Ask Dayton 86 - The Guardian of Forever
If you could use the Guardian of Forever to visit any time frame and interact with a person of the time, what era would it be, who would you want to meet and why?
Since before your little weekly internet radio show burned hot in space, I have awaited this question.
Okay, not really.
So, here we are, faced with the classic question of what to do should the gift of time travel be bestowed upon thee. What to do, what to do? Leap ahead a few decades, get a lead on sports scores, stock market info, key medical and scientific advances, and maybe some juicy celebrity gossip before coming back to the present and exploiting all of that future knowledge for monetary gain?
Sure, that sort of thing’s cool, I suppose. That is, if you’re a money-grubbing whore, I mean.
Wait. I am a money-grubbing whore! Um, see you when I get back.
Who would I want to meet? Wow, that’s got to be a pretty long list. Abraham Lincoln. Gene Roddenberry. Albert Einstein. Neil Armstrong. Douglas Adams. H.G. Wells. Octavia Butler. Richard Matheson. Larry Gelbart. Leslie E. Banks. I could keep naming names all day.
Where else might I go? Would I go back in time and alter some major historical event? You know, like advising Captain John Smith to maybe just steer that brand-spankin’ new Titanic a wee bit farther south? Also, getting him to tell Bruce Ismay to put a cork in his suck hole might not be out of line, and that they’re going to slow the fuck down. New York will still be even if it takes an extra day to get there, right?
Another well-worn question revolves jumping back and killing Hitler. Would I kill him while he was still a kid? Of course not, but I’d wait right up to the moment where he’s about to give the order which would result in the first death of an innocent, and put a bullet through that shitty little lint catcher below his nose.
Maybe I could go back and warn NASA to keep the hatch open on the Apollo 1 capsule, or warn them about the cheap-assed O-rings on the Challenger solid rocket boosters, or the Columbia’s damaged heat tiles.
“But, Dayton,” I can hear someone calling out from the audience, “aren’t you worried about disrupting the time stream when you alter major historical events? You know, that whole Butterfly Effect and shit like that?” Okay, the guy in the cheap seats has a valid point. Perhaps going back and avoiding a tragedy would end up doing more harm than good. So, maybe my temporal tampering needs to be more localized; you know, just little things here and there which we know will end up making things better for all involved.
For example, I’d like to go back and have a talk with whoever was responsible for deciding that it’d be a great idea for a cable channel devoted to music to never actually show anything pertaining to music. Same with whoever opted to remove all the decent quality science fiction programming from the network devoted to science fiction. While I’m at it, I wouldn’t mind having a chat with whoever helped to bring Justin Bieber, Snookie, Paris Hilton, Sarah Palin and Kanye West into the public spotlight, because WHAT THE FUCK, WORLD?
I’d like to go back and wave Lee Majors off that whole mustache thing for the fourth season of The Six Million Dollar Man.
I’d probably travel back to the early to mid 1980s, and convince the girl who one day would be my girlfriend and later my wife to keep playing the violin, so that one day she might be good enough to be a part of the string section backing up Rush on their recently concluded Clockwork Angels concert tour. That way, I’d be able to say I get to sleep with a concert violinist. Of course, with my luck she’d probably end up dating and marrying a musician, so maybe I should rethink that idea.
But number one on my list of things to fix were I to be gifted with access to the Guardian of Forever? I’d journey back and smack myself in the nut sack with a bat before I could respond to the question posed to me in the late summer of 2011: “Hey, Dayton, we’ve got this great idea. How about we send you a question every week, and………………..?”