My husband likes to watch science fiction programs, which I sometimes watch with him. One sci-fi concept that simultaneously fascinates and perplexes me is time travel.
From Dr. Who to The Big Bang Theory, the characters extol the virtues of time travel: you can go to the past and avert some terrible calamity from happening or go to the future, completely jumping over some dreadful current event. Yet in the next breath, they tell you not to mess with the time line. Heaven forbid your past youthful self sees your current present-day self.
Honestly, I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be a problem. There is no twenty-something on the face of this earth who would even recognize his or her middle-aged self, or believe such a startling transformation could possibly happen.
Actually, I can think of a number of ways time travel could be beneficial. Take dieting, for example. You could indulge in that sinfully tempting piece of chocolate cake, then jump two days ahead. If you step on the scale and discover you’ve gained a pound or two as a result of eating it, you could go back 15 minutes before you ate it and refuse the serving. That way, you could have your cake and UN-eat it too!
Time travel would also be incredible when it comes to picking spouses! Imagine being able to discover whether your future In-laws are as meddling as they seem, whether your prospective spouse ever actually learns to cook or is just paying lip service, or whether your partner’s charming personal quirk of “being able to sleep through anything” remains so charming when, seven years down the road, he or she is snoring soundly while you are attending to your three little children who are all up barfing at 3 am.
Hmmm…come to think of it, time travel might not be so great for the institution of marriage. Suddenly, I’m wondering if some scientist saw the risk of what could become of his or her marriage, went into the future, and UN-invented time travel.
Time Machine photo above: Courtesy of the Big Bang Theory