Writing Prompt Given: “Write about 500 years worth of history in a real or made up country/region/planet/whatever”
The Great Bland (1300-1899)
Taking a break from the riveting, violent history of our peoples, the 1300s began a half-millennia of, well, boredom. What was previously a thrilling history, rife with mystery, adventure, discovery, treasure, and excitement, the aptly named “Great Bland Period” (or “The Great Bland”) offered little in the way of entertainment for our forefathers. The year 1300 began ordinarily, which upset a great number of people. As was covered in Chapter 12, “The Great Motorcycle-Riding Dinosaurs Gang War” (the period from 1295-1299 for those who already forgot), ended in an exciting finality. Society was left on the edge of its proverbial seat. 1300, however, failed to deliver as a sequel. It immediately began, and that was about as exciting as it got.
The first years, circa 1300-1345, brought about the invention of white noise, static television channels, and the color “grey.” The majority of this period was spent filling out patent forms, with most of civilization waiting impatiently in the lobby. The original forms were completed in the wrong color ink, which offered a moment of potential excitement; however, it was discovered the ruling was incorrect. The ink was to remain. Society settled back into its maroon chairs and collectively tapped its food, waiting for the 1350’s, in the hopes of some sort of uncertainty.
The 1350s brought about little change, despite the constant cries from the patent office. “Gray” underwent a name change to “grey,” which resulted in poorly attended debates regarding its spelling. Sides fought with an ambivalence unseen in more exciting years. A people’s vote ultimately ruled it would remain “gray,” despite an abysmal voter turnout of .02%. The remainder of the 1300’s passed by without further incident.
In 1402, John F. Kennywhistle, the political revolutionary and former front man of 1875s “The Guitar-Dueling Dragon Hunters” discussed in Chapter 12, began a small movement in an attempt to bring about excitement to the planet. The people, however, had become complacent; he was unable to gather more than a few revolutionaries. This prompted one of the most famous speeches from The Great Bland:
“My people. Hear me, listen—ah, fuck it. I’m going to the vending machine. Anyone want anything?”
Following Kennywhistle’s failure, the next fifty years passed by slowly. The patent office closed down, yet the lobby remained open and full. White noise was studied in depth by scientists, resulting in the discovery of “pink noise.” Society agreed to disregard the discovery, instead opting to focus on speeding the passage of time. Their attempts failed, resulting in the timely arrival of the year 1500.
Unlike the 1400s and the 1300s, the 1500s and 1600s had absolutely no inventions. Not even another shade of gray. Nothing notable occurred in the 1500s. Even less happened in the 1600s. Seriously, no one even ate anything that upset their stomachs. I’m pretty sure no one even died. It was just, like, super boring. I can’t even express how boring it was, my eyes are tearing just thinking about it. I asked the editor if we could remove the 1500s-1600s from this textbook, but he said it was just as important as the 500s (the period in which the planet evolved legs and entered itself into a marathon, winning by over an hour and still having time to bust a huge meth distribution plant, covered in Chapter 4. I fail to see his logic.). I am so sorry we have to include this section. I didn’t want to do this to you, but I was forced to. This period of time was, quite literally, the worst thing in the history of our people. Let’s just move on.
The 1700s were the first time in over 300 years during which something exciting almost occurred. A child was reported missing along the southern hemisphere of the planet. People’s ears figuratively perked up as the news broke, hearts racing in anticipation. Could it be the return of “The Black Rhino Slayer,” known for kidnapping and forcing children to become professional bodybuilders and repeat lottery winners? Or perhaps the alien invaders from the 1200s, who replaced children with stacks of pure gold and dropped them off them later with a fresh haircut, had returned. Alas, after a few moments of torrid anticipation, the child was found literally watching paint dry. Society slouched back into its waiting room chair and resumed tapping its feet for the next hundred years.
The 1800s began ordinarily, a depressing, vapid sign that resulted in several people leaving the planet’s waiting room, only to return a few moments later claiming “it sucked out there.” The first twenty years were passed mostly via staring contests, which had become the primary form of legal decision in the 1650s. No legal decisions had been made since the 1350’s. However, in 1837, Charlie Chapplebottomjeans, the boy who had almost brought about excitement in the 1700s, decided to write a novel. This caused a murmur to spread among society—no one had attempted such a thing since the late 1200s. It was unexpected–history seemed to be getting ready for a change. The world waited in anticipation as Chapplebottomjeans sat in the corner of the planet’s waiting room, pen scratching blandly on plain white paper. No one dared disturb him and risk their salvation.
Historical records express how incredibly dull it was watching the boy awkwardly sway his clenched fist along the paper, pen dragging slightly behind. However, in the year 1873, Chapplebottomjeans startled the lobby as he stood and shouted, “I’m done! I did it!” The world erupted in excitement. Change was coming. Chapplebottomjeans passed his document to his mother who stared at it, eyes wide. It was then she discovered her son had gone blind, and that he had been writing with a pen that had no ink. He had not realized his own impairment, as he had reasonably assumed the world had become so bland that light had simply decided not to bother shining. The world slouched back down and pressed its collective face to its hands.
The 1890s continued the way the 1800s had begun. No change. No inventions. Gray had since become the norm. White noise was occasionally replaced by pink noise. Television showed nothing but static. The patent office, although long closed, still housed the planet’s people. Not until the year 1900 did anything of any relevance occur, not until society abruptly decided to turn the northern hemisphere into a giant demolition derby track, resulting in the appearance of supermodel ghosts who wanted nothing but high-fives and sex. But that will be covered in the next chapter.