In retrospect – and as awesome a movie as the Back to the Future series is, the arch-nemesis of George Mcfly is little more than a one-dimensional bully boy; who uses superior height and lack of conscience to achieve small aims of gratification, over people of an even smaller town. He doesn’t even learn from his experiences either. And while his stupid 1950’s teenager is understandable by way of being so young, his dumber old codger of 2015, lives on a whole other level of Neanderthal moron.
The case for this stems from his use of Doc Emmett Browns time machine to seek his younger self, and Greys Sports Almanac - predicting half a century of sports results, to save his younger self. The boy become man, become old man, lives six decades to consider the ways and means which left him a penny-less senior boot boy to George Mcfly, yet instead of providing himself with a paperback ring to rule them all - and advising his young self to exercise caution, he commands him to gamble without refrain in order to attain pots of money. Old man Biff Tannen was so stupid, he gave himself a book at 17 which provided absolute power for fifty years; never considering the repercussions on himself from a doctored time-line of a Tony Montana lifestyle. If smarter, he would have told himself to lay off the burgers, and buy a pair of running shoes instead…
The Back to the Future series is a classic slice of celluloid. Well written, easy to love, and timeless, a recent viewing made me consider this question; if the future you, handed the current you, the everlasting winning lottery ticket of a Greys Sports Almanac, what would you do with it? Biff Tannen was a stupid moron with no brain, and unlike the rest of us, was devoid of psychological effects from such power. But imagine it, right now. In your hands rests an iron clad guarantee to the finance of the entire world; and only you - and the old you, are even aware of it. Be creative, and then let me know in the comments section. Until you, this is my take on such an event...
The first rational action is to make myself a rich man – a very rich man. But to walk into a bookies and throw a load of winning bets down, appears as dodgy as a begger purchasing a Rolls Royce. Instead I place one solitary daily bet on a random sport; winning a ridiculous amount of cash. As each new daily win passes - and word spreads fast, I claim to eager media vultures each outcome arrives the night before in a vivid dream, (much like Uri Gellar – minus the raping of Michael Jackson’s soul) where an almighty presence tells me to donate all my winnings to charity. I neglect to mention my silent partner - who places more reasonable separate bets on my behalf which - on top of my media career, finances me heavily.
This would then create three outcomes. The first sees society view me as an ethereal prophet; teaching humanity how money is only as important as those you can help it with. The second is that the poorest areas of our globe prosper under my plans to donate money to their welfare and education; in the hope they don't spend it all on booze and smokes. And finally - perhaps the most beneficial of all, I never have to force myself through yet another abysmal showing from the England football team, every four years at the World Cup. While the temptation to win pots of cash and build a Biffco style empire remain, I am aware of karma, my own future, and how boring money is; when there is nobody to share it with.
The almanac renders me a philandering philanthropist - but the two wrongs do indeed make a right. It also leaves faceless betting companies shitting bricks at the thought of my eagle eye gazing toward their business, as I develop a reputation bankrupting one leading bookmakers each week; saving humanity from those patronising adverts which show gamblers as models in suits, throwing endless cash on tablet roulette like they are James Bond - instead of some fat bloke in his pants surrounded by old Pot Noodle tubs, pissing away the week's rent on the hope of an impossible easy win.
The sports themselves would never know I know their outcomes, and the joy of competition would forever prosper. Eventually, my winning single-handedly destroys legalised gambling, and as society places me on a pedestal like Jesus and Cliff Richard, I always remain quietly aware my work was that of a mere messenger to a greater, higher power; unlike Biff, who only did any of it to pork Calvin Klein’s mother – and buy her fake boobs - and shoot dead George Mcfly, even though he would likely have worked as his personal arse-licker, for the right sum...
Biff Tannen is stupid. And for all the possibility and experience before him, he never stopped being a moron. Maybe he and all of us missed a beat with the Almanac. Instead of viewing it as a tool to ruin humanity, it could have been used as a tool to save it. Maybe this was the ultimate destiny of Marty Mcfly; as opposed to teaching 19th century cowboys how to moonwalk. If this was the case, Doc Emmett Brown was far too cautious, and unintentionally screwed with nature's actual time-line. The money Marty made off the book, could even have patented the Hoverboard!
If the power lie in your hands... what would you do, with Biff Tannen’s Sports Almanac?
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