So - the great day has finally arrived. No, it's not my birthday, although thanks for thinking of me. It's not Christmas, or Hanukah, or even Festivus for the Restivus - not quite yet.
It's even more momentous than that.
Yes, you guessed right.
IT'S BACK TO THE THE FUTURE DAY.
Who could've foreseen, back in 1989, when the movie was released, what 2015 had in store for a wee 17 year old whippersnapper in frilled Laura Ashley shirts, with a penchant even then for a well-packed scrum. Could Marty McFly, Doc, and even that poor old muppet Biff really have known just how shocking the shock of the new would be?
I was looking through old and not so old photos last night as a result of some less than wonderful news, and thinking about the world Marty and Co brought to the silver screen. The 'not so old' image accompanying this post is one of them, because I am nowhere near silly enough to share the aforementioned Canterbury-rugby top and long floral skirt clad, spotted ribbon-tied, pony-tailed splendour that was me at 17*** with the world. Naturally, they stirred up a hell of a lot of memories; again, some not so wonderful. And they made me think of just how much has changed since that movie came out when it comes to the tiny little planet we call home.
There may not be hover boards, but I cannot comprehend what 17 year olds now would make of 1989. No interwebs. No iAnything. If you were meeting a friend, and you were late, chances are they would bugger off somewhere else and find something better to do, because guess what? You were late, and no text message existed to say sorry with a sad face emoticon. No Netflix, no pay TV. This article would have been written on my trusty Canon typestar, which I was enormously privileged to have - that is, if I didn't throw it through the window out of anger because it was so useless. Hmmm, maybe things haven't changed that much.
No Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Tinder, Viber, swiping left, right, sideways, down, up, likes, dislikes, upvotes, downvotes, trolls, ghosting, or hashtags.
No WikiLeaks. No keyboard warriors. No hiding behind a screen to justify malicious and bored intent.
If I sound as though I want to go back there, you're right. In some ways, I absolutely do.
Because if I go Back To The Past, then I can correct some fairly hefty mistakes. I can make sure I don't have to say, not meaningless, but realistically, worthless, 'I'm sorries' to a hell of a lot of people I have hurt since then. Like Michael J Fox, I can be free of a disease, if just for a little while, I didn't know was waiting in the wings to grab me when I wasn't watching.
If I go Back To The Past, I have a father who isn't riddled with another disease, the thought of which makes me want to throw this Mac out the window just like my poor old typestar, because even writing those words hurts.
In 1989, the world may not have had hover boards, but for me, it also had far more peace of mind.
As Marty McFly would say, "heavy".
Then I have to think very hard about what I have been given in those years, and slap myself with an imaginary hover board.
I do my family, friends and certainly the Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant a vast disservice by wishing myself Back To The Past. How can I want to be there, when they, and he, are here? I don't dare to speak for Mike Fox, but somewhere in that entire space-time continuum Doc speaks of, I have a funny feeling he would say the same thing. Either that, or he would just smile, and hop in the DeLorean, and find a way to bring us the best of both worlds.
I think he's quite capable.
How did they predict the Cubs otherwise?
***NB: Anyone found sharing these images will be mysteriously found beaten up by a hover board. Just saying.
***NB again: This photo is me looking for a hover board. I didn't find one.