Oh, good heavens. Magnetic! Why, of all things, must I be magnetic?
“He was turned to steel
In the great magnetic field
When he traveled time
For the future of Mankind.”
~Gilbert & Sullivan
The very worst of it all is that I’m not some sort of ordinary figure of magnetism, attracting various metallic substances. I could see that being quite useful; I would seldom drop my shillings when hailing a cab, ironmongers would pay me protection money to avoid their shops, and I should never lose a game of jacks.
But no! I had to be a freak magnet.
Here I am, visiting the future. “Thank goodness!”, I thought to myself, “I’ll be amongst sane, rational people of a wiser age. The world shall make sense. No doubt we’ll finally have figured out how to harness the moon for its natural cheese resources, and we’ll end barbaric practices like drinking, or dancing in public.”
But no. No! I appear to have appeared within a crowd of Steampunks.
I haven’t any idea what a STEAMPUNK is, and yet, they take me for one of their own! Their top-hats are peculiarly large or small; they all have the most dubious pocketwatches I have ever seen; and I am distinctly aware that not all of them might be adult, male, and subjects of the Queen. Who knows what horrors await?
Still, until my time machine can be re-fueled, I’m stuck. Fortunately, it runs entirely on phlogiston, so that oughtn’t be hard to find. Until then, some of these “Steampunks” have promised to introduce me to something called “Absinthe”. They say it contains herbs and, as such, I am certain it will have healthful medicinal properties – so what could possibly go wrong?
Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks). He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.