“What do we want?”
“A Time Machine!”
“When do we want it?”
It’s one of of those things kids get obsessed with, for about 10 minutes when they’re 11! What would you do if you had a Time Machine?
Here are some of the things I distinctly remember saying at that age:
“I’d go and see the dinosaurs, but I wouldn’t let them eat me. Or if they did eat me, I’d go back in time so they didn’t.”
Good bit of 11-year-old logic there.
“I’d get all the numbers for the lottery and give them to myself in the future. Then I’d be a millionaire.”
This would work, if you gave the numbers to yourself in the past.
“I’d go far into the future and see what I look like when I’m old.”
Not a terrible idea – I suppose I’d look much as I do now.
The thing is, since becoming a parent, these more exotic uses of a Time Machine have dropped off my list. I’ve become far more prosaic in my desires – time travel-wise.
Today, if given a time machine, I’d say the following:
“I’d go back to last night and go to sleep again.
Then I’d wake up and go back to last night to sleep again.
Then I’d wake up and go back to last night and sleep again.
I’d do this until the end of time.”
To be clear, I’m being perfectly serious.
Time travel to see mysterious beasts of the past or the weird cultures of the future is all very well – but barely register against using the machine to get some sleep.
My levels of tiredness, with a two-and-a-half-year-old who is hugely active during the day and prone to screaming at random during the night, have reached critical levels. Some days I get into bed and will myself not to sleep, just so I can enjoy the feeling of being horizontal. I find as soon as I close my eyes it’s morning again and the Groundhog Day has already begun.
So, as Christmastime arrives, my request is simple.
Can everyone in science please stop for a moment?
Good, I have you attention.
Please stop genetically modifying socks. Place hovering ironing boards on pause. Announce a freeze-dried water hiatus. What I want is from you lot is to figure out how we can travel through time. And please, do it quickly!
Once you have your time travel tech, get it over to me.
Don’t worry it doesn’t have to fit in a Delorean! Shove it in the back of an old Vauxhall Corsa, I don’t care! Just send it my way.
You may be wondering, as the father of a time hungry two-year-old, where I got the time to write this?
Has the Time Machine arrived already?
Did it come next week?
All I can say is…
Where we’re going, we don’t need naps!”