Time Flies Backwards, Like a Fruit Fly Avoiding a Banana

The Persistence of Memory by Salvadore Dali
Don't forget to check your smoke-detector batteries, especially if you live in an area where the weather is clock-meltingly hot.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Daylight Saving Time lately. Every year, I get the opportunity to travel back in time and relive an hour of my life, and every year, I squander it. I usually just sleep through the hour and then go back and sleep through it again — I might have slightly better dreams the second time around, but that’s hardly the kind of life-altering experience usually associated with time travel.

This year is going to be different. This time, I’m going to go back and change something. I just haven’t decided what yet.

The problem, of course, is scheduling. There are lots of things I’ve done in the past that I’d like to undo, or do differently, but it’s too late for them — I’ll only be able to go back that one hour, to 1:00 am on Sunday, November 6, 2011. If I’m going to make this time travel journey count, I need to plan to do something during that hour that has the potential to be either amazing or a huge mistake — and I’ll need to know which it is immediately, since I’ll only have an hour to decide whether I want to do something different the second time around.

Here are some options I’m considering:

1. Dye my hair a radically different color. This one is tricky, because there’s no possible way it will turn out well if I try to do it myself, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to get a salon appointment for 1:00 am.

2. Watch a TV show I’m not sure I’ll like. If it turns out to be really awful, and I find myself saying “I wish I could have that hour of my life back,” I’ll get my wish!

3. Try fugu. The logistics are a little complicated — I need to find a restaurant that will accept a 1:00 am reservation, and I need to time it so that if I eat a tainted piece of fish, I’ll be sick enough by 2:00 that I know I shouldn’t have eaten it, but not so sick that I’m already dead.

If you’re turning back your clocks this weekend, I invite you to join me in doing something experimental during your trip back in time. Just don’t kill your grandfather. It won’t cause a time-travel paradox, but it’s illegal in most jurisdictions and really isn’t a nice thing to do.