Brian Matuszak column: Smell an orange, take a trip through timeSo all the excitement surrounding the announcement of a new time-traveling doctor last week by the BBC for its hit television show “Doctor Who” got me to thinking about the actual possibility of traversing through time. And that the Brits get awfully excited about their fictional characters.
So all the excitement surrounding the announcement of a new time-traveling doctor last week by the BBC for its hit television show “Doctor Who” (if you don’t know what I’m talking about ... congratulations, you have a life) got me to thinking about the actual possibility of traversing through time. And that the Brits get awfully excited about their fictional characters.
It would be pretty sweet if you had your own personal time machine to transport you to any point in history. Where would you go? Ancient Greece? The age of the dinosaurs? Shakespeare’s Globe Theater?
No offense, but those are boring choices. You can wear a toga, play with your stegosaurus, or experience much ado about nothing any Saturday night in Superior.
No, my friend, I’m talking about a trip through the wonderful dimensions of your own personal history. That’s where true adventure lies. You have the ability — right now! — to revisit tangible, specific moments in your own span of existence.
Yes, you can time- travel all you want by simply relying on your senses.
Think about it. When a specific odor slips up into your nasal cavity and infiltrates your brain, it’s like firing up your own personal Tardis (a “Doctor Who” reference for the uninitiated, a cool point for Brian from the geeks).
For me, the scent of oranges instantly shoots me back to 7th grade. I was the manager for the AlBrook High School basketball team and one of my pre-game responsibilities involved slicing up oranges for the players to suck on during the game. This journey is always immediate; I’m plopped back into my 12-year-old body with thick, plastic glasses, and greasy yet bountiful hair.
It’s an amazing period of my life when responsibility, friendship, and puberty all crash into each other. I hear my best friend Keith Tuominen’s trumpet blurting out Dixieland riffs in band practice. I taste the sugary goodness of Mountain Dew, fresh from the green bottle with the hillbilly etched into the side. I feel my guts turn all mooshy as Nancy in math class leans over to help me with my algebraic equations.
All of these sensations seem fresh and new to me from one whiff of an orange.
It works with hearing, too. How often has a certain song snuck into your ear canal and split open your memory banks? Whenever I hear “Crazy For You” by Madonna, I immediately shift to 1985 Brian, a naive young man who just moved out of his parents’ house (embarrassing if you do the math, financially responsible if you don’t) to start college at UW-Superior, where he will miraculously trick a girl named Sue into going out with him.
In fact, this beautiful, independent woman will ultimately merge timelines with this geeky guy, sharing so many adventures that they will ultimately coalesce into one powerful entity: Sue & Brian.
And I get to relive that magical expedition simply by hearing one specific song.
Do yourself a favor. Embark on some personal time-traveling today. Smell, see, hear, touch, or taste something special to you, then hang on for the ride of your life.
Brian Matuszak is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre, founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and wishes his daughter Kaylee a very Happy 15th Birthday this week. They’re going to celebrate by watching more “Doctor Who.”