It was a pleasant afternoon sitting in the shade leaning against the wall of an old dusty building. It was a very long time ago, in a land that has had many names, and supported many civilisations with as many languages. You'd probably recognise it best as Iraq.
Once I'd finished writing, my old friend Indigo Roth would pop the tablet into an oven and give it a good baking. I'd just finished one, he'd put it into the oven and, in return, got a freshly baked one out and laid it gently into the sand where he read it. When he'd finished, he smacked a corner off the tablet with a rock and proceeded to pound the bit he'd broken off into the dust.
"If you don't like what I'm writing, you could just tell me," I said, with my spare stylus in my mouth. It made grinning difficult.
"Nothing wrong with it at all. It's just it started to make sense. It's much better with the corner removed."
"Yes, yes, you're right. If it makes sense we'll loose the whole point of the day."
The day had started ordinarily enough. Roth had banged on the door of my shed. Then the other one. Then finally the shed I was actually in. Feet resting on piles of books, laying back in battered old armchairs we sat and chewed the cud and some of Roth's most excellent coffee. He'd been boiling this batch since last Monday week.
Roth was annoyed. "I'm annoyed," he said.
He nodded, "Very."
"I wrote a blog entry."
"And I got a comment."
"Nope, never happened to me."
"From a pedant. Of the worst kind. He said I had broken a grammar rule in my entry."
He went on to explain the rule of past participle post wrangling. He did much gesticulating. I chewed coffee.
Then we got serious. The time machine crackled into life. Fortunately it does allow some travel in space as well as time, or it'd be one hell of a long walk at the other end. Or we'd have to get the time machine onto a plane as hand luggage, and you know how fussy they are about things with wires and particle accelerators. Any excuse and they'd think we were terrorists.
The deal was he'd write for the morning and I'd bake the tablets and proof read. In the afternoon we'd swap. Time went quickly and soon the afternoon was over.
Clutching the clay tablets under our arms we went into the local library and carefully arranged the tablets on the recently returned tablets shelf. The Sumerian lending library service was fantastic and the fines were very reasonable for late returns.
"So do you think that'll do it?"
"You know how it is. Cause and effect. Ancient Sumerian feeds other languages, then so on through time. Cause and effect."
"That'll teach the pedant. No more past participle post wrangling," said Roth, grinning widely, "and the Squiddrel will be in ancient mythology."
"Do you think your coffee will have set completely, or can we have a cup when we get back?"