As I awoke in the hospital bed, I could see something was wrong. No more than a few seconds passed, and a doctor came in and said:

"Good morning, Mr. Gunn. I have bad news and good news for you. The bad news is: due a mix-up in the hospital's administration, instead of being sent to surgery for your scheduled appendectomy, you were sent to the cryogenics department. We've finally managed to wake you, three hundred twenty-seven years later."

"The good news is: you're healthy now. You haven't awakened into a post-holocaust world or into an energy-deficient society whose members want revenge on people from the past. You aren't considered a dead man, good only for organ harvesting. Neither have you been cloned. Global warming didn't have any hideous effect. Planet-wide pollution is still a problem, but nothing out of control. There have been no major world-wide wars. Apes haven't led a successful rebellion against man. We haven't found any alien life forms yet (much less been conquered by them). We still haven't colonized other worlds. Artificial Intelligence still sucks, so we don't have any robots. The global economy hasn't suffered any collapses. There have been no major changes in our society, so you won't be an instant outcast. We still use the same calendar and speak the same language, although there are a few new words you'll need to know about. In fact, other than some pop culture references, you won't find this world very different from yours. The savings in your bank account are more than enough to pay our hospital's bill and finance a healthy wage. Just one more thing: if someone asks you whether you prefer Coke or Pepsi, do me a favor and refuse to answer."


Length: 291 words. Written under no word-limit constraint.

Originally published on 19 September 2003 in SciScoop. See and

Last update: 28/05/2012.

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