Time Travel

I uncovered this photo of yours truly and one Robert E. Beamon Jr of (then) Chicago, Illinois. It was taken, with respect to our time, some twenty-eight years ago, in 1983, ostensibly in San Antonio, Texas. I am the one with the bigger, longer, and manlier gun. William Matt Briggs and Robert E. Beamon Jr.

This is shown because I have been asked many times to show my mug, and this example is as good as any other. This is as my personage was at one point in time. Little has changed except for the addition of depth and a fine chiseling due to maturity. My hair, for example, is of the same length, though my hat is now brown.

The phrase “with respect to our time” is necessary, because this picture was taken when Beamon and I were in the Air Force at Lackland AFB. It my belief that there we were subjected to a military experiment, during which the scene in this photo occurred.

Part of the experiment involved sleep deprivation coupled with extreme physical stress. I vividly remember being made to stand in line to receive drugs via an electric syringe. We also were made to eat substances which, judging by their taste, must have been laced with purposeful reagents.

From the photographic evidence I can only guess that we went back in time, and that, when in the past, we participated either in some nefarious activity or were part of a squad to quell such activities. I have no memory of which.

Since I cannot remember what happened, obviously the experiment was a success. But at least we have the evidence you see before you today.


I am on jury duty starting this morning. Posts may be somewhat irregular until I am released.


  1. So just how prophetic was this photo? You’re a statistician, and so clearly committed to either a Life of Crime or Futile Revolutionary Martyrdom. Did Mr Beamon become an Intellectual Incorrigible as well?

  2. Ari

    Agh! Finger off the trigger! Finger outside the trigger guard!

    Other than that, great picture.

  3. Stare at the defendant. Then stare at the defense attorney. While he/she is looking back lift your necktie [you are wearing one, right?] by the tail end over your head, simulating a hangman’s noose. You’ll be gone within the hour. But don’t let the judge see you.

    As to the photograph, being in Texas AND the Air Force simultaneously does strange things to memory modules. It had less to do with chemical experimentation, than with how many week-end trips one took to Denton, aka “Tessieland”. Of course in your era it was better known as TWU. Recalling this, one understands why blame is more conveniently lain at the feet of surreptitious government experiments.

  4. GoneWithTheWind

    I have been called to the pool for jury duty but either not selected or eliminated early in the process. I always assume it was because I held degrees and what lawyer in his right mind wants intellgent people on the jury?

  5. Earle Williams


    I can relate. I was called up for jury duty in Denver a decade or two ago. They had you fill out a questionnaire on the first day. On the second day I was in a pool called in for a criminal case. At the beginning of the voir dire process the defense attorney was waxing poetic about how important it was for each of us to fulfill our civic duty. Whether one was a housewife or a … [here he paused to check his notes] geophysical engineer, we all served a curcial role. I knew when he called out my profession that I wouldn’t be selected. Sure enough, within an hour I was excused.

  6. DAV

    Earle Williams,

    Lucky you. Where I live, you either sit around all day or get selected. If you’re selected and the trial ends early, you get to go home. OTOH, if the trial is held over… If you’re really unlucky you get picked for a trial that starts mid-afternoon — guaranteed to be held over.

    Last time, I was selected for the very first trial. We were done around 2PM. It was kinda fun.

  7. Try not to dwell on the fact that while you’re getting $30 a day the lawyers are making $500 an hour.

  8. Mike B

    It just occured to me that you look like a character from a Dashiell Hammett novel. Maybe Wisper Thaler from “Red Harvest”.

    I’d have never figured you for gangsta cred, Briggs. 😉

  9. bob

    Mike B

    Thanks for the Youtube video. That was a great moment in Olympics history. Only us older folks seem to remember the 1968 games, though.

    Mr Briggs and Mr Beamon have captured that 1920’s look we used to see in those black and white movies starring Jimmy Cagny and Edward G. Robinson. Nice picture.

  10. Ken

    I truly hope your experience(s) while locked in the jury room with a bunch of [strange] strangers aren’t too mystifying, annoying, innane, etc.

    And, I do hope you’ll be able to convey what sorts of rationalizations, [il]logic, and so on & so forth some of the other jurors will inevitably display.

  11. Briggs


    Nothing happened. Sat around then went home. Evidently there were not enough cases. I did wear a suit, of course. Almost no other man did. Sorry I don’t have anything more interesting to report.

  12. Alan Bates

    Pity nothing happened. I had a very positive experience as a juror in England a year or so ago. The Judge was highly competent and treated us an important part of the process. He encoraged us to ask questions (through him, of course) and he responded very positively when we followed him up on that. After he had asked our questions of the witnesses he then asked to see if we were happy with the outcome. We were.

    I know other people may have different experiences but mine was 100% positive. We found the Defendant Not Guilty in an aggrevated dometic. Sharp kitchen knife – a fine spattering of blood in a small room. Hostile witness. I felt justice was being done and was seen to be done.

  13. Alan Bates

    Sorry about spellings.
    To clarify: when I said “fine” I meant generous …

  14. Gary C

    When I was on a jury on a civil case in San Francisco, the plaintiffs lawyer in her summation says “The law says you must …” the Judge almost jumped out of her chair, directing her statement to the jury – I will tell you what the law is. The lawyer turned bright red and we the jury just smiled. It generated some prime comments during deliberation about lawyers.

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