Sunday, August 23

#34 - self help

Your neighborhood is home to an eccentric inventor, with whom you have struck up a recent acquaintance. The inventor will occasionally mention some current projects and you have been extended an invitation to view the latest, the "backwards telegraph" in which messages can be sent backwards through time.

You are somewhat skeptical, but think the whole thing harmless at worst. The day of your visit arrives and you head over to your neighbor's house. You ring the doorbell and a half-minute later are hastily greeted and rushed downstairs into the basement workshop. There is a lot of flashing and whirring.

The inventor explains that there was a malfunction during the initial testing of the device. It is operational, but will likely remain so for only a minute or two longer, at which point it may be impossible to even repair (the inventor thinks the malfunction is inherent to the gadget's design). You are invited to use the device if you wish, and you may never have the chance again.

In short, the telegraph machine is set up to send a telegram to a past version of the user. You see from the machine's settings that this message will be sent to your 10-year-old self. You have time to put together one or two sentences worth of advice or information. The telegram will show up in the mailbox you used when you were 10. You have no idea how this works, but there really isn't time for an in-depth Q&A session.

The inventor does warn you, stating hurriedly that any large scale changes that your advice might effect (things like stock investments, for example) will manifest themselves once you have awaken the next morning. Depending on what you say in the telegram, you may awake tomorrow morning wealthy, handicapped, or in another country. The possibilities are endless and difficult to predict, so caution is advised. Also, if not explicitly noted, your younger self will have no way of knowing who sent the message.

What message, if any, do you send via telegram to your 10-year-old self?


Chris said...

"Don't get a perm."

I got my hair permed twice in 7th and 8th grade. I was the thing to do at the time, but it looked awful. While it didn't cause me any strife at the time, looking back at pictures just makes me cringe.

I wouldn't want to send a message that would make a drastic impact on my current life, and I think this fits the bill.

Matt said...

I don't think I would want a huge change either, and I wouldn't want 10 year old Matthew to know that I was the one sending the telegram.

I might want to say something concise along the lines of not worrying too much about the day to day troubles of one's pre-college years, that the social challenges in middle school don't end up amounting to too much.

Or maybe something about taking risks, cause I've always been a more cautious person.

Would my 10 year old self be affected by a vague, anonymous telegram? Not sure, but I guess I would try.

Holly said...

Hmmm...if my self at that age would actually listen, I'd probably tell it to be nicer to my brothers...and maybe my mom, too. Pre-teen/teen girls can be just plain nasty.