Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 30: Donatello Builds a Time Machine

**WARNING: This blog may contain spoilers for a movie that came out in 1985. If you haven't seen Back to the Future you have bigger problems than spoilers.**

We're starting to get our "stupid" movies from Netflix. The other night we watched BrĂ¼no and Hot Tub Time Machine. If I'm being totally honest I liked Hot Tub Time Machine, because they knew exactly what kind of movie they were making when they decided to call it Hot Tub Time Machine. The movie was summed up perfectly with Craig Robinson's epic delivery of the titular line, "It must be some kind of... hot tub time machine," complete with a deadpan look straight into the camera to punctuate this ridiculous sentence. The message is pretty clear: This movie is as stupid as it sounds and we all know it; don't think too hard about it.

"Essentially," I told my wife, "this is a newer, dirtier retelling of Back to the Future." Even though I really only said it because Back to the Future is one of her favorite movies I feel it's a pretty accurate assessment. The only problem is I had to convince myself not to take it as seriously as I take Back to the Future. Which brings me to one of my favorite plot lines (or miracle plot devices) to discuss and endlessly tear apart: time travel.

Time travel is an interesting concept to consider, even if some scientists are more convinced than ever that it's not possible. Or maybe more interesting is the idea of the consequences of time travel. In Back to the Future Marty comes back to good ol' 1985 to discover his family is rich and successful and that the bully/attempted rapist, Biff, is now little more than a man servant to the McFly's. That sounds great, but to me it's not a happy ending. Marty is now stuck in a different world than the one he left with a different family he has no memories of. My wife says that he will eventual begin to gain those memories as if he lived those experiences, but I think she's wrong and has obviously never traveled back in time. At least I have the support of a article to back me up. What does she have? Female intuition? Yeah, see if that saves you when you're being chased by future-thugs through 2015 on a hoverboard and you decide to take a shortcut across a pond. Cause it won't. You'll be stuck. Dumb.

I won't go into a full philosophical discussion about time travel and it's repercussions on this blog because I could go on for hours and what does that have to do with Ninja Turtles anyway? The point of all this is: Look! I drew Donatello making a time machine, because if anyone can do it he can! In the picture he's working on the Flux Capicitor and getting it ready to install in the vehicle, because that's what makes time travel possible.

I put a lot of thought into what kind of time machine he might build, or more specifically what he might turn into a time machine. Evidence shows that for some reason phone booth-shaped objects are a popular choice for morons (Bill & Ted) and the British (Dr. Who), but I like the vehicle-as-time-machine idea. Traveling through time is a crazy risky business so mobility is smart, but versatility is key. Doc Brown was displaying hubris when he decided to build a time machine out of a DeLorean. While it may look cool it didn't last five minutes in the old west forced to drive on rough terrain and feathered with Native American arrows. Let's face it, today's time traveler can't be bothered with a time machine fueled by cocaine and 80's nostalgia. We need something more practical.

Deciding on a proper time travel vehicle is actually a lot like deciding the best means of transportation in a zombie apocalypse. I had two main thoughts when deciding on a vehicle. My choice was dependent on deciding whether a human (or man-turtle) could travel through time without protection, or whether it was necessary for them to be contained inside something in order to withstand the forces present in a wormhole. If protection from the wormhole elements isn't needed I would have gone with some sort of motocross bike. They're light (compared to cars), extremely versatile and can easily be tuned to quickly reach speeds of 88 miles per hour (just in case). But in the more likely event that we will need some buffer between us and a passage in the space/time continuum I decided the best (and most fun) decision is a Bowler Nemesis. My only real reason for picking this over the long list of other off road vehicles is because I saw Richard Hammond drive a previous generation Bowler off road racing vehicle on an episode of Top Gear and it looked like this thing could handle just about anything. Of course it had to be repainted with an appropriate Donatello color-scheme.

I'm aware that it would be dangerous traveling into the past where fuel may not be readily available and conditions still may not allow for easy movement which is why I would suggest the first trip through time be to the year 2015 where Donatello can have a flight kit upgrade and Mr. Fusion installed.

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