As I sit at my desk hankering for the summer to return, it may or may not be a coincidence that I’ve picked two stories about time machines this month …
Alun Strange was in a good mood. The hideous harridan who’d been badgering him unmercifully from her pungent cubicle next door was retiring.
Working for MI6 wasn’t all peas and carrots. Alun was a bureaucrat, a rubber stamper, somewhere in the middle of everything. Whilst not a field agent, he had picked up a few tricks along the way. He knew, for example, how to adjust a clock-radio so it would gain one minute every day for its entire lifetime.
“Best of luck, Myrna,” he smiled as he handed the going away gift to her. He turned away neither expecting, nor receiving, an answer.
George woke up with an idea, better than that, a plan! He leapt out of bed and made a note of the exact date and time, then went downstairs just as an envelope dropped through the letter box. ‘To George – deliver by hand’, nice touch he thought.
He opened the envelope and found several handwritten pages beginning… ‘To Make a Time Machine (Instructions)’; he recognised the handwriting. After reading through, George got on the internet and started ordering; parts listed in the instructions, a beginner’s guide to electronics and a new soldering iron.
Slowly over the next twenty-six months, George built his time machine, learning new skills as he went. Eventually it was ready. He carefully wrote out a few pages by hand, put them in an envelope and wrote on it ‘To George – deliver by hand’.
Finally, he set the controls to the date and time that he had written down twenty-six months earlier so that he could post the envelope. The rest, as they say, will be history.