Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about time travel. If I were to invent only one thing in my lifetime, I want that one thing to be a time traveling machine. Unfortunately, I already know I don’t invent one, because the first thing I would do with it would be to go back in time and tell myself how I invented time travel. Non causality sucks the surprise out of things like that.
Instead, I will have to settle on taking spices on the road with me, as a form of thyme travel. In 1960s science fiction, time travel was only ever accidentally achieved by passing through the sound barrier, which I think was something used to keep you from hearing your parents having sex, but I could be wrong. Stranger things have happened.
Can you imagine how cool actual time travel would be, though? Forward time travel is attainable right now; you just have to commit yourself to spending your days waiting around for something interesting to happen.
Fast traveling to the future would be sucky, anyway. You would either be the dumbest person there, or the smartest, and, in my experience, being any -est that is neither smarmy or handsome is not worth the effort.
It’s having the ability to go backwards in time that is more appealing to me, and not just because I could return to last Tuesday and stop myself from leaving my sunglasses on the bus.
No, lost sunglasses and iPhones aside, with reverse time travel I could tell people in the past things like, “Hey, that Louis XIV’th furniture is going to be worth serious money some day.” Or, I could tell Marilyn Monroe how great her boobs were, and say it in the most classy way possible. Seriously—she had really great boobs and it makes me sad that I never had the chance to tell her.
There’s always the possibility of doing some historical stuff, maybe, like going back to the era of Ancient Rome or Carthage to see what life was like before the internet, or discovering how the pyramids in Egypt were really built without alien technology.
Breaking history would be great fun, too. I could tell Abraham Lincoln the ending of the play so that he opts to give it a miss, or I could tell Caesar to stay home from work that day.
Kill Hitler? Why does everyone with a time machine want to go back and kill Hitler as a baby? I mean, yeah, sure, killing babies has a certain visceral appeal to it, we can all relate to that, but I am sure there must be other ways to prevent Hitler’s rise to power that don’t involve infanticide. Maybe I could just give him that glass of juice he wanted. Problem solved.