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Time travel and alternate universe theory. by Joe Harwell

Written by Joe Harwell on 8-15-2012 (or in an alternate time and place)

No, I’ve not been bored out of my mind this summer.  In fact, I’ve been writing against deadlines to publish three novels this fall and barely played any computer card games at all.  When I do play card games on the computer, I rarely play solitaire and you will soon know why.

If solitaire is set up on your computer like it is on mine, the game can be played to a point where there are no more possible moves and the computer will ask if you want to end the game.  What I don’t like about this is when I see no more apparent moves and the computer does not ask if I want to end the game.  When this happens, I ask for a hint and the machine keeps showing me to go through the cards again.  Arg!!!!

So, either I missed some moves or have to undo the placement of cards and see if there are other possible moves.  Do you see where this is headed?  Sure you do.  Alternative universe theory and time travel.

Regardless of the outcome of the game, the clock on the computer shows time moving forward.  (Stay with me.)  When I undo moves and try other combos of cards, I am changing the possible outcome of the game or satisfying the computer to a point where it gives me the option to end the game.  Yet, regardless of winning, losing or getting to a stalemate again, time is moving forward in a linear fashion.  Right?

Maybe not.  Undoing previous plays definitely moves me backward in the progression of the game.  So, even if the computer clock is showing a later time than when I started, I am moving backward in the reality of the computer game.  “Do Overs” occur in real life.  When you take a “mulligan” in golf, you don’t always retrieve the ball you hit askew.  It may be picked up by another golfer or an ambitious squirrel, causing time and events for the ball to progress without your involvement.

You can take back something you’ve said or even written, but the words still exist in memory or in print for someone to remember or see in the future.  OK, I’m way out in left field here, but I did write time travel into one of the novels I finished (for the 5th time) this summer and really grappled to find a connection to time travel in the real world.  Solitaire?  Really?  Yes!

I’ve even gone back and “undone” moves in solitaire where two possible cards could be played to see if it changed the outcome of the game.  Is this time travel or exploring an alternate universe?  Maybe.  For all we know, time travel could be right at our fingertips and an alternate universe could be one second ahead or behind the one we’re now experiencing.

Are you as bored with this as I am?  Good!  Then, I’ll meet you at Brewburger Tulsa tomorrow for an appetizer of bacon wrapped jalapenos, a delicious burger and the beverage of your choice.  Wait a minute.  If you get there before I do and finish the jalapenos, I’ll be in the universe that missed out on them.

Darn it!  Here we go again.

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