Time Travel Survival Tips

July 28, 2008    By: Kristen J @ 10:11 pm   Category: Life

I just want ya’ll to know that this is going to be kind of a weird post so…um…it’s just going to be weird. I will divulge something about myself that I don’t think that even Geoff, my husband, knows. Well, he probably knows, whenever Geoff’s around I tend to barf out whatever thoughts are in my head. I’d just like to think I had enough dignity to keep this to myself. Until now!

Here goes… I often daydream about how I would survive if I were suddenly transported back in time. Is that as weird as I think it is? I’ve given it a lot of thought and one of the conclusions that I’ve come to is; it depends on what time period I went back to. Usually I think I would be able to hit the big time because of all the “future knowledge” roaming around in my brain.

One thing is for sure, I could never make it rich by using my vast knowledge of sports stats to bet on winning sports teams of the past, like that dude on “Back to the Future”. I know absolutely nothing about sports except that the White Sox in 1919 threw the World Series. It was the White Sox right? I suppose I could start studying and memorizing sports stats on the chance that I could be thrust back in time. Do you think it would be worth it?

Something I thought might really be worth knowing is how to make a zipper from scratch. All of these old timey folks would be spending hours buttoning or lacing themselves up, feeling nothing but resentment towards their coarse and primitive clothing. Then one day I would ride up in my covered wagon with “Behold the Wonders of the Zipper!” painted on the sides. Everyone would stumble over themselves trying to get their hands on a little bit of that zipper salvation. I’d be rich!

Ok, in reality I would probably be under suspicion for witchcraft the second I popped into town. They’d take one look at my strange jeans and my odd clothing and know that something funky was going on. Or, if I were lucky enough to steal the clothes off someone’s clothing line and eventually get myself buttoned up I would still be up a creek because of my cluelessness about the local customs.

Maybe I would get a job at the local hotel making head cheese or something. No, that wouldn’t work out either. I would show up to my first day at work in the hotel kitchens and Cookey would yell at me, “Go make the head cheese!”

I would look at Cookey with a confused look on my face and say, “Make the what?!” I probably wouldn’t last long in the kitchens, before I knew it I’d be on chamber pot duty. Eventually I’d end up as the beggar lady on the front steps of the hotel rattling my speckled camp mug at passersby shouting, “Tuppens! Tuppens!” while thinking longingly of the good ol’days of 2008.

So, what would you do to survive an unexpected trip back in time?


  1. Uhmm, I often imagine the same thing. I guess I’m weird too.

    I sometimes think: spices. Yeah, remember all those dudes who got so filthy rich by importing spices into Europe? A few trips to Costco, loading up on the cinnamon sticks and peppercorns ought to put me in financial gravy. From there, real estate!

    Comment by meems — July 28, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  2. I just have to say one word – Plastics.

    Well, actually oil. Just go back to 1890 or 1900 and take out leases in Oklahoma, Texas, California. Use them to finance a Presidential election and get yourself appointed to the cabinet, then you influence the government to gibe you a lease on the naval oil reserve or approve big military contracts for your company…

    Comment by Jay S — July 28, 2008 @ 11:44 pm

  3. I’ve thought about this too. If I even went back a 150 years I’d appear to be an idiot. I wouldn’t speak Greek or Latin so would not be considered educated. I couldn’t saddle a horse, mend a barrel, or do the most basic things a person knows. I suspect they’d think me simple and give me something easy to do like cleaning the stable, but then I’m not sure I’d know how to do that either.

    Comment by Steve — July 29, 2008 @ 6:56 am

  4. Those are some great ideas. I love the whole real estate thing. Can you imagine owning LA or Manhattan or something.

    Ok Steve, now you and I won’t have to be the idiots after all.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 29, 2008 @ 10:16 am

  5. Yeah I wouldn’t be able to bet on sports either. A hundred years ago I would try to get a job at Ford or at least buy stock in some car company. Although I probably would look stupid too not being able to do some of the basic living skills that they did back then.

    Comment by flip flop mama — July 29, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  6. I think about this quite often, but I also think about how we would all cope if we were forced to live without our technology due to a cataclysmic event. Could we develop the skills quickly enough to survive. In such an event I think I’d raid the local library for any books I could find on surviving or basic old-time skills. Depending on the event, it would be nice to find a book on butchering animals, gardening/farming, natural medicine etc. Life without the internet’s collective knowledge would be very hard.

    Comment by Steve G. — July 29, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

  7. That is a good idea about heading to the library for books and you’re right, we’ve all become kind of spoiled from the internet’s info.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 29, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  8. What about some solid understanding of science? While I might be hopeless at living in any given time period, I know I could advance them by several hundred years, easily. Even just the introduction of a printing press would have an incredible effect on history.

    That is, if I could get any of them to bother listening to a crazy old wimp who could barely slaughter his own livestock.

    Comment by Zen — July 29, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

  9. I would like to think I would seek out some great minds beofre they became famous, but I would probably become a traveling psychic making some hopefully accurate predictions and taking money for it.

    Make sure you work out before going as we know from the Terminator movies you will be naked upon arriving.

    Comment by TStevens — July 30, 2008 @ 6:05 am

  10. Oh my gosh! I didn’t even think about that. Yikes!

    I too was thinking about great minds. If I got shot back to the 70s I’d probably look up Bill Gates and become his BFF for sure.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 30, 2008 @ 9:12 am

  11. When asked what he’d do differently if he could relive his life, knowing what he now knows, my husband replied: “I’d write ‘Hey Jude.'”

    Comment by Juanita — July 31, 2008 @ 7:36 am

  12. Obstetrics. If you go back far enough, you can do significantly better at delivering babies because you wash your hands.

    Comment by Adam Greenwood — July 31, 2008 @ 11:53 am

  13. Juanita,

    I like that idea. Think about how much music you could “write” if they dumped you back in the 1800s. You would be the most prolific song writer ever.

    Comment by Jacob J — July 31, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  14. That is true about the song thing although I’d havet to hum the tune and have someone do the actual work.

    I really like the obstetrics idea. I could have been the real live person that Dr Quinn was based on.

    Maybe I could have been in one of the first Olympics that women were in and won a lot of gold medals because I could run a 10 minute mile.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 2, 2008 @ 6:54 pm

  15. Two words: transparent aluminum. :-)

    Comment by Mark N. — August 25, 2008 @ 3:48 pm