58-year-old Peter Federson flunked Life 101 in the 20th century and was about to flunk it again in the millennium. Part of his dismal grade point average came from not getting along with people, which included most men and all women. He also had no understanding of social media and was inept at using laptops, tablets and cell phones. Not surprisingly, his job history in the broadcasting industry read like a rap sheet.
Peter had no insight into his shortcomings until one gloomy day—while sweeping out his decrepit trailer in suburban Chicago—he found in a plastic bag a handful of pills, a bottle of vodka and an old photo. It was Catherine, the girl he met in college and should have married, but didn`t. Two hours after he washed down the pills with the vodka, Pete awakened on a passenger train headed to Southern Illinois University, where his life started its backward slide. He staggered to Campus Lake, passed out under a canoe, and awakened to a world out of kilter, because the trees had shrunken to half their size overnight, and buds were forming on the branches.
It was Fall.
Shakily, Peter made his way to a nearby dormitory and spotted Marta, a hippie girl who hadn`t aged since he attended classes with her in the 1970`s. But what threw Pete into a grand mal anxiety attack was when he glanced into a mirror and saw his teenaged self-staring back at him.
Soon the middle-aged failure realized that he was again a Radio and TV major at SIU in the Spring of 1971. And Marta—who wiggled Jello to test Einstein`s theory of relativity—was the only person who believed that he really went back in time. But who cared what a stoned hippie thought?
Pete had two choices. He could either prepare for the 21st Century or flunk life yet again. He could marry Catherine—if she’d have him—and flee from Tammy, or again marry the chiding witch. Pete could avoid taking that first drink, which led him to a life of alcoholism and drug addiction, or he could go for all gusto he could get at SIU, a designated Playboy party school.
Peter chose to reform himself.
First on the list, was repairing his miserable grade point average with the help of WSIU radio student station manager Ronald Ramjet. The Jet helped the young/old broadcaster to break his habit of saying inappropriate things on the university radio station,
“This is WSIU Car-BOHN-deh-LAY,” Pete announced with a smirk.
“That’s supposed to be WSIU CAR-bun-DALE,” barked Roger.
For extra credit, the Jet assigned Peter to review a fast food restaurant for Gut Bombing it in Carbondale, which was broadcast on Ramjet`s personal radio station in his living room.
In the dorm, Peter`s roommate, and alter ego, Harry lectured him about the Bible in the coarsest language before the two went bar hopping on a warm Saturday night. But Tammy appeared during a wild street party and provoked a fight that landed Pete and Harry in jail. To make amends, she hired a lawyer, who appeared in court wearing sandals, jeans and a filthy shirt with a buttoned-down collar.