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November 5, 1998

TV Guide admits: ‘We’ve perfected time travel’

NEW YORK — Faced with tough competition, TV Guide revealed yesterday that the company had perfected time travel.

"What else could we have done?" asked company spokesperson Brent Calares. "Our backs were against the wall." Calares paced to and from the podium during the press conference, seeming to return to the microphone only when his thoughts were clear.

"The Preview Channel has kicked our ass ever since it started," he continued. "We tried everything to stay afloat. We tried horoscopes, soap opera guides, a revolving door of ‘regular guys’ doing reviews ... it was just always easier for the viewing public to flip on that endless freakin’ scroll that shows every goddamn iota of programming from now ‘til doomsday!"

"But," asked Calares, "what’s the ONE thing in anybody’s TV listings that never has a description?" Calares’s glare panned across the sea of pondering reporters.

"The NEWS! The goddamn news, every goddamn night!" he exploded. "Six o’clock! Channel 7 ... NEWS! Eleven o’clock! Channel 56 ... NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! That’s all it ever says ... NEWS!"

The assembled members of press began to back away as Calares lunged downstage from the podium.

"I’m not crazy! Do you hear me! We did it! WE FUCKING DID IT!"

Reporters who attempted to leave at that point were stopped by TV Guide security forces, a team of armed riot guards whose shoulders were emblazoned with TV Guide’s cheerful crimson logo. Shouts of protest from the imprisoned journalists were cut short by the click-clack pump action of strange weapons.

Their eyes returned to the stage, and a calmer Calares.

"We did it," he said softly, his words carrying in the sealed, silent auditorium. Calares proceeded to tell the tale of how TV Guide perfected traveling into the future, for the sheer purpose of being able to include detailed and accurate listings of all the upcoming week’s news broadcasts by press time. The experiment eventually ran amok, Calares said.

"We soon realized that we were not only providing the best television listings in the business, but also enabling mortal men to view their fates and empowering them to change their destinies," said Calares, clearly moved.

Into the future, again and again, he said, the staff of TV Guide desperately documented each altered time flow, returning only to find that their services had altered the future from which they returned.

"Last Thursday, October 22, actually lasted 247 years," said Calares. "It wasn’t until most of our now cybernetically enhanced and longevity-gene-altered writing staff began to die off that we started to realize that this whole thing was a big mistake. We’re sorry."

"We have taken over the world," added Calares, "so we’re not that sorry."

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