- Paul Davidson
Today’s Thoughts on Time Travel
The only reason you are currently reading this post is because five years ago I traveled four years and three-hundred sixty-four days into the future, grabbed someone’s laptop, logged into my Typepad account (which had yet to be set-up or even available four years and three-hundred sixty-four days in the past) and wrote this post — time dating it to show up this morning.
It was, yet again, another example of time travel working for blogging.
But when I sat down today, seeing this post that I had written so long ago pop up in my present-day blog, I started to think more about time travel. How we have seen so many examples of time travel in movies and in literature that cause our brains to twist out of all recognition. The most pain-inducing, of course, comes in the form of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
In B&TEA the boys find themselves at a police station, needing a key to unlock their friends from jail cells. But they don’t have the key. So they vocalize to themselves that after this whole nightmare is over they’re going to go back in time and steal the keys from Bill’s police-officer dad, and drop them somewhere in the bushes so they’d have them to save their friends. Just at that moment, of course, there they are — the keys are already in the bushes. Bill & Ted look to each other and say, “We’d better remember after this is all over to go back in time and put these keys here or else it won’t happen — although it already DID happen!” So really, what’s the need for ever having to go back in time in the first place?
See? It’s flawed.
If there were people of the future currently going back and forward in time, do you think we’d know about it? Or would there be some organization or governmental law keeping them from revealing to the people of the past and future just what was going on? Is your best friend from the future and you don’t even know it?
I have this friend who is always making the mistake of saying things like:
Well of course George Bush won. You had to have known that was going to happen! That Red Sox curse wasn’t going to last much longer than this year. Oh, I so saw that coming. I knew it. I just knew it.
These phrases have convinced me that my friend is from the future and has, in some way, paid to be allowed to use the future’s time travel technology to come take a vacation or hiatus here in the past where he pretends to be a present day man. You may wonder, how did I come to meet such a friend, and I will tell you that I met him at a party through another friend who also says things like:
Well of course John Kerry lost. It always ends like that, doesn’t it? Sometimes you have no control over the things that happen. I’m just lucky at the stock market, I guess. My bookie won’t do business with me anymore — I’m just too good.
I wonder if both friends came together, sort of like a “two friends taking a trip to Europe” kind of thing, but instead they came to the year 1998 when I met them. And now, they’re stranded or something. Or who knows, maybe the deal is you can come back in time but have to stay here for like ten years so it’s not suspicious or something.
Well, I’m suspicious.
And here’s what’s so strange about this whole scenario. When I ask them if they’re from the future, do you know what they say? It’s the same damn thing every time. And both of them say it with the same voice inflection like they were told to say it in just that way. They say:
Me? From the future? Are you crazy?
If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, I think we can both rest our laurels on the fact that these two people I know are definitely from the future, that they have been here for some time, and that they will continue to sponge off today’s society and the knowledge they have about today’s society from the history books of the future and that they will never tell us the truth.
I can only hope that in a time of weakness they will let something spill — like whether or not to buy TiVo stock or something. Because if they can make me some cold hard cash, I’ll forget about the whole time travel thing and leave them alone.
Really, I will.