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McGan's Meditations
Exploring Time Travel

Michael ponders time travel... and gets his trousers in a twist*

Travelling into the future would be cool, right? It could probably be done, we are told by scientists, if we could attain the speed of light. One hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second. So what's the big deal? Let's pretend that you could run a hundred meters in ten seconds. Where would that get you? One hundred meters down the road, ten seconds into what was the future, and now you're limping. What you need is a space ship, one that can travel at the speed of light.

Once at the speed of light time stands still for you. But back on Earth, your kids have joined senior groups, the IRS is looking for you and your back taxes, and lastly, NASA closes down due to budget cuts so landing could be a problem. But hey, you are into the future, man! You want to go back. But how?

Scientists tell us that the only way to go backward in time is through a worm hole. Not the ones out in your backyard, so don't go greasing yourself up or anything, unless you're into that sort of thing. Whatever. These worm holes are hypothetical shortcuts that connect two distant points in the universe. (Are there any hypothetical rest stops where you could maybe get a burger and let your dog take a wiz?) A corridor where we could travel hundreds of light years in a matter of seconds. This would make it pretty tricky getting back to the exact time you left..

Back into the past. You would have to be really careful because anything you would say or do could change the course of history for everyone. Say your grandfather was a shoe salesman. You decide to drop into his shop, and you're wearing your space boots. He is amazed by them and asks to try them on. He starts jumping around and trips, stumbling out the door and knocking down a very attractive woman, who is not your grandmother. He apologizes, she accepts, and they make a dinner date. Now look what you've done. You've got to nip this in the bud before something comes of it or you might not exist! What do you do now? You've got to get the sidewalk babe out of town. Maybe a telegram:

You have inherited a million dollars from your uncle Preston in Philadelphia. But in order to be eligible for this inheritance, you must not be involved with a man. Also, you must come at once. Get a room at the Holiday Inn and wait until we contact you. Barnes, Barnes, and Burns

So you get that all straightened out and you're walking down the street, when suddenly, you're run over by a milk wagon and killed. Now you're pretty much dead all the way around until your mother has you again, or for the first time actually. I don't know... Do you have a headache yet? I do..

*Trousers[1] of Time... it's another theory altogether, but one with great pockets :)
[1] Pants to Americans.

Michael McGan - 12th December 2006

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