Like many people, I get a number of free products to review. Sadly, that number is zero, so when I decided I wanted to try the Acme Chrono-Jump Personal Time Travel Device, I knew I’d have to buy one myself.
When the Chrono-Jump arrived (a year and a half ago or last Tuesday, depending on how you count), I did all the things you’d expect: I dropped in on famous historic events, took a peek at what’s in store for the future (I won’t reveal any specifics, but you might want to stock up on those little plastic thingies they put in pizza boxes to keep the cheese from getting stuck to the lid), and even tried to change a few things from my past. Each trip sent me into a nightmarish spiral of attempts to correct whatever horrible mistake I’d made the previous time around, more or less like every time-travel story you’ve ever read or seen on TV. (Are butterflies attracted to time machines, or what? I’ve never stepped on one while living in the present, but for some reason they’re always getting underfoot in the past). So I got a little burned out.
I was going to write a negative review and take it back to the store, but the warranty had expired, so I decided to look for smaller-scale, safer, more practical applications. I’m glad I did. Here are some of the things I use my time machine for today:
1. Any time I forget something, I just pop back in time, call my younger self on the phone and ask where I parked my car, or when I last saw my next-door neighbor alive, or whatever else it is I’ve forgotten. The only problem might be that it can be a little annoying; any time I sign up for a new website, for example, five or six older versions of me show up asking for the password. Also, sometimes I forget how long it’s been since I remembered the thing I’ve forgotten.
2. I use it to make better choices at restaurants. I just wait until all the entrees have arrived and then go back in time and order the one that looks best. I am, of course, very careful to always order last, so that people who know what I’m doing don’t copy my order and create one of those annoying time paradoxes.
3. I hooked the time machine into my alarm clock, so now instead of a snooze button, I have a “go back four hours and get more sleep” button. It’s amazing.
4. Before I had the Chrono-Jump, if I wanted a baked potato, I’d have to either wait an hour for it to cook, or microwave it and deal with that awful microwaved-potato skin, or try to figure out one of those hybrid oven / microwave potato-cooking recipes. But now I’ve hooked the time machine into my oven, so I can just put the potato in and set the timer to start cooking an hour ago.
So there you have it. I wouldn’t recommend the Chrono-Jump to someone who’s looking to have adventures or change their past, but it’s the best alarm clock I’ve ever had. Four stars out of five.