Timeripper: Preventer of social errors

By Kevin Wilson

I ask a lot of questions to people around the city — it goes with the territory.
But every once in a while, I get a question thrown back at me. A few weeks ago, I was more than prepared to answer.
The question is one we ask our Personality Plus subjects every week: If you were a superhero, what would your name and powers be?
I got this question a while ago, and responded faster than a speeding bullet. I wouldn’t have increased strength, keener senses or a superior intellect. Also, I figure X-ray vision would be highly overrated.
Nope. I’d be the Timeripper instead.
My power would be inspired by a video game called Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The video game retold the tale of The Prince, who found an ancient dagger during a castle raid. The dagger controlled time and The Prince was tricked into using it to unleash evil upon his land. The rest of the game details The Prince trying to use the Sands of Time to travel back in time and erase his mistake.
The dagger gives him special powers, including the ability to rewind 10 seconds of gameplay. I don’t know if I could take on the task of ridding the world of evil, but I think the ability to erase 10 seconds would prove invaluable in my life.
At first glance, 10 seconds might not seem like much. However, it’s more than enough time to erase a single mistake. I’d be the Timeripper, capable of redeeming himself from social error.
Example: If Kevin Wilson were on a date and forgot to pull the chair out for her, it would leave a bad impression. The Timeripper would be the ultimate gentleman, and he’d also know when to stop telling embarrassing stories when the waitress comes within earshot.
Another example: If Kevin Wilson is walking with someone and making conversation, he would either say something that will come back to haunt him or trip on the curb. The Timeripper would be graceful in both his walk and talk, and have answers that seem as if he had a few seconds for contemplation.
A third example: The Timeripper would have erased the previous two paragraphs, knowing that every reader would realize those situations weren’t hypothetical.
It would be somewhat like one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day. The only difference between the Timeripper and Phil Connors (Bill Murray’s character) is that the Timeripper only relives the few seconds before correcting the mistake, not the entire day leading up to it.
The power is not absolute, and I like it that way — I tend to refer to these shortcomings as character flaws. I give myself only 10 seconds so I can’t use my powers for evil purposes — i.e. rewinding an hour of time and buying a winning Powerball ticket, or avoiding a forgettable episode of Growing Pains.
At some point, I’d use these powers for good, after I mastered them to the point where my life would need no rescuing.
Who knows, though? I could be the Timeripper right now and you’d never know it. It’s not like you see any misteaks with this column, right? I guess you’ll never really know.

Kevin Wilson is the managing editor of the Portales News-Tribune. He can be reached at 356-4481, ext. 33, or by e-mail: