The truth is I now don't travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.
And in the end I think I've learned the final lesson from my travels in time; and I've even gone one step further than my father did: The truth is I now don't travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.
We're all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind.
Later on I may tell you about Tim's many failings as a man and as a table tennis player. But, important first is to say the one big thing. I've only loved three men in my life. My dad was a frosty bugger so that only leaves dear Uncle Desmond, B.B. King, obviously, and this young man here. I'd only give one piece of advice to anyone marrying. We're all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind. And this is a kind man with a good heart. I'm not particularly proud of many things in my life, but I am very proud to be the father of my son.
[asked for an autograph] No. No. I'm at a wedding for God's sake. I'm here to celebrate true love not scribble my illegible signature on stupid bits of paper that you can flog on eBay so that at the next wedding you can wear a less hideous hat.
Dad: This is an odd moment for me because I had the same moment with my father when I'd just turned 21, and after it, my life was never the same so I approach it pretty, um, nervously.
Tim: Okay. When you're ready. It's all very mysterious.
Dad: Uh... Right. Tim, my dear son, the uh... The simple fact is the men in this family have always had the ability to... This is going to sound strange, be prepared for strangeness. Get ready for spooky time, but there's this family secret. And the secret is that the men in this family can travel in time. [Tim stares at him] Well, more accurately travel back in time. We can't travel into the future.
Tim: So you're saying that you and granddad, and his brothers could all travel back in time?
Tim: And you still do?
Dad: Absolutely. Although it's not as dramatic as it sounds. It's only in my own life. I can only go to places where I actually was and can remember. I can't kill Hitler or shag Helen of Troy, unfortunately.
Tim: Okay, stop. Um... [sighs] If it's true, which it isn't —
Dad: Although it is.
Tim: Although it isn't, obviously. But if it was, which it's not —
Dad: Which it is.
Tim: Which it isn't.
Tim: So, what do you do?
Mary: I'm a reader at a publisher.
Tim: No! You read for a living?
Mary: Yes. That's it, I read.
Tim: Oh, that's so great. It's like someone asking, "What do you do for a living?" "Well, I breathe. I'm a breather. I get paid for breathing." How did you get that job?
Mary: I mean, I think so. In a suit, in a court, saving people's lives. Kinda sexy.
Tim: I guess it is. Although it's not as sexy as reading. Sitting there in an office in a little chair reading. Ooh!
Mary: Okay, stop. Just wait right there mister, because you know a lot of books get submitted to my publisher. So it's an immense responsibility.
Tim: I bet it is. But when you're doing normal reading, [they both laugh] is it ruined because it's your job? You know, like prostitutes? I always worry that when they stop being prostitutes that they can't enjoy sex anymore.
Mary: You always worry about that?
Tim: No, I sometimes worry about that.
Mary: Oh, okay, good. Because someone who always worried about that would be a bit of a worry.
Tim: When you read a newspaper do you think, "Forget this, it's work"?
Mary: Have you interviewed a lot of prostitutes?
Tim: When you read a menu, do you think, "No, I'm not reading this, unless you pay me hard cash"?
Mary: How many prostitutes will you need to talk to before this issue is solved?
Mary: I'm going to go into the bedroom and put on my new pajamas.
Mary: And then in a minute you can come in and take them off.
Mary: Okay. I have some bad news.
Tim: You're dying?
Mary: No, not that bad.
Tim: I'm dying?
Mary: No. My parents are in town. They're visiting and they're coming around.
Tim: Oh, God. Parents? American parents?
Tim: It's just... I though with the time thing...
Dad: No, I never said we could fix things. I specifically never said that. Life's a mixed bag, no matter who you are. Look at Jesus: he was the son of a God, for God's sake and look how that turned out.
Tim: I know... You must see I feel a bit cheated.
Dad: Don't. In fact, feel the opposite. The only people who give up work at 50 are the time travelers with cancer who want to play more table tennis with their sons.