It's been days since Billy struck out in the Junior High Baseball Championship Game, and he hasn't stopped moping yet. If only he had the chance to do it all over again. Lydia rightly points out that Billy should just forget about it and move on: "You can't change the past." Not yet, Billy agrees, but with the advancements in science, it should only be matter of time before time travel is possible- and he'll be able to go back into the past and rectify things.
Picking up on their conversation, Mrs. Snodgrass discusses time travel and its treatment in literature. Marcus points out that, though a fun idea, time travel is impossible. This sets off Earl. One of his very first creations was a time machine. Time travel is possible! And to prove it, he uses his machine to send our foursome into the past. Ten whole years into the past!
Stranded in the past, our heroes befriend Earl P. Sidebottom, a hapless nerd who will one day become the Phantom as a result of the D that he receives in shop class. As the young Earl helps them rewire the time machine so that they can return home, our heroes attempt to change the future by helping Earl pull off an A in shop.
In the end, our heroes unwittingly contribute to Earl's D and his invention of the time machine. Making it back in the nick of time, they learn the futility of dwelling on the past. Since you can't change the past, better to make the best of the present.
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