So I wake up from my nightly blackout with a mouth full of cedar chips and mustard in my hair, and Chow is looking all sad on us.
And Smiling Mike is afraid to talk to Chow, especially when Chow is looking weirder than usual, 'cause of that one time Chow picked Mike up by his precious cranium with one hand and carried him around like a ventriloquist dummy, just as a joke, y'know, man, that was some funny shit.
So I said, "Hey Chow, what's with the sad face?"
And Chow was all like, "Dude, I feel bad 'cause I stole the time machine from you guys last night."
And I was all like, "But you brought it back, right? Shit man, I steal the time machine from us all the time, I mean, how you think we ended up with a half million Evil Twins and a quarter billion Continuity Violations? Why you think the Time Travelling Killer Robots had to kill my parents before I was born like five hundred times already? Its no big deal, c'mon man, cheer up, yer scaring the shit outta Mike, lookit 'im, Mike's even paler and more sickly looking than usual."
And Chow was all like, "Yah, okay, but I did something really bad."
So I asked Chow to spill the beans.
And Chow told us this story, about how he had fallen in love at first sight with this tiny little pancake waitress last night, even though me and Mike almost screwed it up for him by playing with our nipples and licking our lips and rolling our eyes and pretending to have orgasms whenever she came around.
Apparently Chow and her really hit it off, but Chow knew it would never work out between 'em, 'cause we were still on the run from the Time Patrol in this Time Stream, we hadn't been found innocent yet, they hadn't followed the fault cascade back far enough to sentence that crackhead Continuity Accounting guy to life in a Cyndi Lauper Time Loop and the other guy to being born in Ohio for recklessly endangering us by allowing us to operate a Time Machine without a license.
He knew we had to keep moving, and hide out in timespace in places we knew nobody, not even our evil selves, would think to look for us, sucky places, y'know, like badminton championships and poetry readings.
But we did get to hang out with those russian cosmonauts that starved to death in that one spacestation that exploded, holy shit man, those guys really knew how to party!
That was a close one though, they almost caught us that time.
And sometimes we did get caught, heck, sometimes Smiling Mike even got killed, and Chow didn't want that happening to his sweet little Pancake Girl, even though we'd always been able to go back and mostly undo whatever happened to Smiling Mike so far.
Anyways it was one of those star-crossed lover thingies.
Chow knew he couldn't be with her, but he still wanted to do something good for this Pancake Waitress, so he decided to steal our Time Machine in order to fix her whole life up and make it better.
He went back in time and spent days and days in timespace, stopping every bad thing that ever happened to her before it could happen to her, if she fell off her tricycle and skinned her knee, he'd catch her before she fell, if she got picked on at school, he'd scare the hell outta whoever picked on her.
He even loved her so much that he helped her out with her love life with other guys, making sure her date for the prom didn't fuck it up, stopping another dude from cheating on her.
Shit man, I wouldn't have done that, that's hardcore.
Anyways, by the time Chow was done, this chick never had a single bad thing happen to her in her entire life, up to the point where she met Chow.
And see, that was the problem.
That was the one thing Chow couldn't fix.
He couldn't be with her.
And she was so sad when Chow told her that he couldn't be with her, she was so torn up when something bad finally happened to her, she was so unprepared and incapable of handling the pain and loss of Chow's love all by herself, that she just sorta wasted away and died.
How fucked up is that?
But that's not the end of the story.
Chow decides to fix things by going back in time and stopping himself before he ever met her.
So he remembers her and all this stuff he did to help her, but she never even met him.
Too weird right?
But he's not still not done!
He goes through her entire future and makes sure that nothing ever goes wrong for her, she has six beautiful kids with some super nice guy that Chow picks out and personally keeps from forgetting anniversaries and shit, they win the lotto, have a beautiful house in some woods by a lake, fourteen beautiful grandkids, thirty-seven great-grandkids, all of them artists and musicians and architects and not lawyers and crackheads, and eventually she dies gracefully in her sleep at the ripe old age of two hundred and thirty eight.
He gives her the whole nine yards, man, he's her guardian angel.
Me and Smiling Mike just sat there for a while when he was done telling us his story, letting it soak in.
To be honest, it took me a while to imagine this woman not turning into a spoiled old bitch from all that pampering, but I could see how maybe being a happy lovechild your whole life and surrounded by good folks might make it hard for you to even know how to be an asshole.
"Dude," said Smiling Mike, "that is the most beautiful and yet totally fucked up thing I ever heard. If you would've stolen the Time Machine and fixed our lives up like that last night, we wouldn't be in this mess, and you coulda been with her."
"Well, see, that's what I'm really sorry about, I did sorta go back in time and mess with your lives, 'cause I was kinda pissed at you guys fer that nipple rubbing shit you pulled."
"Oh you fucker."
"Hey, where the fuck did you put my nipples!"