I want an atavachron. Star Trek fans know what I mean. It's a time-travel device that people on a doomed planet used to escape into the past. They picked out a favorite period in history, set the machine, stepped across the threshold and whoosh! Gone.
What I want, though, is a slightly different model atavachron. Instead of just fleeing backward in time, I think it would be much more satisfying to materialize inside classic television commercials from the 1960s and '70s.
I've been ruminating on the idea quite a lot recently. There are some days when I feel totally fed up with modern society, and the idea of stepping off this planet and landing in a pleasant, low-stress alternative universe is extremely compelling.
My destination of choice is a modest dining room in a tidy suburban home. I'm sinking my teeth into a warm muffin and as I savor the first bite there's a trumpeting sound--Tot-ta-ta-DAAAA! And then a large crown instantly appears on my head.
Yes, I'm talking about those iconic TV ads for Imperial margarine. That's where I want to go if the chance for a science fiction leave-it-all behind escape ever pops into my life. I'm sure there'd be room for an extra chair at the table. I'd probably be welcomed as another member of the family.
Ever wonder what characters on commercials do after the spot ends? I think they just stop talking and go to sleep until the spot goes on the air again. So my Imperial scenario would be a predictable pattern of noshing and napping. Let's do quick comparison here: I'm talking about turning my back on serious real world issues like North Korea, bird flu, global warming, federal sending and Dancing With The Stars in favor of a fantasy life centered on muffins, margarine, TOT-ta-ta-DAAA and magically appearing crowns.
I think I could get used to it. And who knows-- I might peek out the front door sometime and see the Doublemint Twins sunbathing on the lawn across the street.
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