Writer's Island, Sunday Scribblings - Time Travel - 2/18/08 - 2/29/08


I thought a lot about this prompt and there were so many possibilities as to boggle my already cluttered mind. I could go forward and find out where we are going and come back and scare the crap out of everyone and probably win some Nobel Prizes. I could go back and change history. I could tell Lincoln, the Kennedys, and Martin Luther King to duck. I could push Yoko Ono in front of John Lennon and let her take some for mankind. I could create a diversion to cause air traffic in the northeast to be suspended on the morning of September 11, 2001. I could be selfish and go back and bet sporting events, pick lottery numbers, or buy worthless, desert land that later becomes Las Vegas. I could bankroll Bill Gates.

Then I considered the Prime Directive. If any of you were Star Trek fans, the crew of the Enterprise was were never supposed to interfere with cultures or alter history. It is more complicated than that, but that is it in a nutshell.

That was also a no-no according to Doc Brown in Back to the Future.

The premise is that by affecting one outcome, you affect many, many more. For example, if I prevented Pearl Harbor from happening, somebody important to mankind may not have been born after VJ day festivities.

Then there are those that believe that history is inevitable. For instance, if I went back killed an infant Hitler, someone else would have ascended to power in a 1939 Germany that was ripe for a dictator.

And if I went back and slapped the apple out of Eve’s hand, the human race would have found other ways to sin and defy God. We are good like that.

With all those things in mind, I elected to limit myself to one visit back in time. One single place and time in which to beam myself within all of history. After careful consideration, I came to one conclusion. I would journey back to northern Idaho in the late 1960’s. I would be in a little boat on Rose Lake fishing for crappie and bass with my dad. I didn’t do nearly enough of that as a teenager. I enjoyed that more than anything as a child,

but as I grew up I became busy with other things and forgot what was most important to me. Maybe we would catch fish and maybe not. But I would get to know him and he would get to know me. And there is no better place to do that than a little boat on a tiny lake in Kootenai County.

So the Titanic is going to hit the berg, Chernobyl is going to melt down, and Chicago is going to burn to the ground. Dictators are going to oppress, assassins are going to murder, and governments are going to continue to make mistakes. I am going to attend to my little part of the world and let someone else drive the DeLorean.