Saturday, September 8, 2012

Time to Spare

Many science fiction stories involve time travel. Often the tale involves a traveler from the future trying to alter a past event to prevent a future calamity or the end of mankind. Criminals from the future travel back in time to gain control of the world and the protagonist endeavors to stop them. Recently, Stephen King wrote about an accidental traveler to the past who tries to stop the Kennedy assassination in a wonderful, way too long book titled 11/22/63. In fact, he was merely searching for a good hamburger and love.

I must admit that the Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is a love story and the affects of absences on relationships. You must read this book; the story will cause you to view life and time differently, with appreciation.

Do you remember Star Trek’s “tricorder” (first flip phone) and speeding the Starship back into time? H.G. Wells wrote in 1895 about traveling to the distant future to a vastly different society. Another twist in that story is that the traveler arrives during a 1940’s war, a very accurate prophecy. Science fiction is often best at predicting future events or technology advances.

These are just a few examples of the grand stories exploring ideas of vast scales of space and time. But time machines have a more useful and mundane purpose. Over the years I and many others could have utilized the device I am referring to. Apple should figure this one out, they could make billions (oh, they do already). The MAC computer has a time machine function, but sadly it is limited to backing up the computer’s data not actual time travel. They need to get Steve Jobs to work on this; but of course that project would have to be in the past and then we would need a time machine to bring it to market today. “Time Machine” coming soon to an Apple Store near you would be a great marketing event. I’d go, if I had time.

The Internet is home to many out of date websites, blogs and news postings reaching back years. Surfing the Internet is a form of stationary time travel. Old movies and old TV shows dating back to the 1950’s populate many current websites.

But the device I am referring to is the “OOPs Eliminator.” This is not the odor eater of foot fame but a much needed device for mankind, but primarily for men who are prone to slips of the tongue and behavioral missteps. I’ve left the house with two mismatches socks several times, not so bad. How about leaving the house with two different shoes? That is a more noticeable slip. Ever leave home with your fly open?

I’ve even seen women who leave a public bathroom with the back of their skirt stuck inside their underwear, or a man with his shirttail sticking out his front fly. Both are very weird looking, but not uncommon sites.

Many children will respond to parental punishment with, “I hate you.” Not much harm done. How about a parent who has told a child, “I wish you never were born.”? That statement is a real disastrous comment could result in long term consequences and years of costly psychotherapy.

“Does this dress make me look fat?” Most men can’t answer this question with the correct words or facial expressions, especially if the question was asked near a TV.

Hit the reset button and the offending words would garble in reverse to be repeated in some more palatable form. Maybe a pause function would slow the reaction and allow for another possible answer to be uttered.

“Do I look fat?” That question might be answered, “No, everything looks smaller.”

“I wish you never were born.” The answer would be, “I should have been more careful with my birth control method.”

You could have gotten a cold and stayed home, rather than gone to work and argued with your boss. I’d like to skip the junior high school dance when I attempted a dance move to impress a girl who wasn’t even looking at me and doomed my social life for three years.

There needs to be more beta-testing of the time machine’s features. Of course the examples I used are the self-serving functions of the OOPs Eliminator.

A more practical function would be the removal of the bushes blocking the stop sign that you just passed. Would it prevent an accident, save you from an expensive traffic fine or prevent another driver from slamming on the brakes and the creation of twenty-five new gray hairs?

A design engineer could have reviewed his calculations one more time to reveal a serious defect in the construction of a bridge.

A customer at an auto repair shop could have saved thousands of dollars in auto repairs if the mechanic’s OPPS Eliminator been functional and he had remembered to tighten that one last bolt on the transmission seal.

Or I could have decided not to write this blog and used my talents to create a literary work of fiction and made millions. I’ve really got to work on the time machine, but that will have to wait until I have some free time.

Right now I’m too busy with my honey-do list.

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1 comment:

  1. dad, check out an adam sandler movie called click. he gets a remote that allows him to skip life events.

    my time machine says go to bed!!! so, good night and talk ta ya during the week.