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8 Things To Try If You Get Trapped In A Time Loop

So if you pay attention to movies that come out on weekends, you may have heard about this movie called Source Code which came out this weekend. Based on the title of the film, one might assume that it's about a hacker who beats a Hollywood writer to death with a UPS for not understand how computers work. But as much as that would be both breathtaking and Oscar-winning, that doesn't turn out to be the case here. Instead, Source Code deals with a man who, with the help of some experimental military technology, has to repeatedly live the same eight minutes again and again until a train stops exploding. Without spoiling the film too much, the hero does eventually succeed, saving both the train and the attractive woman whom he'd been flirting with, who unfortunately goes on to be the next Hitler. This is also as good a time as any to mention that I haven't seen the film. Because a lot of Cracked readers are involved with experimental military technology or thinking of getting involved with experimental military technology, we thought it best to compile the following list of ideas for how to get out of a similar loop in the fabric of the universe. Hopefully these will be of some use to you the next time you find yourself tumbling backwards, end over end, down the up escalator of time.

#8: Mess Around

After you realize you're stuck in a time loop, you should conduct some quick experiments to see how far it extends. See what happens if you don't get in to that elevator, or if you get in backwards and naked.

Double and triple check that you're stuck in a time loop before attempting such tests.

The point behind these experiments is to test the limits of the time loop, and see if there are any rules which might be taken advantage of. You may even get lucky and stumble on a way out during your experiments -- maybe the time loop doesn't want anything to do with you if you're the kind of person who would do such things to an animal.

#7: Be a King

Assuming that your time loop lasts long enough, you should be able to use your knowledge of the upcoming events to set yourself up nicely, at least within that current iteration. Win lotteries, buy stocks on margin or dominate your local underground horse fighting gambling den. With your new-found winnings, see if it's possible to buy your way out of the time loop -- rich people are always getting away with shit like that. At worst, you'll be able to suffer through your Sisyphean ordeal in nice clothes.

"You know something? I think causality is just jealous of us."

#6: Solve A Crime

It's possible you're trapped in this time loop to prevent some injustice from happening, sort of like Quantum Leap with a less attractive protagonist.

It's always a good column when I can fit this picture in somewhere ...

So, look around for any injustices. An ugly kid getting picked on, or perhaps not getting picked on enough. Are people pirating Metallica mp3s still? That could be it. Also keep an eye out for any property developers. If television taught me anything, it's that property developers are always crooked, and always minutes from bulldozing a local youth center. By doing a rad skateboard jump over their limousine and beating them at their own game, you might just pull the wrench from time's cogs.

#5: Clean Things Up

Some of our older readers might recall these things called compact discs, which were basically smaller versions of the laserdiscs we're all familiar with. When those things started skipping it was often simply because they were dusty or dirty. Rubbing the crud off or simply blowing on them was often enough to restore them to their former gloriousness.

My second favorite CD, after the Bloodsport soundtrack.

Apply the same principle to your local universe. Look around for things that are dirty and clean them. Mop up spills, pick up litter or bathe a homeless person. If that doesn't work, recall that physically scratched or damaged CDs could also sometime be repaired by polishing them with a mild abrasive, like common toothpaste. Look for things that are scratched or dirty and polish them vigorously with toothpaste.

"You touch me even once with that toothpaste and I will shoot you in the lung."

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Chris Bucholz

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