Pick Your Gadget-Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?
This prompt immediately reminded me of the last Harry Potter novel when Harry, Ron and Hermione are discussing the Deathly Hallows, and each one picks the hallow that they perceive to be “the obvious” choice only to realize that they’d each chosen a different one. And they had good reasons for the choice based on their own lifetime experiences, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
I imagine the same will hold true for this writing prompt. Each one of us who respond will be bringing our own unique background and experiences into our choice regarding which gadget we would choose. For me, it took only a moment to weigh each option and decide on the one that I would choose. It would definitely be the “anywhere doors” over the other two choices. My choice has to do as much with why I’d love to have a set of these doors as it does with why I wouldn’t want to own the invisibility helmet or the time machine.
I’m sure that I’ve said, “I’d love to be a fly on the wall” as much as anyone else. It is so tempting to want to observe situations that we can’t due to being a solid hunk of visible flesh. 🙂 However, as much as I’d love to be able to disappear at times, it does have major privacy and ethical issues. Just as I don’t particularly want the NSA listening to my phone calls, I don’t want anyone, friend or foe, to have the ability to spy on me without my knowledge. It’s just creepy. So I have to rule out the helmet and hope that anyone who knows me does the same!
Next, the time machine. This one was tougher, because who hasn’t wanted to time travel? To this day I love a good time travel story. But inevitably, toying around with the complexities of time travel is going to lead to trouble. Your current self will see your past self and think it’s insane. Or you will tinker with one small thing that will have tremendous ramifications for every future generation to come. It makes great novel fodder, but I think I’ll stick to my current time no matter how screwed up the world seems at the moment!
So, that leaves us with those doors. Now that is the gadget that truly tempts me, and seems to have the lowest probability to land me in serious hot water. Let’s say that in order for these doors to work, someone on “the other end” also has to have a set. I have family and friends all over the world. Many of my dear friends that we met while living in Germany are now scattered to the four corners of the world–literally. Also, my cousins live everywhere from New Hampshire to Washington State and many states scattered in between. What keeps us from visiting each other? The $2,000 in airline tickets we’d have to purchase for the family to visit! To be honest, our family would have extended our tour and stayed in Germany longer if maintaining family relationships back in the states had been as easy as walking through some doors. For me, this is the best choice of the three gadgets.
This was a great prompt, but seriously…can someone get onto the invention of these doors ASAP? I’ve posted a prototype of them in the picture I chose to go with this post. I’ll be in line for your first working set!