pauses to take some of this in, looks generally confused]: So is this a "smart phone"? <Holds up tablet>
Doc: No, that's a tablet. It can be used as a video phone though.
Marty: Is a Prius a phone or a tablet?
<Hilldale, in the McFly residence: Lorraine is changing the channel to Discover Channel. A pixel column is conspicuously dead.>
Lorraine: I can't believe these pixels are out already. Look how worn out this thing is, and it's just a year old! Marty never would have bought the beat-up floor model if the salesman hadn't called him chicken.
<Closet: Jennifer listens in>
Lorraine [off-screen]: Your father's biggest problem, Marlene, is that he loses all self control when someone calls him chicken. How many times have we heard it George?
<Cut to in the kitchen>
Lorraine/George: ...I can't let them think I'm chicken!
George: Well, you're right, you're right!
Lorraine: About thirty years ago, your father tried to prove he wasn't chicken and he ended up in an automobile accident.
Marlene: Oh, you mean with the Rolls Royce?
<Closet: Jennifer is horrified>
Jennifer: Automobile accident?
<Outside McFly residence: The DeLorean pulls up on the curb, where a complicated sign shows convoluted parking rules. Doc gets out.>
Doc: All right Einie, let's find Jennifer!
Marty: I don't believe it, I live in Hilldale! This is great! Way to go McFly!
Doc: Marty, stay here, change clothes, I need you on holler. I'll send you a chat if I need you.
Marty: Come on Doc, I wanna check out my house!
Doc: We can't risk you running into your older self. Come on Einie.
<Doc and Einstein leave. Marty takes off his hat.>
Marty: Hilldale? This is bitchin’. <Goes back to playing Candy Crush while sitting in the driver's seat.>
<Just around the corner from Marty, a Prius Uber pulls up. Old Biff gets out, the car drives off. Old Biff ducks behind some recycle bins near the corner and watches, then gets a ping on his phone and grumblingly gives the driver 1 star and no tip.>
<Inside McFly residence>
Lorraine: That accident caused a chain reaction of events which sent Marty's life straight down the tube. <Jennifer creeps closer so she can hear.> If not for that accident, your father's life would have turned out very different. <Lorraine puts a salad on the table.> The man in the Rolls Royce wouldn't have pressed charges, Marty wouldn't have broken his hand and he wouldn't have given up on his music. And he wouldn't have spent all those years feeling sorry for himself.
<Marty Jr. enters the house to an open-door ding a la Ring, walks past Jennifer.>
Marty Jr.: Hey Mom, nice pants.
Lorraine [os]: I think the real reason your mother married him was because she felt sorry for him.
Jennifer [to self]: Mom?
Lorraine [off-screen]: Such a sweet girl.
<Marty Jr takes the remote for the TV. He sets up Channel 864, with PIP for Channel 862 - the smaller is the Weather Channel.>
<Door dings as it opens again.>
Marty Future: Hey, hey, hey, Dad's home! That's right, he's home!
Marty Jr [sarcastically]: Lord of the manor. King of the castle.
<Marty Future is wearing a business suit that's poorly-cut but definitely slimmer than the 1980s version. A laptop bag is slung across his shoulder.>
Marty Future: Hello, hello. <stops and looks quizzically at something on the wall> What the hell is this? <He presses a button.> Who messed with the thermostat? That's better. Should never have installed that app on Jennifer's phone.
<Marty Future approaches his son.>
Marty Future [to Marty Jr]: Hey Ace. Watching a little TV for a change?
<Marty Jr pulls out his phone, ignoring his dad and the TV.>
<Outside: Marty finishes putting his old shoes on - but he's still wearing the new pants. A police officer rides through on a bike. A couple passes by staring at their phones. A boy walks by with a fake dog-on-a-leash, and Marty stares uncomprehending, follows it a moment, tablet in hand. Biff slips into the DeLorean as Marty walks away, eases the car around the corner, and accelerates into the past.>
<Inside: Lorraine takes the pizza out of the oven, where she's been warming it.>
Marty Jr: Hey, pizza!
Marty Future: Alright, just wait.
Marty Jr.: Grandma, can you just shove it in my mouth?
Marty Future: Don't you be a smart ass! <He starts flipping the channel one-at-a-time. History Channel appears.>
Marty Jr.: Oh, great, it's the phony atrocity channel. There's this guy Alex Jones, and he says -
<Lorraine puts the pizza on the table, the sound cutting Marty Jr off.>
Lorraine: Here you go.
<Marty Future, Marlene and Marty Jr. all take a slice. Marlene and Marty Jr. both have a phone in hand.>
Marty Future: Oh boy, Mom, can't beat brick oven pizza. I'm sorry, I missed that whole thing.
Lorraine: Now I'm just worried about Jennifer. Why isn't she home yet?
Marty Future: I'm not sure where Jennifer is, Mom.
<Marty Future opens his phone and sends Jennifer a text, then pours some juice. Marlene is drinking from a 20 oz Pepsi.> Should have been home hours ago, and I'm having a hard time keeping track of her these days.
Marty Jr.: Hey fruit, fruit please! <Marty Future passes him the fruit bowl that's been displaced from the middle of the table.>
Marty Jr [grabbing some grapes but not looking up from his phone]: Thank you.
Lorraine: Aren't you and Jennifer getting along?
Marty: Oh yeah, great Mom, we're like a couple of teenagers, ya know. <Puts his phone on the table and turns to retrieve his drink. Once he turns around, Marty Future's phone rings a Skype ring.>
Marty Jr. [picking it up, looking at the display]: It's Needles.
Marty Future: All right, well, I'll be in the man cave. Excuse me. <Takes the phone.>
Marty Jr. [back to looking at his phone]: I'm done with the fruit.
<Man cave - a large couch sits in front of a projector screen, Xbox controllers on the side tables, a beer fridge in the background, an empty can of craft beer also on the side table. Jennifer sneaks down behind him, stops near the bottom of the stairs, still obscured from Marty Future by the wall.>
<Marty Future answers phone. Needles appears.>
Needles: Hey, hey, the big M! How's it hanging McFly?
Marty Future: Hey Needles.
<closet: Jennifer is puzzled>
Needles: Did you take a look at that little business proposal of mine?
Marty: I don't know, Needles.
Needles: What are you afraid of? If this thing works, it'll solve all your financial problems.
Marty: And if it doesn't work, Needles, I could get fired. It's illegal! I mean, what if the Jitz is watching, huh?
Needles: The Jitz will never find out! Come on, just click the link and I'll handle it.
Marty: Nah. <reaches to shut the phone off.>
Needles: Unless you want everyone in division to think you're.....chicken.
<Marty freezes, slowly lifts the phone.>
Marty: Nobody calls me chicken, Needles, nobody!
Needles: All right, prove it.
Marty: All right, all right Needles, here. <Picks up a tablet, presses a couple buttons.> I'm in.
Needles: Thanks McFly. See you at the plant tomorrow.
<Needles ends the call. Marty gets up to leave, and a Skype sound dings from his tablet. Marty pauses, wavers, then answers. It's Marty's boss, Iko Fujitsu - aka the Jitz.>
<Jennifer is startled.>
Marty: Oh! Fujitsu-san! Konnichi wa!
Jitz: McFly! IT says you killed the firewall AGAIN! We warned you! Unacceptable! You are terminated!
Marty: Terminated! No, no! It wasn't my fault sir, it was Needles, Needles was behind the whole thing!
Jitz: And you co-operated!
Marty: No I didn't! It was a sting operation! I was setting him up!
Jitz: McFly, read my chat!
<His phone buzzes, and he picks it up to see a "You're Fired" text.>
Marty: Please no, I can't be fired! ... I'm fired!
Marty: Oh, this is heavy. What am I going to tell Jennifer?
<Jennifer watches him, but hears a tap on the window. It's Doc and Einstein!>
Doc [whispering]: Jennifer, Jennifer!
<Jennifer opens the window a crack.>
Jennifer: Oh Doc, am I glad to see you!
Doc: Go out the front door!
Jennifer: It dings every time someone opens it!
<Doc sees something and he and Einstein hide. Jennifer creeps back upstairs and makes her way toward the door. Marty gets his guitar and plays a few chords from The Power Of Love. Then Jennifer enters, and the two Jennifers face each other at the doorway.>
<Jennifer is about to walk out when she sees her future self. Jennifer Future looks like a very aged version of Jennifer, and she's carrying groceries. They stop and stare.>
Jennifer Future: I'm young!
Jennifer: I'm old!
<Both faint, but Doc catches Jennifer and whisks her away before anyone in the house is the wiser.>
<Outside - The DeLorean returns right into the flaming remains of its exit. Old Biff pulls up quietly and hastily exits the car. He's clutching his chest and struggling with his cane.>
<Marty is staring at the tablet when it chimes a message. He taps a few times before getting to it.>
Marty [to self, reading]: Marty, come quick!
<Marty turns toward the house and sees Doc struggling to drag Jennifer away from it. He runs back to help.>
<Old Biff breaks the head off his cane and shuffles out of sight.>
Old Biff: Oh, oh, ahh!
<Marty and Doc are running down the street carrying Jennifer.>
Doc: She encountered her future self and went into shock, just as I predicted. She'll be fine - let's get her back to 1985. And then I'm going to destroy the time machine!
Marty: Destroy it? What about all that stuff about humanity? Where we're going and why?
Doc: The risk is just too great, as this incident proves. <Doc opens the door, and they stuff Jennifer inside. Einstein follows.> And I was behaving responsibly! Just imagine the danger if the time machine were to fall in the wrong hands!
<Old Biff is seen groaning. He falls over.>
Doc: My only regret is that I will never get a chance to visit my favorite historical era: The Old West. But time travelling is just too dangerous. Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe - women.
<Inside the DeLorean: Marty is sitting in the passenger seat with Jennifer, still unconscious, on his lap. Einstein is in the back. Doc changes the time to October 26th, 1985, 9.00PM>
Doc: Marty, Einie, brace yourselves for temporal displacement.
<Marty holds Jennifer while trying to play Candy Crush. The car speeds up to 88 mph in a residential area, and just as the road is about to end, the DeLorean breaks the time barrier.>
[NOTE: A whole lot of movie happens in here that does not involve future tech. The next scene we need to deal with appears after the chase through Biff's towering casino/hotel building. He really is Trumpian, isn't he?]
<Roof: Marty, having escaped the inside the casino tower with help from his mother and by jumping the stairwell to go "the other way", runs to the edge of the roof and looks down. Biff approaches him.>
Biff: Go ahead, kid. Jump. Suicide'll be nice and neat.
Marty: What if I don't?
<Biff points his gun at Marty.>
Biff: Lead poisoning.
Marty: What about the police, Biff? They're gonna match up the bullet with that gun.
Biff: Kid, I own the police! Besides, they couldn't match up the bullet that killed your old man.
Marty: You son of a bitch!
Biff: I suppose it's poetic justice - two McFlys with the same gun.
<Suddenly, Biff falls, his body twitching from a shock. Marty, surprised, looks behind Biff to see one of the quadcopters, with the phone charger jerry-rigged into a taser and strapped to its underside. Marty throws Biff's gun off the roof. He runs to the stairs, takes them down one flight, ducks into the elevator, and, at the front door, runs around the corner. The security guards don't spot him until it's too late. Marty dives into the DeLorean, and Doc speeds off.>
<In the back of the DeLorean, we see the box for one of the quad copters is opened, its contents strewn about.>
Marty: Nice one Doc! You're not going to believe this, we've got to go back to 1955!
Doc: I don't believe it!
<The DeLorean accelerates away from the Pleasure Paradise.>
<Parked DeLorean, some dingy back street. Doc changes the date on the panel.>
Marty: That's right, Doc. November 12th 1955.
Doc: Unbelievable, that old Biff could have chosen that particular date. It could mean that, that point in time inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance. Almost as if it were the junction point for the entire space-time continuum. On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence. <The display switches on its own to JAN 01 1885 12.00AM.> Damn, gotta fix that thing! <Doc slams it with his hand and it reverts to NOV 12 1955 06.00AM.> All right, time circuits on.
Marty: What do you mean, time circuits on? Doc, we're not going back now?
Marty: Doc, what about Jennifer, what about Einstein? We can't just leave them here!
Doc: Don't worry Marty, assuming we succeed in our mission this alternative 1985 will be changed back to the real 1985, instantaneously transforming around Jennifer and Einie. Jennifer and Einie will be fine, and they will have absolutely no memory of this horrible place!
Marty: Doc, what if we don't succeed?
Doc: We must succeed!
[NOTE: These next scenes are all the ones in which the DeLorean or the hoverboard play a part while flying. Obviously that's not happening in our new version, so we have to come up with a fix.]
<Lyon Estates: Doc has rigged the Hoverboard with some of the parts he acquired from the future. He puts it in the car, connects the in-car charger, then goes to the driver's seat. DeLorean II pulls out of its hiding spot. Doc doesn't notice that a branch is caught on the rear stylings. The branch is tangled with the string of flags, and the whole thing is sticking up like crazy and waving in the wind. As the car bounces over the edge of the road, the time circuits turn on, and the Destination Time is shown to be JAN 01 1885 12 00. Doc doesn't notice and drives off toward town.>
[some time later]
<Outside the school dance, Biff has found Marty.>
Biff: Are you, chicken? That's it, isn't it? Nothing but a little chicken.
<Marty turns around.>
Marty: Nobody calls me chick-
<Marty 1 exits the gym in a rush, hits his future self in the head, and knocks Marty over. Biff turns to Marty. He sees the almanac in Marty's jacket.>
Biff: What the hell? <Takes the almanac.> You steal my stuff? <Kicks Marty in the stomach.>
Biff: And this one's for my car!
<Kicks Marty again. Biff gets into his car, and Marty slowly gets up [no hat], trying to follow him.>
<Parking lot - Marty goes to the parking lot where he finds Doc and the DeLorean. He's taken aback by the zany stuff hanging on the back.>
Marty: Doc? Doc, I blew it. Biff nailed me, he took the book and he drove away with it in his car. It's my fault Doc, I should have gotten out of there sooner. And you've got something stuck on the back.
Doc: No time for that now, which way did he go?
Marty [pointing]: East, towards the River Road Tunnel.
Doc: Get in!
<River Road - From above we see the DeLorean bouncing down a small road at far too fast a clip. The time circuits are notably on. Marty gets out the binoculars and swings his view across the nearly-parallel "main" road, which leads to the tunnel.>
Marty: There he is, Doc. We just need to get to the tunnel before him and block the road.
Doc: We can get there first, Marty, but he's in a '46 Ford. We're in a DeLorean. He could rip through us like we were tin foil.
Marty: So, what do we do?
Doc: I have a plan.
<Biff’s Car: Biff is driving along, and doesn't notice as the car in the distance to his left turns off its headlights, then pulls in behind him. The DeLorean acceleartes quickly and catches up easily on the open road before the tunnel. Biff has the radio on and is listening intently.>
Radio Announcer [vo]: Repeating tonight's earlier weather bulletin, a severe thunderstorm is heading for Hill Valley.
<Marty opens the door to the DeLorean and puts his left foot on the Hoverboard. He wraps the shoelaces from the 2015 shoes around his feet and the board to secure himself, then casts himself out of the DeLorean. He leans his way up to the front of the car, and the Hoverboard accelerates rapidly thanks to Doc's mod. Marty grabs onto the back of Biff's car.>
Radio Announcer [vo]: Serving Hill Valley and all of Hill County, you're tuned to KKHV, the voice of Hill Valley.
<Biff adjusts the tuning. Marty gives Doc a thumbs-up, and the DeLorean backs off to a less obvious distance.>
Turning to the community calendar, the Hill Valley Women's Club Bake Sale will be held tomorrow afternoon from 2-5 at the Community Center on Horace Road.
<Marty makes his way around the car until he's hanging onto the side of it.>
For you sports fans out there, there was a lot of action today in college football. Here's what happened in the top 10. UCLA narrowly defeated Washington 19-17.
<Marty sees the Sports Almanac in the back of the car.>
Michigan State crushed Minnesota 42-14.
<Biff takes the almanac as Marty reaches for it.>
Ohio State beat Iowa 20-10. Michigan blanked Indiana 30-0.
Marty [quietly]: Shit.
Biff: Son of a bitch!
Radio Announcer [vo]: Oklahoma ripped Ohio State 52-0.
<Biff drops the almanac next to him.>
West Virginia lost to Pittsburgh 26-7.
<Marty quietly opens the car door.>
Maryland defeated Clemson 25-12. Repeating tonight's earlier weather bulletin, a severe thunderstorm is heading for Hill Valley.
<Biff glances over and sees Marty. Marty lunges for the almanac. Biff turns to face forward before realizing what's happening. Both of them grab the book.>
Biff: Don't even... give me that book! Let it go!
<He kicks at Marty, and the almanac flies in the air, landing on Biff's windscreen. Marty holds the side of the car, and Biff sees the barriers ahead.>
Biff: Let go of the car!
<He swerves erratically, but Marty and the almanac stay where they are. They pass a "Tunnel Ahead" sign, and Biff tries to scrub Marty on the tunnel edge. Marty leans around the back of the car, and Biff bounces the side off the tunnel's wall. Biff looks but sees no Marty.>
Biff: That'll teach him.
<Biff tries to grab the almanac off the windshield, but then he sees Marty in his mirror. Marty makes his way towards Biff, not knowing Biff has seen him. Once in reach, Biff elbows and punches Marty, then sees a truck approaching in the other direction. Biff tries to crush Marty, who slides across the hood Dukes-of-Hazzard style, grabbing the almanac on the way by. He lets go and stops mid-tunnel. Biff continues to the end of the tunnel, then turns around. The front of the tunnel is so far away. Marty tucks the almanac and really leans into the Hoverboard - really really really leans in - as Biff sets off after Marty. The board accelerates much more rapidly than it did before.>
Marty: Argh! <Biff closes, Marty leans more, then he makes out in the shadow of the headlights behind him the outline of the DeLorean, driving the other direction with lights off. Biff is bearing down, and we see the DeLorean flash by, flag pennant flying behind.> Woah!
<Marty does a sharp turn left, grabs the flag pennant as Biff zips by. Biff looks back in amazement.>
Marty: Go Doc!
Doc: Hold on Marty!
<Biff’s point of view: the DeLorean - a futuristic car - lights up inside the tunnel, and Marty is hanging off the back. He's mesmerized and doesn't see the manure truck in front of him until the last instant.>
<He crashes into it, and manure spills into his car once again.>
Marty: Ha, ha, ha, yeah!
Biff: Manure! I hate manure!
<Lyon Estates - The DeLorean slows, but not enough, and when Marty lets go he quickly veers off the road, and takes a digger at the edge. The DeLorean carries forward quite a ways before coming to a stop. Rain starts, and we see lightning in the distance.)
Marty [pulling out his walkie talkie]: Doc, is everything all right, over?
Doc [walkie-talkie]: 10-4 Marty. Have you got the book?
Marty: In my hands Doc, I got it in my hands!
Doc [walkie-talkie]: Burn it! I'm coming back to you.
<Lightning strikes, bringing down a tree between them.>
Marty: Doc, Doc, are you OK?
Doc [walkie-talkie]: I'm fine. Just burn the book!
<Marty kicks off the Hoverboard and spots an old bucket. He puts the almanac in the bucket and takes out the matchbox he took from Biff's Pleasure Paradise. Marty lights a match, sets it to the book, and watches the words on the matchbox change to “Biff Auto Dealing”. Marty pulls out the newspaper; the headline changes to “George McFly Honored”. Marty grins.>
<Inside the DeLorean, we see Doc's newspapers on the back seat change headlines as well to “Emmett Brown Commended”, “Reagan To Seek Second Term”, “Mayor Wilson Vetoes Zoning Bill”.)
Marty [walkie-talkie]: Right Doc, let's get our asses back to the future.
<Inside DeLorean: Doc backs the car up aggressively, bounces down around the tree, and struggles his way up the embankement.>
Doc [muttering]: Come on. Finally, the car gets over the embankement, but the road is washed out and Doc immediately loses control.
Marty [walkie-talkie]: Be careful, you don't want to get struck by lightning-
<Just as the DeLorean enters a spin, a bolt of lightning strikes the vertical stalk. The car accelerates off the road, a flaming spiral over the embankement as the DeLorean disappears.>
Marty: Doc? Doc? [Into walkie-talkie] Doc, come in Doc. Doc, do you read me? Do you read me Doc? Come in Doc! <The pennant slowly falls to drape across the road.> Oh no! He's gone! <In the background, a van is approaching Marty. He doesn't notice.> The Doc's gone!
That's all for BTTF2! I still haven't done BTTF3, but that will be equally entertaining, I'm sure.
Mash out. Spin on.
This isn't a political site, but it's not apolitical. In the wake of the Charleston shootings, with all the discussion of the Confederate battle flag that mysteriously continues to fly over the South Carolina state house, I wanted to posit the following theoretical conversation, which sums up my experience (here represented by a Reasonable Person) interacting with Serious Southerners Who Just Want To Honor Their Heritage:
SS: The Confederate flag isn't racist, it's about states' rights!
RP: States' rights to...enable slavery.
SS: Well, yeah, originally, but now it's just showing our heritage.
RP: Heritage of embracing slavery.
SS: Not just that, our heritage of being independent and free!
RP: So you still want to secede from the United States?
SS: No, we want to show we're independent and willing to stand up for our freedoms.
RP: By flying the flag of a country that specifically called for enslavement of blacks. Who weren't free. Or independent.
SS: But we South Carolinians are free and independent. And for the record, we're not racist anymore.
RP: Which you show by putting up the flag of a country that specifically called for the enslavement of blacks.
SS: But that flag isn't racist, it's heritage!
RP: Sure, it's heritage. But it's racist. It's a heritage of racism.
SS: Look, that was 150 years ago. We've moved on. It means something different today.
RP: Except for racists who proudly display the flag as a symbol of their racism.
SS: Look, we're not racist anymore.
RP: So you'd be fine with putting up some other symbol to celebrate the history of South Carolina, like the original Moultrie Flag, or a flag that just has the state seal or coat of arms.
SS: That doesn't represent us like the old Confederate flag.
RP: The Confederate battle flag. The one that stood for the whole Confederacy fighting for slavery.
SS: It wasn't about slavery!
RP: So when the founding document of the Confederacy says, "No law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed", that doesn't mean anything about slavery? And the Cornerstone Speech was just a slip of the tongue.
SS: That's not why they went to war. They went to war because of the abuses of the federal government.
RP: Abuses like enacting laws that limit or eliminate slavery?
SS: Yeah, at the time, those were abuses.
RP: So you reject the federal government's ability to do that today?
SS: No, we embrace states' rights with a reasonable federal government.
RP: Meaning that you think states should have the right to secede from the union and enact any law they want?
SS: Well, maybe. I mean, the federal government shouldn't stop people who want to do something democratically.
RP: Like have slaves?
SS: No, not like that. That's evil and immoral.
RP: But it was democratic. And it might be democratic in the future. Who stops slavery in that case?
SS: Nobody, I guess. But we would never do that. We're not racist. And slavery is un-Constitutional.
RP: It is federally, but it wasn't in South Carolina. And it wasn't in the Confederacy. So flying the flag allies you with the Confederacy, which embraced slavery.
SS: No, we ally with states' rights.
RP: By celebrating the Confederacy's right to have whites vote that blacks can be held as slaves.
SS: They would have abolished slavery eventually. They just didn't want the North telling them they had to do it.
RP: So the war was over being told what to do?
RP: Like being told that slavery was morally offensive?
SS: Well, yeah. It was up to them to decide that.
RP: Democratically. As whites. Because blacks were slaves and didn't count.
SS: Er. Yes. Sure.
RP: South Carolina said this when it seceded: "[The] ends for which [the federal] Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions [i.e. slavery]; and have denied the rights of property [i.e. slaves] established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to enjoin the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection." You can only assume the slaves agreed with this sentiment.
SS: No, but...well, it was part of the times.
RP: So in summary, you think a flag celebrating the Confederacy should stay because the history of South Carolina includes (1) anti-U.S. sentiments; (2) slavery and enduring racism; and (3) democracy by white people.
SS: Wow, you make it sound so racist.
RP: It is. It's racist. There is nothing not racist about it. That history is entirely racist, entirely anti-black, entirely about slavery and oppression of blacks and securing the desires of white people at the expense of blacks. It's practically the definition of racism. And the only people who embrace it today are people who are either willfully ignorant of history -- because you really have to want to misunderstand that part of the Civil War -- or they're flat-out racists.
In olden times, "Natural Sciences" meant the study of pretty much everything. And it showed: being a scientist often meant doing the background work and experimentation spanning what we now call "science", from chemistry to biology to physics. Today's scientific professionals are almost always exclusive to a single field.
That's what makes it so refreshing to think of the crossovers that used to be so common. Without further ado, then, I present...
The List of Elements Named after Astronomical Objects
Helium (Atomic Number 2) - Found based on solar spectral emissions, this element is named after -- hold your breath and wait for it -- the sun.
Selenium (34) - Meaning "moon"; named because of its similarity to tellurium (from "Earth": see below). Those versed in the periodic table will note that selenium falls immediately above her mother tellurium, while those versed in history will note that tellurium was discovered about 35 years earlier. It just made sense.
Palladium (46) - The asteroid Pallas was sighted in 1802. It was the second asteroid ever found, and at just over 500 km in diameter, it's third largest in the inner solar system, after Ceres and Vesta (the two visited by the Dawn spacecraft). Two months after Pallas was identified, William Wollaston used that discovery to coin the element name palladium.
Tellurium (52) - "Tellus" is the Roman name for Earth, which gave us telluride and tellurium, back in the 1780s.
Cerium (58) - Ceres is #1 in the List of Minor Planets. Discovered in 1801 by Giuseppi Piazzi, it also happens to be the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system. Ceres took its name from the god of agriculture, then gave its name to cerium, which was discovered 2 years later (while Ceres was considered a full-fledged planet; this was in the days before the word "asteroid" or term "dwarf planet" had been thought up). Interestingly, Ceres also led to noted self-promoting mathematician/physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss to do some serious work on the orbits of celestial bodies.
Mercury (80) - Named after the planet. Next! No, really, it might not be named after the planet, but rather the Roman god; the ordering is unclear. Mercury -- like Mercury -- has a history stretching back thousands of years, and its chemical symbol (Hg) bespeaks its unusual liquid-at-room-temperature nature (hydragyrum -- "water-silver"). The association with the planet is strong enough that Mercury's planetary symbol has frequently been used to denote mercury the element.
Uranium (92) - Identified (in 1789) 8 years after the discovery of Uranus, this was directly taken from the planet name. Uranus, of course, was the first night sky object that was identified as a planet rather than a star using systematic observation. While it's visible to the naked eye -- and therefore was visible to ancient astronomers -- its dimness and slow motion made it appear more stellar. Continuing with the firsts, then, it was a fine candidate to kick off the name-stuff-after-astronomical-discoveries trend that continued into the 19th century.
Neptunium (93) - Neptune was discovered in 1846, but neptunium wasn't fully isolated until the 1930s and 1940s. Neptunium follows uranium on the periodic table, just as Neptune follows Uranus -- hence the name. Neptunium was more than just a namesake, though, as both share a theory-into-practice history. A large planet perturbing the orbit of Uranus was predicted by Alexis Bouvard based on observed irregularities in the Uranian orbit; mathematician Urban LaVerrier calculated the likely location of the planet, and Johann Galle confirmed the existence with a telescope. The transuranic elements, meanwhile, were predicted to exist based purely on the periodic table, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was busily seeking them out. Neptunium was the first discovered, and it set the stage for...
Plutonium (94) - In 1940, it was isolated by a team at the University of California, Berkeley. In the spirit of the neptunium turn, the team used Pluto, the next planet (at the time; as I'm sure you know, it's now considered a dwarf planet, and it doesn't seem to be the largest dwarf planet in the solar system), as the basis for this name. The elemental code "Pu" is, apparently, a long-running joke that the team slipped in. Pluto, of course, was named by a British girl; Disney later (likely) took it for the well-known animated dog 10 years before plutonium was isolated. So in a sense, plutonium -- used in nuclear weapons worldwide -- is named after a Disney character. (At least let that bring you a smile if the bombs start flying.)
The List of Not Quites
Elements typically get to be named by their discoverers. In some cases, discoveries are made independently, or someone thinks they've found an element but it's later shown not to be the case. The following were proposed element names that, for one reason or another, just didn't make the cut.
Vestium (not quite 44) - The name chosen by a Polish chemist for ruthenium, but Jedrzej (Andrei) Sniadecki couldn't reproduce his own work, and a later analysis suggests that it did not actually isolate ruthenium anyway. But asteroid Vesta (not quite a dwarf planet due to its mass and shape) had just been discovered, and Sniadecki was jumping on the chance to name his element after that body.
Aldebaranium (not quite 70) - Carl Auer von Welsbach had the star Aldebaran in mind when he proposed this in place of ytterbium -- at the time proposed to be named neoyttrbium. Aldebaran, of course, is the bright star near the "V" in Taurus. Welsbach did get his way when he named both praseodymium and neodymium.
Cassiopium (not quite 71) - Carl Auer von Welsbach strikes again, this time proposing to name something after the constellation Cassiopeia. Element 71 is known as lutetium, after the location where it was found (Lutetia, Sweden). Just so you know, you are likely to still be using a Welsbach flint strike mineral in your cigarette lighter.
It's Thursday morning, and I'm getting ready for yet another trip out of town. Last weekend, it was an overnight in Baltimore for a wedding; this weekend, we're across the country to San Francisco for another wedding.
Just yesterday, my wife asked about the prospect of taking our kids north to visit relatives sometime in November. "Fine with me," I told her, and I'm pretty sure that trip will be booked today. Come winter break, we're off to a two-week beach vacation in the Caribbean, but before then there will probably be at least one if not several excursions that take us from home overnight.
And we're already planning next year's trips. Our vacation time will be depleted early in the year, so maybe a visit to Washington will have to wait until summer (better weather anyway). Or maybe we'll head back to Europe for Spring Break and go into PTO deficit. No matter what, there will be holidays, and where there are holidays, there seems to be holiday travel.
I don't remember it being like this when I was young. Growing up, we thought it was a very long drive to the next town over -- the half hour in the car seemed extreme then, but it's about 2/3 of my normal one-way commuter drive time these days -- and would make a more significant trip to another major city (an hour or so to Kitsap, almost 3 to Seattle) maybe 4 times a year.
Our big drive, of course, happened during the summer, when we would all pile in the car for a multi-day tour of the US, followed by weeks away from home and a different multi-day tour to get home. That trip was always a unified whole, though, not some casual weekend excursion. And our purpose was always visiting: grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, old friends of my parents. This was how you saw people.
Back then, there wasn't a press to get out of town each three-day weekend, and we certainly didn't make last-minute plans with the expectation that we could Priceline a hotel somewhere. Getting a room meant calling around, and since that almost always meant long distance phone charges, you really wanted to know you were going. Not so today: Just book lodging from the road, an experience that 25 years ago would have required advanced technology to coordinate, a ready pile of cash to pay for the room, and a checkbook to handle the resultant (paper-issue) bill from the satellite phone provider.
Our kids, though, are growing up in a vastly larger universe. My oldest daughter thinks nothing of seeing the grandparents. She turns on the computer, pulls up Skype, and calls any night she wants. She considers using a tube hurtling through the sky at 350 mph a totally regular way to get to them as well, though it's accompanied by the annoying rules that force her to put her favorite stuffed dog (cunningly named "Puppy") through the x-ray machine.
The first flight I remember happened when I was about 12. We flew one year to visit the grandparents, and I was thrilled at the feeling of weightlessness, the feeling of motion-without-motion. You could look down at the plains and see vast swaths of ground, not the confined spaces shown through the glass of a car windshield. The horizon took just as long to reach, but instead of being 40 miles away, it was 100 or more. Terrain slid past at a stately pace marked in tens of minutes, but that terrain represented hours of driving.
I was pulled into a new world that day, a world I wanted to experience not as a passenger but as a pilot making my own way over that landscape. Strangely, flying brought me full circle, back to cycling: throughout my now-on-hiatus flying career, I rode to the airport, like a kid going plane-watching. But I would arrive, clean up as best I could, delve into books on flying, and clamber into a plane to cruise at 100 mph around the local mountains, over the ocean, across the plains, wherever I could get those wings to take me.
My early flight photos are a history of getting in shape, where I went from overweight pubescent to slender high school senior thanks in large part to the bike. Airplanes renewed my focus: learning to fly safely and smartly took discipline, attention to detail, careful examination of every part of the plane and flight plan. The bike may have been a vehicle, but it also freed me, both before and after those flights. I would ride to the airport alone and ride home alone, often making detours -- sometimes for an hour or more.
One favorite detour back home brought me to the opposite end of the runway from the FBO, I would take the long way to get there, slide off on the Civil Air Patrol's dirt road, and make my way to the west end, where I could sit in relative quiet and think through life, or maybe just take it all in. The 20-minute ride home never seemed like much, just a short jaunt back to load up on fuel and get ready for the next few hours, whatever they might hold.
Strangely, looking back, I can't even remember when I did homework, though I clearly did it. I can't remember sitting alone and struggling through complex math problems, but it certainly happened. Then, as today, I probably solved most of my problems while riding somewhere, or running somewhere, or flying somewhere.
But none of that was "casual". It always seemed fast in some sense, either fast for being self-propelled or fast for being self-controlled, but never thrown-together with the destination the ultimate goal. That was the appeal. In the end, the trip itself was a potent stimulant.
We here at Mash|Spin are keen on history. This open discussion is calling for your favorite historically-themed podcast. Traits we love: good presentation, compelling content, and unique perspectives. Note that "history" can range from the grand (History of the Roman Empire) to the unusual (The Memory Palace). The podcast may be one that already ran its course or continues to produce.
We don't care, as long as you can point our waiting ears to it.
Mash out. Spin on.