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Pretend To Be a Time Traveler Day

If you've ever wondered what kind of reactions people would give you if they thought you had traveled from another time, is this ever the holiday for you. Pretend To Be a Time Traveler Day was started in 2007 by Aaron Diaz of the webcomic Dresden Codak. Participants in the day pretend to be time travelers and stay in character when they come into contact with people for the entire day.

Dresden Codak suggests three options as to where a time traveler could portray themselves as being from: a utopian or cliché future, a dystopian future, or the past. The utopian or cliché time traveler is to "dress with moderately anachronistic clothing and speak in slang from varying decades." For clothing, they should think about how the future is often portrayed in film and television. Star Trek is one program they could use as a model. They should also "show extreme ignorance at operating regular technology."

The dystopian future time traveler is to "dress like a crazy person with armor," and like someone who is disheveled that appears "very startled that they have gone back in time." Lastly, the time traveler portraying themselves as from the past is to dress in period clothing, such as from the Victorian era. They are to be amazed at everything that wasn't around centuries ago, like cars, airplanes, cell phones, televisions, and automatic doors. No matter which of these three roles they play, observers of the day are sure to turn heads and get others to become confused or question their own sanity.

How to Observe Pretend To Be a Time Traveler Day

Spend the day pretending that you are a time traveler! You should never give away who you really are, or that you are pretending, but should appear as if you are trying to fit in and that you are unaware of any eccentricities that you happen to display. The following are some ideas about how you could act when you are playing the role of a utopian future, dystopian future, or past time traveler:

  • Dress in a spacesuit, in armor, or in Victorian-era clothing.
  • Act confused by everyday items like appliances, cars, cell phones, televisions, airplanes, and automatic doors. Express fear of vehicles, especially of any planes that fly overhead. Start conversations with televisions. Spend fifteen minutes watching how an automatic door works. Show great excitement at basic technology in general.
  • Read newspapers in public and express amazement out loud about what you read.
  • Speak in Old English, use iambic pentameter, or talk exclusively using obscure slang words.
  • Ask people what year it is, and after they answer, say, "Then it's not too late!" and walk away, leaving them in silence.
  • Hand out small items along with a piece of paper with a phone number on it. Then say, "In thirty years dial this number. You'll know what to do after that." Then walk away.
  • Host a time-traveling party and request all your guests to show up dressed as time travelers.

To get some inspiration for the day, you could watch films and television series that focus on time travel, or read a book or comic that does the same. Some examples include:

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