I would love to have a Way Back Machine – one like the WABAC, a computer/time machine introduced by Mister Peabody, the animated dog genius on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. As you recall – if you are an aging Baby Boomer and have not yet lost memory function – Peabody and his pet boy, Sherman, would use the WABAC to take jaunts through history. I especially liked the bad puns that closed each Peabody’s Improbable History cartoon segment.
I am sure that I could put my Way Back Machine to good use. For instance, the other day I said to my traveling companion that, while I appreciated her willingness to share the driving, I would rather drive the entire 367-mile trip than to put my life in the hands of one who a) didn’t pay attention to the road and b) couldn’t see the road if she tried. Set the Way Back a few minutes and my reply could have been, “Thanks so much for the sweet offer, but I prefer driving to riding. [Smile]”
With a Way Back Machine, when things didn’t happen the “right” way, I could go back in time and –– just like Peabody –– use my great intellect to “fix” whatever problem I might have caused. In my wonderful world of Way Back, pizzas and roasts would never be burned, red lights never run, bad hair days nonexistant, half-baked ideas never attempted and foolish mistakes never made. How very convenient!
Speaking of foolish mistakes… well, I’ve made a few. There are also life events fully outside of my control that I might change. Using the switches, knobs, buttons, dials, handles and levers I could set the Way Back and end up with a svelte figure, doctorate degree and a nice fat trust fund. And while I’m at it, why not become a cowboy, sail around the world or learn to play the concertina?
There are some things in the past that I would never want to change, but would like to revisit: the day I adopted my beloved dog Bebe and the day my daughter was born and 26 years later, the day my grandson was brought into this world. I would never want to change a thing about my dearest friends and cherished family. I would like to be there again when my boat Pyxis was delivered to our home port and the time Sally and I saw a big buck swimming –– only his head and mighty rack visible above the narrow creek where we were anchored on the Black Warrior River. I would love to meet Sally for the first time –– again and again!
On a humanitarian note, the Way Back could bring together a few people of great wisdom from every generation since the origin of life for a discussion of why power takes precedence over peacefulness and how they think that might be reversed. The Way Back could serve to transform corrupt dictators, find cures for cancer and AIDS, predict natural disasters in time to help people escape, and teach people to profoundly love and trust one another. I realize that is a great deal to expect from a mere time machine. But, as they say, “Where’s there’s a will, there’s a way back machine.” And with that bad pun, until the next post, adieu.