Roger was rushed 30 years into the future. As he sauntered out of the time machine, he heard a familiar tune: it was the music that played at the start of 2014-era Whiteboard Friday videos. On loop. It was only about 5 seconds long, so it became tedious even after only half a minute.
“Howdy!” said a voice. Roger looked in his direction. It was… Rand Fishkin?
“Welcome to RandLand™,” the man continued, with his arms stretched out.
“R-RandLand™?!” Roger asked.
“Yes! Welcome to our theme park inspired by the mighty Rand Fishkin, King of Moz fans!”
You have got to be joking, Roger thought.
As he looked around, he saw remnants from Rand’s past. Broadcasts of old Whiteboard Fridays dominated randomly-placed TV screens around the park. A gift shop sold Lost & Founder – along with other books he’d obviously gone on to write later – as well as Geraldine’s books, All Over the Place and others bearing her name. A nearby vending machine displayed the sign – ‘Accepts South African Currency’. All the park’s employees (even the women) were dressed like Rand, even down to the hair and facial hair. Some had mini-mohawks, while others wore curly moustaches. And there were fancy hipster shirts. Fancy hipster shirts everywhere!
Even though it was a Rand utopia (Randtopia?), it was unexpectedly dystopic.
There was a lot to take in. Overwhelmed, Roger sat down on a nearby outdoor café chair. Even the café was designed to look like a Moz office meeting room. Without realising it, he had sat next to a strange man who was wearing big sunglasses, a cap, a trenchcoat and what looked like a fake beard. Bizarrely, he was the only person in the vicinity who didn’t look like Rand Fishkin.
“This place is strange,” Roger sighed.
“I know,” said the man, his voice warmly familiar. Roger shot him a look.
“…Rand? Is that you?!”
“Shh, keep it down, will you?” The man said, lowering his sunglasses just enough for Roger – and only Roger – to see his face. It was Rand. The Rand. He must’ve been in his sixties now.
“What on earth is going on here, Rand?”
“It’s a theme park inspired by… well, me.”
“I know that,” Roger reacted. “But why?!”
“I was against the idea – always have been. I’m humbled by the fact that I’ve helped a lot of people in the industry, but I hate this ‘rock star’ status I’ve supposedly attained. But… well… people said they wanted to create something as a tribute to me, and one thing led to another, and this is what happened.”
“But… you must hate this?” Roger cried. “You must be miserable?”
“I do, but it makes other people happy. And besides, the royalties I get… They’ve helped fund more startups and to travel the world with Geraldine. We couldn’t be happier.”
Roger smiled. If he were able to shed tears, he would’ve shed one right now. He was so happy that Rand went on to lead a long, happy and successful life – even if it was a bit odd how it came to be.
“So why are you here now, Rand?”
“Just for a quick scan of my iris to release a paycheck,” Rand smiled. “Then I’m off to meet Geraldine in the UK, and from there we’re going to travel the world once more. Who knows… We might stop by brightonSEO on our way past. It’s their 75th event this year y’know.”
“That’s nice. Say hi to Kelvin for me if you do. And to Geraldine, too,” Roger added. He got up from his fancy office-chair-that-was-really-a-café-chair chair, said goodbye to Rand, walked past a ‘Film Your Own Whiteboard Friday’ theme park ride and headed for the time machine.
[Image credit – Josh Hicks]
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Moz or the individuals mentioned.