Sitting at the dinner table last night, my daughter asked, ‘If you could use a time travel machine just once, what would you do?’
We fell into silence. I have to admit I marvelled at such a wonderful question. In between slurps of spaghetti bolognese, we each pondered the possibilities.
My son spoke first. ‘I’d travel to the future and become a Jedi Knight.’ I have to admit, it didn’t even occur to me that the machine could go forwards, but of course it could. ‘Jedi Knights are awesome,’ he announced, and we had to agree with him.
‘I’d go back in time and be the only human to ride a dinosaur,’ said my daughter.
‘But what if you get eaten?’ I asked.
She threw me a look of disgust. ‘I’m going to ride a Diplodocus not a T-Rex!’
(I apologise – I couldn’t find a picture of a girl riding a Diplodocus. However, this picture does illustrate my daughter’s character rather well.)
My husband went next. He’d obviously really thought about it (not saying that my children hadn’t) but he was very time specific. ‘I’d go back to 12.20, November 22nd, 1963. In Dallas Texas.’ Then he looked around expectantly, as if we were all going to nod and say – what a good idea. Do you know what’s specific about that time and place? I didn’t until he explained that it is ten minutes before President Kennedy was assassinated.
So that left me. I thought about all the noble things I could do. Go back in time and possibly stop the rise of Hitler. Warn people about impending hurricanes. I also thought of rather greedy things like going back in time with the winning lottery numbers so I could be a millionaire. Then I decided – and my answer is rather naughty. I would go back to 1989 and write a series of books about a boy who turns out to be a wizard…
So if you could time travel, what would you do? The possibilities are endless.