Out Of Time

Time travel was always possible. It just took some lateral thinking to make it a reality. It had nothing to do with wormholes, or giant spinning tubes, or even drug mule cars with flashing lights between the seats.

I wish I could explain the breakthrough, but I never really paid attention in school, and I only have some many Time Miles to spend each year, so I don’t want to waste them on revisiting those lessons.

All it took was someone with a profit motive. And an accident involving a Hyperloop and some jam. Yes, I know, that sounds silly, but there you have it.

So here we are. Time tourists, jumping back through the years to sit quietly inside someone else’s head and watch history unfold right before someone else’s eyes. Some people keep visiting the same period, over and over again, wanting to see a famous battle, a famous speech, a famous musical performance, or a famous sexual coupling. I don’t see the point. If you’ve done it once, what’s the point in doing it again?

I try to avoid the tourist traps. I don’t want to see the Gettysburg Address. I’ve seen The Beatles at Shea on TV, and explosions scare me. So I stay off the beaten track. I go places other people don’t care about. Sometimes, I just pick a random date, and a random person, and pop back to spend a day with them.

Maybe Joe Hawthorne, of Hope, Indiana, on May 12th 1972. Then maybe the same day again, this time from Geraldine, this wife’s perspective.

They never know you’re there. We did all the ethics in school, but as a society, we decided it was okay because it was something we all wanted to do. If we needed to learn lessons from the past, we could. First hand, so to speak.

It is, of course, tempting, when you’re in someone’s head, to tinker a bit. Whisper a thought and see what happens. That’s strictly verboten of course, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do it, every now and again, for a laugh.

My favourite jape is to whisper ‘your boss doesn’t like you’, or maybe ‘you’re a failure and a waste of space’.

It’s funny to me, is all.

Also, when I hear those same sort of thoughts in my head now, I just wonder who is visiting, and then try and give them a show.

, ,
Buy My Books
  • Proctology: A Bottom Examination
    Proctology: A Bottom Examination

    For a long time now I’ve been wanting to write an old-fashioned programme guide. One you can hold in your hand and thumb through, make notes on, spill coffee on. So I did. Proctology: A Bottom Examination is my deep dive into Bottom, the hit BBC Two sitcom starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson. That’s…

Most Read
  • Re-Casting Keanu
    Re-Casting Keanu

    Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him eight years older than Clive Dunn was when he was first cast in Dad’s Army. But don’t panic, Clive Dunn was always playing much older characters than his own age. Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him seven years older than Stephanie Cole was when she was first…

From The Archive

Sign up for my FREE newsletter