The Shoes have it.
(Or: They don’t have their shoes)
Douglas Adams’ The Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy proclaims that there’s a lot to be said about a hitch hiker who still has his towel with him. I suggest that the time traveler’s equivalent is their pair of shoes.
Many time travelers can only travel in time without their clothing (or have their existing clothing remain behind). The Terminator T-800 is an example, and although it’s arguable that he doesn’t need clothes anyway, the locals had more conventional clothing thoughts about the cyborg’s (non)dress-sense. In their own way, they convinced the Terminator to take some clothing – which he did in his own special way.
Given the same line of reasoning that Barbie dolls wear clothes, I’m inclined to agree with Arnie’s pro-clothing choice. (There, a comparison between Arnie and Barbie..! I’ll call it Barnie 😉
Married to Work
The other example is the main character in Audrey Niffeneger’s excellent The Time traveler’s Wife (which I must get round to reviewing, but headsup – 5 stars!). The front cover says it all – the empty pair of shoes which are left behind every time the title time traveler (Henry) goes to another time.
And it’s the shoes that leaves me wondering how my colleagues may not be as – or when – they appear.
Time Traveller’s Prime Directive
(Shhhh…don’t tell anyone you’re a time traveler!)
The above is a shot of my colleague’s desk. Note his absence – and a pair of shoes tucked nicely away under his desk. I can’t help but notice the similarity with the time traveler’s wife’s husband, Henry. (I think I could have just called him “the time traveler”…)
I asked him about it.
“So am I a time traveler or his wife?”
Clearly he’s no wife…
On this occasion, note the high visibility vest; time travel can be dangerous. On another trip the 180 degree unphasing of the left and right shoes indicates a hasty departure (as far as speed can be measured without respect to time) and hence the forgotten safety precaution. Shirt remains on chair. Time travel backpack is also forgotten.
As an oceanographic consultancy, sometimes we go on site where it’s wet and boots are needed. But not when we time travel. Note no laces: Bootstrap paradox?
Perfect time traveler – with shoes
This colleague found a way to keep his shoes with him on his time travels.
Me present in the office. On lunch break – complete with shoes (and other clothes!)
Having my shoes attached to my feet suggests that I’m not a time traveler, and in which case I’m not sure if I feel left out or left behind. But whenever I leave the office I always seem to be back here soon enough, spending my time and clocking my hours. I assume that counts for something…
That said, the last time I was at the office was before Corona time when this tree had no leaves. Where’s the time gone?
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