The Present Long Ago

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#560: “The Present Long Ago”
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Job 42:2

2"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.

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The Present Long Ago

“The Present Long Ago” is episode #560 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Bob Hoose, and originally aired on January 29, 2005.


Max Hampton demands that Trent DeWhite give up the key to the science lab… or else.


The scene starts in the year 2065 with an elderly woman sending for her grandson to talk to him about his bully problems. She takes out an old journal and tells a story from it, a story that takes place almost sixty years ago, in a town called Odyssey...

Trent DeWhite is getting books from his locker when Max Hampton says he wants to borrow Trent's key to the science lab, but he won't say why. He tells Trent to get the key to him by Friday, and to 'be careful.' Taking that as a threat, Trent imagines all of the horrible things that could happen to him if he doesn't, such as having his grades tampered with, being hunted by the school bully, and being framed for robbing the First National Bank.

He carries on throughout the day imagining different television character spoofs. They all give him insane advice, from telling jokes to giant chickens. Finally Trent goes to the Bible for advice, and then he goes to talk to Max. It turns out that he was making a heart-shaped valentine for Mandy Straussberg, but he didn't want her or anyone else to know, for fear of being teased. Trent, amused that Max was afraid as well, offers to deliver the valentine for him.

At this point the grandmother, who has been narrating the story, reveals herself to be none other than Mandy. Her grandson is confused - whose journal is she reading from? Mandy tells him that it is his grandfather's journal. She explains that the valentine, and the kindness behind it, is what started their friendship, which eventually led to their marriage. Mandy's grandson then concludes that his grandfather is Max Hampton. Mandy, however, tells him that while she didn't know at the time who the sender was, she did know who the deliverer was: her eventual husband, Trent DeWhite.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is a bully?
    • What does a bully act like?
  2. Was Max really a bully to Trent?
    • Why did Trent respond to Max the way he did?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Arnold Schwarzenbanger Jess Harnell
Bill Crosby Jess Harnell
Brandon DeWhite Cody Arens
Colimbo Hamilton Camp
Computer Unknown
Mandy Straussberg (Elderly) Jean Gillespie
Mandy Straussberg Aria Curzon
Max Hampton Gregg Restivo
Trent DeWhite Corey Padnos

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Rodney Rathbone Mandy Straussberg
Mrs. Nietchew Mandy Straussberg


  • This episode features the following character parodies:


Trent DeWhite: Whoa! That... was incredible! When you flexed your muscles, I felt a breeze!
Arnold Schwarzenbanger: Of course you did this. That's because I'm so massively perfect. In my movies I need a whole stunt man just to play my left arm!

Max Hampton: You got the key?
Trent DeWhite: Uh, no. Hey, what did the chewing gum say to the shoe?
Max Hampton: I'm stuck on you. You've only got till tomorrow, you remember that, right?
Trent DeWhite: Uh, I remember. Uh, what bird steals from the rich and...
Max Hampton: Robin Hood.
Trent DeWhite: You know that one too, huh?

Arnold Schwarzenbanger: Even Mr. Arnold has his limitations, Trent! Besides, I was thinking about getting out of the training and trying something different anyway.
Trent DeWhite: You mean like politics?
Arnold Schwarzenbanger: What? I may be musclebound, but I'm not crazy. Ha!

Brandon DeWhite: Grandpa was in Odyssey too?
Older Mandy: Of course he was! In a way, this is how it all began for your grandfather and I. We wouldn't marry for many years to come, but it was that valentine, and the kindness behind it, that started our friendship.
Brandon DeWhite: Max is Grandpa?! How'd you end up with Max? You said you didn't know he sent the gift!
Older Mandy: Well, I said I didn't know who the special valentine came from, but I was at school early that morning and I did see who delivered it...

Mandy Straussberg: Trent!
Trent DeWhite: <surprised> Oh! Hi, Mandy! Yeah, um...
Mandy Straussberg: Where are you going with that heart?
Trent DeWhite: Uh, nowhere. <laughs nervously>

Brandon DeWhite: You mean...
Older Mandy: That's right. The valentine was delivered by your grandpa, Grandpa Trent!

Colimbo: A box of sulfur! Looks like a brand new shipment. But why would he want sulfur? You can't wear it, you can't eat it—although Mrs. Colimbo's cooking does have a tendency...