If I Had a Time Machine

time machine

Bizarro comic strip for Sunday, March 28, 2017

I doubt that buying one comic book will change history all that much, except maybe that one kid who would have read it before won’t be able to now.

“That’ll be 13 cents with tax.”

I’d made sure all of the coins in my pocket were minted before 1965, so I casually reached in and pulled out a quarter.

“Here you go, pal.”

“Thanks.” He bags my purchase, puts in the receipt, and hands it over along with my change. It’s been a long time since I saw anyone calculate change in their head, or for that matter, use a mechanical cash register. God it’s good to be back.

I take the bag and walk out of Walgreens into the bright Las Vegas afternoon. I’d better get back before they come. Not sure what time Grandpa and my ten-year-old self will show up, but I probably shouldn’t meet them.

Yeah, it’s stupid. I get my hands on a time machine and all I do is travel back to the mid 1960s to buy comic books. This one is special though. Space Family Robinson issue 14. My Grandpa bought it for me. He died when I was 16 and over the years, my comic book collection was foolishly sold. The missus thought they were a waste of space but now I realize they weren’t.

spf14

The comic book my Grandpa bought me.

I get my hands on a time machine and travel back, not just for the comic books, but for the memories. It’s been decades since I’ve seen my Grandpa. Maybe hanging around for a little peek wouldn’t hurt anything.

Here they come now.

I saw the comic strip at the top of the page and I started wondering. If you weren’t a scientist, a historian, or some power hungry person bent on changing history for your own gain, what would you do with a time machine? I mean, if you had access to this thing as an ordinary person, what would you use it for?

I gave it a little thought and came up with recapturing memories.

My Dad died a little over a month ago and I saw how devastated my children were at the loss of their Grandpa. Being a Grandpa myself, I understand the unique relationship I have with my grandchildren. It makes me think of how special my Grandpa was to me.

If you had a time machine, what would you use it for? If you want, write a little story based on the concept and post your link to it in the comments here.

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11 thoughts on “If I Had a Time Machine

  1. Ah, the temptation! What would inhibit the most well-meaning, altruistic individual from using a time machine to try to repair some perceived historical mishap, large or small? Perhaps it would be the same phenomenon that would prevent a selfish, or even criminal, individual from changing something. That phenomenon is the one that would instantly divert that individual out of their own universe into an alternative one where the change would play out its consequences that did not occur in the original universe. The individual could never get home again, but instead would have to live in the alternative universe with its consequences. That puts a rather terrifying spin on the ancient Jewish notion that each individual is an entire world (or, perhaps, might inadvertently create one). The most frightening consideration that should cause one to pause before contemplating any such action, though, is that one can never gather enough information to be sure that one can accurately predict the consequences of a given change. Always there is the danger that some small detail will be overlooked that produces the most unpleasant, undesirable results. Hence, playing with the sequence of events that constitute time in one universe is extremely unsafe for anyone except an omniscient god-ling (who would, of course, know better than even to try to change something, and who would already know the benefits of why things are the way they are).

    And that’s how I ended up here….

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    • PL said: And that’s how I ended up here….

      Welcome to your new reality, PL. 😉

      The nice thing about fiction is it gives us the room to explore such possibilities without really changing anything. I suppose that’s why (in my humble opinion) time travel is impossible.

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  2. I don’t know…I once imagined a conversation with Abba leading to a urgent need to know how to transit from one universe to another…created by all those time machine accidents…and of course receiving an answer. Except that it actually happened that way, and I need to rethink that reality?

    Fiction is so difficult.

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    • The challenge you’re envisioning here, Q, is one of navigating selectively between separate realities across the multiverse. Some sort of characteristic identifying signature must be found to distinguish one from another, along with a database of the distinctive features that would provide the rationale for taking such a trip.

      Like

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