Teleportation is Time Travel’s slightly less attractive sister. Beautiful in her own right but often standing in the shadow of her more popular and often written about sibling. Who could blame us? Time travel is , hypothetically, one hell of a trip.
I’d love, for example, to go back to the very first time a boy kissed me. I was 5, it was the end of playtime and I was sitting on a desk dreamily swinging my legs and thinking about nothing in particular. Suddenly, out of nowhere comes a shy and quiet dark-haired boy who quickly pecked me on the lips and took a tentative step back in expectation. I looked into his dark eyes, took stock of the situation, and weighted up how I felt about it. And then I punched him on the nose. To this day shy and quiet males still find me slightly intimidating, despite the fact I haven’t punched anyone in…well… months.
So, in comparison, what does teleportation offer? For every stunning sunset on an equatorial paradise there’s one barely repressed memory of Jeff Goldblum vomiting over the “guy with a beard” in “The Fly.” I don’t want my dna diddled with, not even for the hilarity value of potentially ending up with a surplus penis in a jar in my medicine cabinet.
Neither do I fancy the idea of planet-hopping a-la-Stargate. I like the Earth and find it pleasantly furnished with assorted greenery and conveniently oxygenated.
OK, so how about some outstandingly picturesque tropical island? Tempting, but no. I may be able to hop over in the blink of an eye but there’s still all those uncomfortable anti-malaria shots to think about. Not to mention big hairy-arsed spiders that want to leap at me Arachnaphobia-style and lay eggs in my eye sockets. And yes, I *am* one of those people who’s nervous around bunches of bananas for fear they’re harbouring an 8-legged assassin, and no amount of mocking will make me see it any other way.
That’s one of the reasons I love living where I do, you don’t get many scorpions knocking on your door when you live on the third floor of a block of flats. They can’t press the intercom button hard enough for starters.
Hmm, maybe somewhere cooler with a lower percentage of vindictive and life-threatening flora and fauna?
The truth is, unless I could take someone with me I wouldn’t go anywhere. The heartbreaking beauty of this planet is even more heartbreaking if you have nobody to share it with, even if all you do is both sit in silence and experience it at the same time. Unless they then take the opportunity to kiss me, ‘cos then I’m going to deck ’em.