Did I ever tell y’all about the time I had the TARDIS engine noise as a ring tone?
Once a year the college up here does this big thing at the Engineering building for kids. They bring out cool projects to demo, cook foods using really neato science – then give it to the kids and have really neat science ans engineering activities for kids. Other groups come in too, like the youth Robotics league, and demo all their projects. It is totally worth your day and really cool! And, lets face it, science and engineering geeks and nerds are pretty damn awesome to hang with.
Anyway, Hellian and I were in the big common area with about 150 other people looking at all the cool robots and science projects when my phone rang. Seeing that it was a friend, and not super important I stuck it back in my pocket, making a note to call him back later.
It’s funny how it started. The guy doing the demo we were watching got quiet. Then the people nearest me all fell silent. It was like ripples on the water. The noise just stopped in a wider and wider ring around my ringing phone. About the time my phone stopped ringing, the silence had reached the middle of the room. Around the time, maybe 20 seconds later, someone started talking again, my phone rang again. Again, the TARDIS engines rang out. This time, the whole room fell silent within the first two rings.
I could see it. All these people, many of them well educated, reaffirming the rational bits regarding Doctor Who within their minds: “Doctor Who is just a television show. It’s obviously a ring tone or recording. It’s not the TARDIS showing up in Fairbanks. The Doctor isn’t real, he’s only a fictional character on television”
And then, then, magic happened. A voice, a lone child’s voice range out, breaking the silence. “MOM! MOM! THE DOCTOR IS HERE! MOM! I HAVE TO GO FIND HIM! OH MY GOD! MOM! IT’S THE TARDIS! MOM!” Then, a kid (guessing about 7-8 years old) tore out of the room, shoving into people and leaving a slightly desperate woman (assuming his mom) trying to catch him in his wake.
But seriously, think about it. Yeah, the adults got quiet because it’s nice to believe, even for a moment, that someone like the Doctor is real, but we’re grown ups. We’re old, jaded and cynical. Magic is nothing but illusions and tricks. Fairy Tales are just stories. Monsters and dragons have long since turned into horrible bosses, bills, looming deadlines and over drawn bank accounts. Yeah, we like to pretend to believe that The Doctor could be real, but we never really do. I mean, that stupid adult voice in the back of our brain will never really lets us. But this kid, this amazing child, just had the very best day ever. His hero, this man who travels through space and saves people, he was real. For that day, that moment, the impossible happened and he was delighted.