Chapter 5: Channel Changing
“Welcome back from the commercial break! Our contestants, the Diaz family and the Chadryl family, are eager to start the next round,” Steve Harvey, the television game show host, explained to the audience. Christian and his family loved to sit down in their living room on Tuesday nights and compete with one another as if they were contestants on the Family Feud. “Top six answers are on the board. Give me Stacie and give me Gregory!” Mr. Harvey announced. “Shake hands, and your question is….” There was an awkward pause on the show. Steve Harvey flipped over the card he held in his hands.
“There’s something wrong with the card,” Christian stated. The family watched as uncertain looks washed of the face of the game show host. Awkwardly, the man looked around the podium in front of him with Stacie and Gregory following his lead. Then, Mr. Harvey’s eyes landed on something—something Christian had not seen in months.
“Dad! It’s the bag! And look! The camera is still attached!” There, at the base of the podium by Steve’s feet, was Christian’s brown leather bag.
Harvey, with a glimmer of hope in his eyes, adjusted his tie and asked, “What are the top three items a woman might put in her purse that she does not need?” The camera panned to the bag and then jumped back to the host.
“What are you two going on about? What bag?” Christian’s mother asked.
“Long story short, Dad gave me his old bag . . .”
“You don’t mean the bag, do you?” the wife asked her husband. The pastor smiled lovingly at his bride.
“I wanted to convince Dad that the bag could time travel,” Christian started to explain, “so I attached a camera to it, so I could watch where it went from my laptop. Little did I know it already had the power of time travel!”
With the Family Feud continuing in the background, the mother burst out laughing. “You two are pulling my leg.”
Just then, the bag disappeared from sight.
The mother gasped. “That’s not possible! Where did it go?”
“Dad, change the channel! Go down one! I have an idea,” Christian said, now on his feet. Christian’s dad pushed the button on the remote, shifting the screen from the game show to the English countryside.
“Oh I love National Velvet!” the mother said as a young girl on a horse made her way across the television screen. “It was my favorite movie when . . .wait . . . did you see that?” On the screen sitting by the side of a stable was the bag. “It can’t be!”
“Did you see that? It disappeared again!” the pastor shouted.
“Change the channel!” Christian said, excited to see if the theory brewing in his mind was correct.
“Surely not,” the mother said. But beyond a sign that read Ponyville, in a pink and purple castle sitting in a sparkling throne with a blue haired pony by its side, was the bag!
“It’s a cartoon!” the pastor said with a chuckle. “I can’t believe it! My old bag is a cartoon!”
The ponies pranced and danced around the throne room until once again the bag disappeared from the view of the entertained family. The father changed the channel, anxious to see where the bag would land next.
But on the next channel the news was reporting the presidential primary election results from Tennessee and Texas. The family searched the screen, but there was no bag. The father changed the channel again. This time there were two twin girls jumping on beds, but again, no bag. The father changed the channel again, and again.
They began to feel disappointed until Christian yelled, “Stop! There, on the horse! Do you see it?”
The mother and father leaned in as the beautiful maiden encountered the prince. “I’ve been wanting to see this one,” the mother said excitedly. “Doesn’t she make the loveliest Cinderella?”
The men groaned as they watched the storyline unfold in front of them, anxiously waiting to see what the bag would do next. The bag did not disappoint. The sands inside shifted once again and the bag vanished.
“That prince is not going to be happy,” the mother said sternly. “He will be so troubled to know that it’s gone. Did you notice how he wouldn’t let anyone look in it? He will probably search the entire kingdom looking for it. Bless his heart. He’ll never find it.” Christian and his father stared at the mother.
“It’s a movie, Mom,” Christian said, trying to hold in his laughter.
“Alright, let’s try another one,” the father said, pointing the remote control.
“Yes!” Christian said excitedly. “Finally, something I want to watch!” Draped across the chest of Obi Wan Kenobi was the bag. Obi Wan reached into the bag and removed a lightsaber. He gave it a flick bringing it to a brilliant blue. Obi Wan swung his saber and the bag left his side. “Aw, that stinks.”
The father continued moving down the channels until they had cycled through them all. “I guess it’s gone,” the mother said, disappointed.
“Christian!” the dad exclaimed. “It’s in your lap!”
Christian rubbed his hand over the soft leather. “It’s back!” Then, just as he said it, the bag was gone again.