George Taylor, the Robinson Family and Me

13 May

As I mentioned in the last post, I was put under anesthesia. The medical staff stuck a needle in my arm; put oxygen in my nose; and said that I would soon fall asleep. For a few seconds, I laid on my side and stared at a monitor. I wondered if this was really going to work.

Then, I was waking up in the recovery room. Someone asked me how I was doing and brought a Coke for me to drink. The rest of the time was a little fuzzy. My wife came in, and we talked to the doctor. They loaded me into a wheelchair and took me to the car. As we drove home, my mind began to clear up, and a name came to my mind.

George Taylor.

You may not recognize the name, but you may know his story. George was an astronaut sent on a deep space mission. To complete the trip, he and his crew had to be put into deep hibernation.Planet of the Apes

At some point, their spaceship crashed, and they were awakened from their sleep. To make a long story short, they got out of the ship and discovered that they were on a planet controlled by talking apes. George Taylor was Charlton Heston’s character in Planet of the Apes.

I started thinking about George because he must have had the same feeling that I did. He was placed in hibernation and, in his mind, immediately woke up. However, time had continued. I did not wake up in a world ruled by monkeys, but I did wake up after some time had passed. An hour passed for everyone around me, but, in my mind, it was only a few seconds.

Then, I started thinking about the Robinson family. You know the ones – John, Maureen, Judy, Penny and Will. They were placed in deep hibernation for their trip to Alpha Centauri. Oh yeah, Major Don West was put in there, too.Lost in Space

Anyway, things went awry when Dr. Zachary Smith tried to sabotage the mission and woke them up.

I bet they felt the same way as George. John, Maureen and their brood fell asleep one second and woke up the next. Instead of apes, they had a terrorist and a screwed up robot on their hands.

I say all of that to say this. Going under anesthesia made me think about time travel. Would placing people in hibernation for years work? Would they feel like that only seconds had passed instead of years? Here is something else. Is being put under anesthesia a form of mental time travel? From my point of view, it only took a few seconds for an hour to pass.

I have no idea, but I know that I did not wake up with a bunch of apes hovering over me.

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11 Responses to “George Taylor, the Robinson Family and Me”

  1. sittingpugs May 13, 2014 at 03:37 #

    People probably would feel like only minutes had passed — a nap that maybe went on a few minutes too long? Have you seen Contact starring Jodie Foster? In case you haven’t, you should, on account of the question of time.

    I’ve been put under twice. During the first procedure, as I was drifting back to wakefulness, I heard the doctor and nurses talking about a music store called Tower Records. I very much had an opinion on the place because they had just weeks before rearranged some of their displays, making it difficult to find certain categories of CDs. Somehow I felt like I needed to share my thoughts — so I did in very slow speech.

    The second procedure made a different kind of impression because after the doctor could tell I was coming to, he’d asked if I was all right. “My nose itches,” I replied softly. One of the nurses took a piece of gauze and rubbed my nose with it.

    When I opened my eyes, I was in a room that was nearly identical to the one in which the surgery began. Everything was the same except the flowers on the wallpaper. I was perplexed as to how they moved me into a different room. All I wanted to do when I got home was sleep. I probably never felt as rested as I did that summer.

    Glad you made it back from your nano-second travels.

    • Rick May 13, 2014 at 12:14 #

      Thanks. I have seen Contact. It is an awesome movie. I wish I could go back in time and visit Tower Records. Buying music in a store was a lot more fun than on the Internet.

  2. chandlerswainreviews May 13, 2014 at 04:09 #

    Funny you should mention time/space travel. There was a Stephen King short story published years ago in the defunct TheTwilight Zone Magazine entitled “The Jaunt” in which long-range travel was achieved in seconds, yet the travelers had to be unconscious at the time of departure, for although the body moved from one spot to another instantaneously, the conscious mind took billions of years. So check your watch carefully. Also, I hate to break the bad news to you, but we are on a planet ruled by talking simians.

    • Rick May 13, 2014 at 12:16 #

      I have never heard of that story. I am going to check that out. You are right about the world being ruled by talking simians. Luckily, this group isn’t as hairy as the one in the movies.

  3. Andrew Petcher May 13, 2014 at 04:53 #

    What about Ripley in Alien – she woke up to a nasty shock – twice I think?

    • Rick May 13, 2014 at 12:16 #

      I forgot all about her. Waking up to something going wrong seems to be a theme.

  4. satanicpanic May 13, 2014 at 13:56 #

    Going under is the strangest feeling. Even during regular sleep you feel like time passes. I don’t think I’d like to be put to sleep to travel the galaxy- I’d rather be awake. Of course, that has its own problems.

    • Rick May 13, 2014 at 14:15 #

      I am more of a Star Trek galaxy traveler. Give me a holodeck and I will be happy.

  5. Marilyn Armstrong May 13, 2014 at 15:36 #

    Anesthesia is weird that way. It always feels like a piece of time just went missing. Medically induced coma, on the other hand … that’s a whole different experience. I think if you did the latter to astronauts in transit, they would wake up insane. Which might make a good story … but a bad experience.

    • Rick May 13, 2014 at 18:42 #

      My dad was in an induced coma. He has never talked about. A bunch of insane astronauts would make a heck of a story.

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