The Titanic Sails Again

On the set of James Cameron’s 1997 romantic disaster film Titanic, I presented the beginnings of an alternate script I had worked up overnight. The director looked at it as if it were ridiculous, for which is was, but read it anyway:

A person from 2015 builds his own time machine and sets the date to April 12, 1912, the date of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Of course, the guy has to look the part, so he researches and looks for clothes from the early 1900s, and is dressed like a dignified Englishman in time to arrive on the dock at Southampton. He even has an authentic ticket produced to reside in first class, for which he certainly is not of, but no one would be able to prove it otherwise.

Narration from the time traveler:

It was one of the most glorious and grandest ships in the world, and in early 1912, I was aboard it. The RMS Titanic, set to embark on a voyage to America. I was to reside in the bottom dorms of the ship, known as steerage, after mistakenly having a third class ticket produced, getting on with just one suitcase and trying to not act too modern (there was a smartphone in my backpocket for taking pictures and maybe wowing the passengers later on).

While walking the deck, I met a friend named Jack Dawson who was an excellent artist. He showed me some of his paintings, including those of women he met in Paris, many of them nude. Instead of waiting for the right moment, I warned him right there that the ship was to sink on its third day. He looked at me in disbelief and laughed and said I was crazy. “What makes you think that?”, he asked. “This is the best ship in the world. It can’t sink!”

“I can assure you that this ship is not built to withstand even a mild collision,” I replied and added, “you all are ignorant of the fact that sailing out on the Atlantic Ocean into the night is as dangerous as ever with communication so far away.”

“You all know that this ship is going to sink?”, Jack later asked during his dinner with Rose and her rich royalty, frightening everyone.

“What makes you think that?”, asked Cal with skepticism. “A friend told me. He says he’s from the future.” Of course, they all looked shocked at this statement.

“From the future? And you believe him?,” Cal said, casting a sideways glance at the person seated next to him, who too couldn’t believe this, his moustache twitching nervously.

“Well, if it means saving all our lives, I would say so.” They all just shrugged and dismissed all of the foolishness Jack said during the rest of the dinner as “hogwash”.

But after notifying the crew, they promptly took my advice to prepare for the worst, even getting a call out to another ship to come to their rescue if needed.

And just as it was to happen, the look out crew spotted the deadly iceberg on the chilly night of the 15th and had enough time to maneuver the ship past it after knowing about it far in advance. They, Jack and Rose, and some of the other passengers, including first class, all looked at me in astonishment. Some thanked me graciously, some patted me on the back, some looked at me as if I was an alien from another world, even if I was dressed like them.

“Is there anything else you know about the future?”, the Captain asked. “Of course. I’m from it,” I said and then added, “You guys really need to learn about Facebook.” And with that, I pulled out my smartphone and took a selfie with me and the Captain together, who looked at the device curiously.

So now the ship has been saved and history changed:

Jack lived and went on to marry Rose in America, raising a family in a Wisconsin log cabin. Cal was thrown in prison for attempting to murder Jack, eventually committing suicide by hanging himself. The Titanic went on a second voyage back to England in 1913, not avoiding the iceberg this time, as fate was angry and sprouted up an array of iceberg blockages. The ship hit one of the blockages head on though and survived the impact, the operators taking my advice to do so. A fire eventually broke out in the boiler-room, damaging but not sinking the ship in 1914. Instead of James Cameron’s movie being about the disaster of the Titanic, it was about a time traveler who goes back to warn the passengers and does the incredible. And about a ship that is cursed and narrowly avoids disaster every time it sails.

“Okay, this sounds great and all, but I’m not producing sci-fi here,” James Cameron said to me. “Please take your script somewhere else, maybe to Joss Whedon or Steven Spielberg.”

And so I did, and way and behold, Spielberg loved it so much (I think he was drinking something) that I worked on the script some more, working it into an official full length script. The movie was produced and was officially named “Back to the Future: Part IV: Saving the Titanic”. Michael J. Fox was even so excited that he agreed to reprise his role as Marty, his illness seeming to be magically cured. Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown even suggested turning the ship into a time machine boat.

And then I woke up. All just a dream.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fourth Wall.”

You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

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I’m Still Miss Daisy

You’ve been given a key that can open one building, room, locker, or box to which you don’t normally have access. How do you use it, and why?


My life would be so much easier

if I could drive a car

and sail off into the sunset

and leave this life afar.

But sadly, that is not a reality

and I am stuck here in neutral,

unable to advance ahead

and be one with the people.

The jobs abound, out there are rich and plentiful,

while in my current position, the buffet table is very lentil.

Creativity unleashed, new places to explore.

I could do it all

if that key would open the door.

PTDC0416
The car sits idle in the driveway, but I can’t drive it

DP #59

A Link to the Past

There are two time machines before me: one goes to the past and one goes to the future…which one should I enter?

Because I’m scared of finding utter disappointment in my future, I would definitely go with the past model. Why? Because the past is where all of my most cherished memories reside; I had one of the funnest, happiest childhoods that seemed to never want to end. It would be comforting to see my two grandmas and grandpa once more. When they were around my life was pure content and innocence with no worries at all. The smell of brunch in the morning, grandpa cooking up his delicious waffles, eggs, sausage, and cutting up vegetables in front of us kids like a master chef. Grandma H serving our favorite mac and cheese hot from the nuke, preparing her creamy jello, spread sandwiches, and cutting up musk melon as she called cantaloupe. My other grandma and her ice cold glasses of tea always sitting on the end table that I could never get enough of, her wide assortment of beanie babies, her loving, calm demeanor that made myself at home. She would be sitting in the corner in her old yellow chair with the texture of rough trousers and watch over me while the rest of the family was away. There I would be, in the wood paneled dining room, playing with the toys from the box or trying so hard to get a yard stick to stand upright on the floor. To this day, my mom teases me about that. I came extremely close to accomplishing the feat though yesterday.

There are a number of things that I would change if I could ride the slipstream of time into yesteryear. For one thing, I would definitely get into sports more and not be scared to fight for the ball; baseball would be the one sport I would set out to excel myself in. Oh, yes…there’s a HUGE advantage to going into the past. I would be able to know the answers to the all the tests and every piece of homework I’ve ever witnessed…surely getting perfect marks with ease – knowing the inside scoop on the ACT/SAT would jump my original score up by at least a couple points and U of M here I come! Or maybe I shoot for the stars and go for an Ivy League school? It’s fun to dream.

What exactly does this time machine look like? Is it a phone booth, souped up DeLorean, or The Time Machine itself? Can I wear it on my wrist or unravel and set it on the ground? Is it egg shaped? Hot tub shaped?

But I could do so much more with this revolutionary invention. I could go back to significant events and fine tune them in my favor. There’s the sports scores I could predict ahead of time, like having my very own Grays Sports Almanacbecoming a very rich man in the process but not after some skepticism and investigation by the police and every higher up intelligence group this side of SVU. My friends would be amazed, my many servants obedient, my many wives the ever more adventurous and exuberant – yup, I would be a regular Hefner in the Playboy mansion, probably contracting every single viral infection known in the universe.

Would I dare try to stop September 11 from happening? Well, there’s the pros and cons to doing that. The pros are that obviously over 2,000 people would still be living, but the bad side is that America would not be prepared for future, imminent terrorist attacks and or have improved security measures. bin Laden would still be out there, angrier than ever that his diabolical plans were futile and would surely cook up something even more sinister. I touched up on this issue in a post of mine a long time ago called A Two Way Mirror of Events, that talked about various alternate universe outcomes. Mostly opinions and guesses but some of those predictions are extremely plausible.

But why am I just telling you, I should just go and do it of course?

Okay, so I have decided to use my time device and set the year to 1991 when I was born, transporting myself back to this same exact spot, on the floor by the wall, on this same October evening 23 years ago. Only there is no floor here, not even a house; I’m lying face down in a field of crabgrass and prickly weeds, hand sunk in wet mud; I feel a worm crawling up my finger.  My mobile home park has not been built yet as well as everything by the main county road going by it. Somewhere, about ten miles away, my newborn self is crawling on the floor, a helpless, innocent being with my dad and mom watching him curiously. What marvelous and incredible things could I tell him if he could possibly understand me? Or would I tell my mom and dad, not saying I was their son of course, to not split up in 2002 and stay together just a little longer? I think I’ll pull myself out of this quarry and head for them, maybe not going inside the house but just observing it from the outside, watching surreal events unfold again from an entirely new point of view. My life story at the very beginning. I might follow this journey of mine for many years, observing and recording things that were not readily apparent to me while I was there and maybe slipping some advice along to my past tense, helping him avoid and learn to overcome troubles and adversities that he would ultimately come face to face with.


Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

 – That is still not going to stop the savvy hacker from jail breaking and making it go both ways!

A Two-Way Mirror of Events

People like me, that have a life desire of pursuing the near infinite answers of the universe, often sit bored on the couch or in front of the computer on Google and think like a philosopher, wondering about the alternative, parallel side of father time, where events in history took a different path. Bizarre scenarios such as one where the United States doesn’t even exist or where humans have built spacecraft in the 1800s and colonized on Mars.

So in the midst of time it is always nice to think…

What if?

This is the type of question that the world begs to know the answer to but, sadly,will probably never find the answer to, unless we can find a Doc Brown who can supe up an old station wagon with a Flux capacitor. Which, to tell you the truth, is not worth the effort. If time travel were possible, wouldn’t it have already been invented, in the future? We should have people from the future in our time right now, telling us of events to come, helping us avoid tragedies. And if they are here, they sure haven’t helped the world much seeing that all of the what ifs we bring up haven’t been reversed,for better or worse. It’s kind of like asking Santa for that toy you’ve always wanted but never getting it at Christmas, even if he does promise you. And let’s be honest, there is no man in a red suit traveling to millions of houses in 140 countries dropping into random peoples houses in the middle of the night to deliver rather expensive presents that are seen on the shelves of Wal-Mart and other stores year round. Even Superman couldn’t do that. Shoot, I just ruined Christmas for a bunch of kids…oh,well…they need to be taught young.

Okay, enough of my ranting. Here are some frequently asked about what if scenarios and my best answers as to what would happen, leading to the present day:  

If the attacks on the twin towers on 9/11/2001 had been avoided…

Pro: About three thousand lives would have been spared and the kids today would still have living family members and friends.

Pro: George W. Bush’s presidency wouldn’t have been remembered as so much of a joke but the man could have been respected and even gotten to speak at the 2012 Republican convention (where he was heavily shied away).

Con: America wouldn’t have beefed up security at airports and elsewhere and wouldn’t have been more prepared and aware against future attacks.

Con: Bin Laden would still be out there, America unaware of his devious plans, probably cooking up something even more destructive seeing that his “master plan” had been defeated.

Con: America would sink into total destruction and nuclear fallout, with severely mutated humans and animals (according to an episode of Family Guy).  

If John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated or Lee Harvey 

Oswald was caught in the act…

Pro: JFK would definitely have been reelected to another term, but…

Con: The Civil Rights Act wouldn’t have been put into action by Lyndon B. Johnson, making it quite tougher for blacks to win the racial movement (and JFK was not for equal rights).

Pro: The Vietnam War might have ended sooner.  

If Abraham Lincoln had cancelled his trip to the Ford theater on that fatal night and was still alive…

Pro: Lincoln would have gone on to teaching as a professor at a college after his presidency.

Pro: He would have likely lived into his 80s.

Pro: As a mentor, Lincoln would have stayed in the White House with his son Robert.  

Con: He would have wanted to ship the slaves back to Africa or to a small remote island, taking an emotional stand for the blacks being his strategy to win the people’s approval all along and to keep the Civil War under control.

If the Titanic had cleared the iceberg and not sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic…

Pro: The passengers, especially the steerage, would have gone onto America to live their hopes and dreams and find good paying jobs

Pro: Many of the well accomplished would have continued in their fields and gotten more fame, such as John Jacob Astor IV. Some of these people could have had fledgling businesses over in America, that might have continued on today

Pro: Perhaps the ship could have been sailed again and could have survived to this day and be put into a museum, fully intact

Pro: I wouldn’t have sat through a pointless 3D version of the film.

Con: Obviously, there wouldn’t have been a movie about the disaster, and we might not have heard of Leonardo DiCaprio for that matter.

If the Challenger space shuttle had not broken apart, and had successfully gone into space…

Pro: The teacher/astronaut Christa McAuliffe would have been celebrated for being the first teacher in space, not mourned for the loss of her.

Pro: NASA would have taken the developmental successes of Challenger and have applied them to future space shuttles

Pro: There wouldn’t have been a 32 month hiatus between missions, maybe allowing for another mission (possibly to the moon again?).

Con: Since there would have been no disaster, NASA wouldn’t have known how to react against possible future failures and wouldn’t have known what works and what doesn’t.

If the Internet existed a long, long time ago (Jesus’ time perhaps?)…

Pro: What we think we know now we would know for certain (If Ben Frankin really did fly a kite in a thunderstorm or if it was Christopher Columbus who first discovered the land that was to be called America.)

Pro: Things could have been done a lot quicker and efficiently, such as searching on Google for how to treat infections (not bleeding them out)

Con: People’s privacy and freedom would have been severely limited, especially back in the days of powerful empires. No one could have hid and the most powerful figures could have controlled and influenced people over the Internet in ways unimaginable for those days.

If dinosaurs had not gone extinct (damn you, meteorites or whatever did it)…

Pro: We could do more research on the dinosaurs and find ways to breed different types, leading to scientific advancements but…

Con: We surely wouldn’t be living like we are now because dinosaurs would have us literally backed up into a corner and…

Con: Other mammals (such as us) couldn’t have evolved and wouldn’t even exist  

If Steve Bartman had kept his hands to himself in 2003…

Pro: The Cubs would have been 4 outs away from the Promise Land.

Con: They would have made it to the World Series against the New York Yankees, but the curse would still have rung true with the Cubs being overwhelming over matched. Yankees win series 4-1 and Bartman is still unknown.

These are basically edumucated guesses, and rather pointless, but it is fun to paint a picture of an alternate history where everything is turned upside down. And until some crazy scientist comes up with a way to travel back in time we will never know for certain whether Galileo was smoking weed while gazing at the stars or if curiosity did kill the cat.