Kind Regards from Ivar Gott

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Kind Regards from Ivar Gott

by Rolf-Peter Wille, 1999

There was a man who wanted to catch the future. This man, his name was — I forgot (let us just call him Ivar Gott) — ; well, this Ivar Gott had discovered a poem by Tagore while surfing the Internet. Usually Gott did not read Tagore, but — interesting what we may read when surfing the net…

"Maybe", the great Tagore had written, "these lines will still float on the stream of life when I have passed away long ago."
[ 5] Gott was touched: "That’s true! I am reading these lines right now. Indeed they are still floating on the stream. He was correct. I have received an e-mail from the past. Bravo, Tagore!" But Tagore was dead and Gott could not answer his mail.
[ 5] "Very interesting. He has transcended himself, this Tagore. I think I should try this myself. So remember: Tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock you will take your double espresso [Gott was in the habit of drinking his double espresso each afternoon at 3 o’clock]. You will be bored and stare out of the window as usual. And then, when you will see the old willow, or, let me say, exactly when you will notice that little bird-cage…; well then: Kind regards from Ivar Gott!"

No sooner said than done. The next day, Ivar — a forgetful man (I have also forgotten his other character traits, by the way) — had forgotten everything. But in the afternoon at 3 o’clock he sipped his double espresso as usual. And when he was bored, as usual, and stared out of the… Good Lord! Suddenly he remembered: Kind regards from Ivar Gott! He had received an e-mail from himself, wireless and free of charge.

And because Ivar Gott was in a jolly good mood, due to the double espresso as well as the free e-mail, he immediately sent himself three other free messages into the future: "Tomorrow morning, when you brush your teeth; when the delicious aroma of the imported toothpaste will begin to bloom in your throat: Kind regards from Ivar Gott! On the street, when you see that crazy woman with the long nose: Ivar Gott says hello. And before you go to bed, just when you shall switch off the bedside lamp: Ivar Gott!"
[ 5] And indeed, Gott received all his own messages with the exception of the bedside lamp, because he fell asleep before he switched it off.

Now we have to admit that Gott did not suffer from false modesty. In fact he wanted to be an immortal, alla Tagore. But how could he send mankind a message that would be read in a hundred years. Well…, a hundred years, in fact, is not such a long time; let us rather say…; — a thousand years. That is not easy! Maybe they will not even drink double espresso then and just swallow it in form of some pills…

"Well, they’ll still have to go to the bathroom. Let’s send them a nice message to the bathroom. But how shall I send such a message?" Ivar Gott, a person who — let us finally admit it — does not even exist, wondered. "I know. I shall ask an existing person, my good friend, Prof. Dr. Rolf-Peter Wille. He will do me the favor, I am sure, to key in these lines [exactly these lines which you are reading right now] and let them float on the stream of the Internet."

So, please remember, my dear reader: Next time when you have to go to the bathroom…, and, exactly when the paper touches your behind at its most sensitive spot…; well then: Kind regards from Ivar Gott!

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