July 10, 2012

flux capacitors and t-shirts

In my post "The wait was well worth it" I mention my flux capacitor t-shirt and I've been wanting to share a funny story related to that shirt.

First, the the history of that shirt.  When I was in college I did a summer internship in San Francisco at 826 Valencia, a non profit writing center that encourages kids to write and read and also offers free tutoring.  826 Valencia was founded by author Dave Eggers and at the time the same building that housed 826 also housed McSweeney's Publishing.  So I was surrounded by hipsters.

One day a couple of high school boys came in (they were being mentored or something) and one of them was wearing a t-shirt that he had made that said "flux capacitor".  Because I grew up loving Back to the Future I loved this shirt because, as we all know, the flux capacitor is what makes time travel possible.  Or so Doc Brown says.

So when I came home from SF I bought me some iron on letters and a light blue t-shirt and made myself a shirt that said "flux capacitor".  I only did it because I loved it and I really thought that no one but my brothers would get the reference.  I was wrong.  Guys loved that shirt.  And when I explained to them why I was wearing a shirt that said "flux capacitor" (answer: because it makes time travel possible) they would buy me drinks, ask for my number, and so on.

And then I fell in love with a super awesome guy and got married.  Travis had never seen Back to the Future and didn't care about my shirt.  He just thought it was weird but we never really talked about it.  One day my husband, a bit of a gear head, told me that the flux* capacitor in our car had gone out and I was shocked. 

"What do you mean?!"

"I mean it doesn't work any more."

"Our car has one?!"

"Yes," he said slowly.  "Do you know what a flux* capacitor does?"

"It makes time travel possible!!!!"

"No it doesn't."  And then he probably told me what a flux* capacitor really does and I probably didn't understand him.

And so in the end my t-shirt only impressed guys who really didn't matter and made me look like an idiot in front of the one guy who does.  But it makes for a funny story.

UPDATD TO SHOW YOU HOW DITZY I REALLY AM!  Travis just told me that there is no such thing as a flux capacitor and so it was just a simple "capacitor" that was out in our car.  So when he told me some capacitor didn't work in the car I assumed it was a flux capacitor and he would have never used that word.  But it's okay... you did notice how I tagged this "I'm an idiot", right?


  1. That is funny. Nick would wear that shirt. Has TravIs still not seen Back to the Future? We should have a
    Back to the future marathon party. Love those movies! "make like a tree and get outta here. It's make like a tree and LEAVE you idiot!" haha..that line cracks me up everytime.. But that's from BTTF number 2. Anyways..now I want to watch the movies.

  2. Dear Bonnie,
    Even 400 miles away (or however far Minnesota is from Illinois), you and your family still make my heart smile. How good the Lord is to bring such beautiful souls into my life. Being that I am posting this 'anonymously' and as such you have to moderate it, I am also going to send you my email... kawillits@stthomas.edu.
    Remain forever in His Most Sacred Heart,

  3. I forgot to mention, the last message I sent (as well as this one) are not intended for publication... They are just my sneaking way of sending you my email address.
    Remain in Him,