Time Travel with a Chance of Meatballs

Have you seen this commercial? Some guy wants the newest version of his cell phone so he builds a time machine to go forward in time to when the contract on his current phone expires and he can upgrade. It’s not important what they are selling (well, it probably is to the company that paid for its production and air time but not to me). What is memorable about it is the end of the commercial. The time machine dings, the neighbor dude says “What’s that?” and the time traveler replies, “Just my lunch. Leftovers from tomorrow’s dinner.”

That really stuck with me. I can’t explain it but I like the idea. Imagine if we really did have time travel. What would you do? Where, or when, would you go – to some past historic event, perhaps the defining moment in mankind’s history? Ok, when would that be? Is there really some single event that created the essence of who we are today? Maybe you want to go forward in time to a not yet occurred event. But if it hasn’t yet occurred how do you know you want to go there, or then? Nope, I think regardless of how sophisticated we want to think we are our needs are pretty uncomplicated.  Food, shelter, sex. And the greatest of these is food.

It was just yesterday that I was thinking I needed lunch. Badly. I was hungry and I didn’t have anything to make a light meal with. I could have put a sandwich together but I wasn’t in a sandwich mood. I could have made a wrap but that’s just a sandwich that knows somebody. I could have had yogurt but why. What I really wanted was some spaghetti and meatballs. As luck would have it, that was the plan for today’s dinner and I was well aware of it at the time.

Think of the possibilities. Some big problem with leftovers is storing them (my fridge is always too full and by the time the next day comes around I’ve forgotten most of what’s In there), heating them (microwaves turn everything gummy, ovens take forever, and stovetops create as big a mess to clean up as the first time around), and eating them (face it, except for chili, nothing is better after sitting around for a day). Had I had a time machine I could have zipped from yesterday to today and put together a leftover plate, travelled back to yesterday and had the lunch I wanted. There’d be no storage issue, it would have still been hot so no heating would be necessary, and it would have tasted fresh since it is, was(?), will be(?). A bonus is there would be no waste. Nothing to sit around in the refrigerator, forgotten until the day before garbage pick-up day.

Yep, if I were to get my hands on a time machine I could solve the leftover problems of the world. It’s a great thing that commercial. I have no idea what they were trying to sell but they unintentionally sold me on spending some time inventing practical time travel. Gotta run. Today’s meatballs are calling. I hope I remember them tomorrow.

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?

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