Felix: Okay… Here’s one. If you could travel through time and space, to be anywhere in the world, at any point in history, where and when would you go?
Ian: Good question.
Felix: And you will of course have to elaborate on your answer.
Ian: Okay. The start of the universe.
Felix: Uhh… Why?
Ian: See the big ka-boom-boom.
Felix: How… But if you go back to before there was a universe; where would you be existing?
Ian: Well, I’d just pop over to see it, and then pop back.
Felix: But you’d die…
Ian: Not if I was in the Tardis from Doctor Who.
Felix: Okay… So… Saying that you’re not in the Tardis, how do you survive being in the Big Bang? And why as well, because you wouldn’t really see anything. It would just be this blinding explosion.
Ian: It’s ‘at birth of creation, in’t it?
Felix: Well, yeah… But you’re not literally seeing the ‘birth of creation‘, that happened millions of years later.
Ian: Well, you’re experiencing something that’s nobody else can experience…
Felix: Well yeah, but… You’re just going to see a flash of light and that’s pretty much it before you’re seared to pieces. Not counting the fact that you wouldn’t be able to breath in the first place.
Ian: … … Space suits? By the time… By the…
Felix: Would be ripped to shreds by the enormity of the Big Bang.
Ian: Well certain things survived, unless you adapt to the conditions, I don’t know.
Felix: No, nothing survived. It was the start.
Ian: Well, start… End… Beginning. Least you get a good… Kick out of it.
Felix: But you don’t, you won’t see anything. There’s no light before it. It would just be the creation of light.
Ian: You’d just say “Wooaah, bang-oh-shit!”
Felix: Bang-oh-shit? But don’t you get that you won’t see anything. It would just be… So where are you when you’re watching it? Are you far away? Somehow watching the creation of the universe, from far away? So you…
Ian: Well, to be honest, if you’re so… If you’re doing time travel… You arrive at the start of it and then you go “dink“; press a button, off you go somewhere else.
Felix: … What?
Ian: You ga… You could be right up at it that point where it goes…
Felix: Okay…
Ian: If you’re doing time travel… Make sure you got your coggels banged into your little machine, and press gah… Go. And then…
Felix: What, you mean just before it explodes?
Ian: Yeah, you just hear it go “dink“, little like, millisecond forward. “Dink“. I’m out of there.
Felix: Uh, I don’t think you’re button pressing reactions are quicker than an explosion like the Big Bang. So you want to go before the Big Bang? So essentially, you want to look at nothing… And then leave before anything happens?
Ian: Goggle it. See it. Then disappear.
Felix: Well yeah, but you – you want to go before it happens because otherwise you’d die.
Ian: If you survived it, it’d be a good kick. Be a good energy rush.
Felix: … Not really… You’re just almost watching an explosion. But I mean, where are you when this happens? Are you in, what is essentially, the universe?
Ian: Yeah…
Felix: But then…
Ian: The birth of something amazing.
Felix: But then you’re part of the explosion. You can’t watch it if you’re in it.
Ian: If you’re in it…
Felix: You can’t be on the outside of the universe.
Ian: If you’re part of it then your DNA’s splattered all around. So everywhere you go throughout the planet, it’d be your DNA.
Felix: Are you saying you want to be like some kind of god?
Ian: That’s what it’s going to turn out to be like, ain’t it?
Felix: I… I don’t… It… No comment on that. Wait so, but – but how can you watch the Big Bang if you’re in the Big Bang?
Ian: Well, you’re inside it aren’t you?
Felix: Well exactly, so you can’t watch something that you’re inside… So how are you going to watch it?
Ian: Film it an’ email it.
Felix: You what?
Ian: Film it… Then email it.
Felix: Email it to who!? This is the start of the universe! Who’s got email!?
Ian: Well, to be honest… If you can like, travel in – in the future now, then you just go back to it… You’ve always got some… Something…
Felix: We can’t travel in the future now. I mean, apart from going along the flow of time as we’re currently doing.
Ian: Yeah, you’re going forward, but there’s always some – always some whizz kid who’s going “Ahh, let’s try this!” and then it goes, yeah…
Felix: I’m… I’m pretty sure they haven’t discovered time travel yet, that’d probably be in the news. Besides, they won’t.
Ian: No such word as won’t, and no such word as can’t.
Felix: Well no, there are those words. Time travel can’t be invented until… Until it has been invented… Because no one can come back further than the invention of the time travel technology, because then it wouldn’t exist.
Ian: Errm…
Felix: Did that… Did that not stick?
Ian: No.
Felix: Okay. So…
Ian: That – that’s like a running diarrhoea on a blanket an’ then it just falls off…
Felix: Oh… Okay… Well, uh… You can’t go back in time to before you made a time machine, because the time machine then wouldn’t exist. So if they make a time machine, then they can only go back to the point from where the time machine has already been built.
Ian: Okay…
Felix: Did that mean anything to you?
Ian: Yeah, it’s getting there.
Felix: Okay.
Ian: Slowly.
Felix: So, do you want to have another chance at where you would go if, you could time travel?
Ian: Uhh… Yeah. Titanic, before it sank. Tell that barmy skipper, “Iceberg ahead. Turn right.”
Felix: “Turn right”…? Brilliant, okay. That was alright.


To probe deeper into the wondrous mind of Ian Jackson, click here for the full archive.


Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. I think you can go back to before a time machine was invented. It’s a time machine. It travels through time. That’s its entire job.

  2. I didn’t just nominate you for a Verstile Blogger award. You probably deserve one, but you become easily distracted. A snowball fight instead of cleaning the front steps?? Watch your feet! There are two cats to step on now.


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About Felix O'Shea

Felix is a guy who isn't actually a writer, but calls himself one when he wants to try to impress gullible people.


The Unusual World of Mr. Ian Jackson


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