Daily prompt: There’s a good reason why you can’t change the past

Daily Prompt
Groundhog Week
If you could relive the past week, would you? Would you change anything?

What a truly hideous thought! An extra week of winter? Over my dead body – which it may well be, given my chronic inability to deal with the cold.

But blatant self-interest aside – if it’s ever possible to sideline blatant self-interest – the thought of groundhog anything brings me out in a nervous rash.

It’s all about cause and effect…

Whatever you do, even if it’s nothing, affects what happens, or doesn’t happen, somewhere down the line. The ramifications are never ending.



Think about it this way. Here I am reliving the past week, and given we have the ability to change things, it’s inevitable that details will vary: I leave two minutes earlier on my microwave excursion. Because of that, the eagle swooping across Plummers Lane hasn’t cleared the road and I collect him – Smack! – right in the windscreen, lose control of the car, go careering through the fence and clobber the cow peacefully chewing cud on the other side. No more eagle, no more cow… No more me? Woops!

Bill will be stuck with the printer he ordered in for me, and I haven’t collected yet.
The eagle’s potential mate will have to find an alternative come the spring, thus changing the gene pool.
The farmer will be one cow down, affecting productivity.

And that’s before you even start on my nearest and dearest.

But let’s not get carried away. Even without the melodrama, changing the past affects the present and the future, and not just yours, but the presents and futures of those you encounter or don’t encounter as a result. So to do it on a retrospective whim would be a just a touch unfair, wouldn’t you say?


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8 Responses to Daily prompt: There’s a good reason why you can’t change the past

  1. Fran Macilvey says:

    LOL! That is priceless, Helen, thank you! I think I can put your mind at rest a bit though. Don’t forget about the angel near you! 😀 Have a wonderful day. xxxx

  2. bkpyett says:

    I love your humour and cynicism. Quite right though, why change the past, it’s now that we’ve got to deal with!
    Hope you’re able to work the new microwave! 🙂

    • The new microwave is fine, but not as powerful as the old one, so I have to work out new cooking times. Although it may be because the old one didn’t function in seconds at all, and my counting of ten as I warmed the chapati was actually 20 in genuine time.

      • bkpyett says:

        Sounds complicated, but am sure it’s a quick and useful appliance. Maybe I’ll succumb to one of those small ovens, instead….

  3. Noah Weiss says:

    You paint a wonderful example of why you cannot change the past without changing the future (and the present)! I would say that “If X had happened” are an example of Famous Last Words.

  4. Are you telling me there is a groundhog down under that predicts winter in June instead of an American Groundhog that predicts in February?

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