Now look, I’m not gonna lie to you, this time machine right here has its limitations. No, you’re not going to be able to prevent the greatest atrocities of the past, present and future, but don’t let that stop you from going on a marginally fascinating journey through the world of low-stakes time travel. Step right in to rewrite history as the Low-Stakes Time Machine sees fit!
But before you do, a couple ground rules.
You can’t go back in time to kill Hitler, but you can go back in time to start your watercolor hobby earlier so you’d be at a more intermediate level now.
You can’t prevent 9/11, but you can prevent eating an undercooked enchilada on your way to visit the 9/11 Memorial.
You can’t retrieve the Covid-19 vaccine from the future, but you can relive that Smashmouth concert you went to maskless.
You can’t go back in time to keep Mark Zuckerberg from inventing Facebook, but you can stop yourself from accidentally liking a 2015 picture of your therapist at 3 AM the night before your session.
You can’t save JFK, but you can be one of the people waving as the motorcade goes by.
You can’t keep the Northern White Rhino from going extinct, but I suppose you could go back and delete whatever app you found out about it on.
You can’t stop the creation of the fast-food industry and the decades of havoc it will subsequently wreak on the environment, but you can go back and experience that sweet, sweet chicken enchilada you finished a minute ago.
You can’t prevent the takeover of artificial intelligence and total enslavement of the human race in a post-apocalyptic future, but you can go back and set your phone to dark mode to improve your overall battery life.
No, you can’t meet Jesus.
You can’t go back and experience Woodstock in 1969, but you can keep your Tidal subscription from auto-renewing five years in a row.
You can’t live out the plot of Yesterday by going back in time and pretending you wrote all of the Beatles songs, but you could save the $15 you spent to rent Yesterday before realizing it’s on the HBO Max account you’re already stealing from your cousin Leonard.
You can’t talk the founding fathers out of the second amendment, but you can stand in the corner of the room with your arms folded in disapproval.
You can’t evacuate Chernobyl before the nuclear meltdown, but you can set the microwave to 45 seconds instead of 30 so that enchilada’s a little more warm for ya.
You can’t go back in time to stop yourself from getting your hair permed, but you can go back to stop yourself from going through a Kangol hat phase.
You can’t undo that ignorant thing you just said, but you can go back and say it with less confidence.
You can’t travel to the distant future when a more high stakes time machine is invented, but you can travel to the near future when Christopher Nolan inevitably releases another time travel movie.