I’ve missed quite a few Topics since I started the Post-A-Day challenge. Some have been because I had nothing to say on the subject ( can you imagine? ), other times I’ve been ill and fobbed you off with a bit of light misdirection so I can get an early night. But one or two I really needed a bit of time to think about.
There’s a quaint Dutch saying to describe someone who has an almost obsessive attention to detail and absolutely MUST have everything precise or they go doo-lally batshit … and that’s “Antfucker”. My Hubby is an antfucker, and so am I ( when I can be bothered. If that makes sense to you please explain it to me cos it makes no sense whatsoever to be hysterically precise one second and not really give a crap the next ).
So why did this question rub me up the wrong way like a sweaty executive on the London Underground during a summer rush hour?
1) There are two options… forward in time or back. Anyone with a grain of a brain will choose to nip forward, get the lottery numbers, look smug, pop back and wait to be knee deep in huge piles of cash. It’s gotta be done, hasn’t it? As the saying goes “Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it will bring you a better standard of misery.”
“Ahhhh!” say those people with more conscience than people they’re in debt to, “I wouldn’t do that… I’d go forward in time where they’ve cured cancer / AIDS / lovehandles and then come back with it… thereby saving millions of lives!”
That’s all well and good, and a nice sentiment, but you’re limited by the initial restrictions, namely “only let you spend one hour in a different time”. That’s a pretty narrow timeframe to work with… what hour are you going to choose? Will they have sorted it in a year…. 20 years? 100 years? How far ahead do you go with your one choice? Too soon and you’re buggered. Might as well write down those lottery numbers anyway and try to ignore the mocking glances of your fellow travellers when you return to your own time without the medical knowledge of how to cure chronic hemorrhoids.
How about hedging your bets and flipping forward a thousand years? Surely humans would have got their act together by then? Well, assuming that we survive the next 2 years ( which will pretty much piss off any closet Mayans who will be spending November 2012 maxing out their credit cards without a care in the world ), who’s to say we won’t have killed ourselves by then? We’re not a terribly conscientious race in general and sooner or later the Earth is gonna go “Y’know? I don’t feel like sustaining you anymore. I’m going to evolve chickens into vicious carnivores. You’re *so* screwed…”
Alternatively a huge flaming meteor could hit us, sending us hurling towards the universal equivalent of the corner pocket. The time allowance of one hour on Future Earth becomes pretty immaterial then as you’d only have time to say “Crikey, it got a bit nippy, didn’t it?” 59 minutes later your fellow time travellers get back a traveller ice lolly with a slightly surprised look on its face.
2) So that leaves back.
Answers on this one are more diverse, you know exactly what time ( down to the minute in some cases ) everything has happened because in some cases you were already there.
But with going back in time you encounter those Sci-Fi favourites causality and accountability, which in a nutshell state “Sure, you may well be knee-deep in shit right now, but convince Mummy Hitler to use better birth control and who’s to say someone worse won’t spring up in the festering void left by the now-not-conceived little Adolf?”
So… to cut a long long story down to…erm… just long, what would I do?
I’d go back to the day my Nan died 5 years ago and thank her for never giving up on me despite my parent’s divorce effectively shattering the family unit. And I’d hold her hand until she passed. Cos lottery wins are lovely, I’ve got nothing whatsoever against being stinking rich, but to be able to be there to repay a debt they never even considered you owed.. that’s beyond price.