Why the past refuses to stay past.

In a short story I once read (I think it was by
Robert Heinlein), time is like a train, each carriage a moment. Timekeepers make
sure that there are no “skips” for people who move from carriage to carriage as
they move forward through time. When they’re harassed, though, they forget to
put things back where they were. This was the explanation for why you could have
sworn you left your keys right there, just right there, so how come they’re not

I thought I was well away from
certain carriages I would much rather have skipped. Hindsight on high beam.
Well, apparently, some timekeeper somewhere not only forgot to move me forward,
they also dumped me in the caboose with the crazy engineer and the burning coal.

At these times, it always helps to
have a cigarette and a sense of humor.