I Am A (Selfish) Time Traveler

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

-Carl Sagan, Universe A26, 1982ish

Aw hell, I can’t even keep track anymore


From “The Owl”, the Journal of Marty Beckett

The following is an breakdown of paraphrased responses from 100 strangers when I asked, “What would you do if you had a Time Machine?”

31 “What?” & “What the hell are you talking about?”

23 “I would talk to myself. The younger me. I’d say, ‘_____, don’t do that thing you’re about to do.’”

14 “Money. Just have a ridiculous amount of money. Google IPO, silly bands, invent everything.” (unimaginative, but probably doable)

12 “Oh my God! It’s so awesome that you just said that!” (all from kinda pretty women, pale, glasses. Swoon, right? Author’s note: Try out this line more often.)

8 “Can I use it more than once?”

“Oh, yes. You can go absolutely nuts with it.”

“Will I get in trouble?”

“Jean-Claude Van Damme will not show up and arrest you.”


“No, you will not get in trouble. But you might get lost.”

6 “Does the universe disappear when I bump into my younger self?”

“Kinda-sorta. But you’ll be OK.”

4 “I would like to see history. Lincoln, Magna Carta, Napoleon.” (yawn)

1 “Rape.” (Jesus!)

1 “Go straight to the future.”

“And do what?”

“Just live there. That’s where I want to live. There’s better stuff in the future. Like, look at it in reverse, right? There’s a King in 1200 A.D. and he’s got no antibiotics, no air conditioner, no TV. Instead, he’s got this fucking wizard, his dank-ass castle, and a series of jesters. Jesters instead of youtube. And these jesters, they juggle and do cartwheels– they’re doing the best they can. Best case scenario– one of them shows up on a unicycle one day and blows everyone’s friggin’ mind. I don’t know, did they have unicycles back then?”


“Fine. A ball. A ball that bounces is just bonkers to these people. It’s like they’re watching The Matrix for the first time. Lords and Ladies are passing out. Sorcerers wanna set this demon-jester ablaze. And the King digs it. You can tell because he’s got this disgusted look on his face, like, always. Here’s a guy who can see any tits, any time, for his entire life. Limitless booze and chickens. Girls who go anal. Girls who go fucking nostril. I’m talking about hedonism out the ass. And that’s the problem. But with this ball, the King is engaged, awed, transported. A whole new world. He is Princess Jasmine on a magic carpet ride. But the best jester is still worse than the worst show on TV. What’s the worst show on TV?”

Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I think I have to buy you a drink or cocaine at this point.”

“Designated driver. You can buy me nachos. But do you get me? Ball is to youtube as youtube is to Question Mark. As Question Mark is to totally unfathomable comfort. And so on. Can you imagine the great stuff in a hundred years? In a thousand years? That’s where I would go. I think about it all the time. I think about time travel all the time.”

This is how I met Edgar. -X