Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ten Alternate Realities I’d be Slightly Happier in.

You're probably at least slightly familiar with the Many Worlds Interpretation of physics. In it every possible variation of reality that could occur does occur. An infinite number of universes that are exactly the same except for "x" and the subsequent changes that naturally follow from the point of divergence. This was the essential plot concept of the TV Show Sliders. These differences could be as extreme as "what of the dinosaurs were never wiped out" to "what if I sneezed a nano-second sooner than I just did a moment ago?"

Anyhow... just for fun and a creative mental work-out, here are ten alternate realities of presumably slight variation that I would like more than the one I've been saddled with... WE have been saddled with. The only rule – no BIGGIES! It's too easy to pick a "what if Hitler died before 1935?" alternate history. Only nominal and frivolous alternate realities allowed.

10) "What if Split Enz were bigger than the Beatles?" Yeah, I could have picked The Clash, but that would be just too easy. And besides, I think The Clash would lose something being THAT big. Anyhow, back to Split Enz - I'd be happier in a world where "I Got You" received the air-play that "Yesterday" gets. Julie Taymor would have directed a cinematic opus called "Six Months in a Leaky Boat." Damn it. I'm already jealous of those alternate worlds and I'm just on #10!

9) "What if the unwashed masses had gravitated towards the far more clever 'Doubloon' instead of calling the 2$ Canadian coin a 'Twoonie?'" It'd be nice to live in a country that witty. I'm just sayin'.

8) "What if the 'space' key on my phone's texting-pad wasn't so sensitive to temperature?" In this universe it in explicably refuses to register when it's cold unless I press it about seven times. It's annoying. There is a universe where I text much less tersely in winter.

7) "What if I hadn't 'ignored' Nicole that summer on tour?" There had to be one of these. I didn't exactly 'ignore' Nicole. I could hardly take my eyes off her all summer, but I never acted upon it. It was totally obvious. Even if I had acted it would have just been a summer fling – she was going back to school at Mt. Alison University and I was moving to Vancouver. At the last night of her last Fringe – Saskatoon I think – that summer she came and hugged me goodbye and whispered in my ear "Don't ignore me next summer." That was my last summer touring. DOH!

6) "What if I'd been healthier upon my return from filming in the Okanagan in Spring 2007?" I had four days before the Vancouver portion of the shoot began. I HAD to rest up. As it was when the Vancouver portion was over I was as sick as I've ever been for a prolonged period of time. But in that window I turned down an opportunity that I really wanted to take. I DID make the right choice, but if I hadn't felt the desperate need to recuperate I could have been in the audience for the FIRST show of the Police reunion tour. That would have been cool.

5) "What if Disney stuck a little closer to the Brothers Grimm?" C'mon. It'd be far more fun if frog princes got thrown against the wall instead of kissed, and wicked step-sisters cut off toes to squeeze into shoes. Or perhaps I'm just a bit perverse.

4) "What if Episodes One and Two had been One and Episode Three had been Episode Two?" Not a perfect solution, but already its better story-telling.

3) "What of fog smelled like mint?" There'd be one more type of good weather – and it'd be radically different from the forms we are accustomed to. Just imagine. Perhaps I should add the clause that smog doesn't count. Who would need an incentive to breathe choking toxins deeper than they have to?

2) "What if the anti-Olympic lobby had the money that the VANOC-2010 committee had back in 2002?" You can't tell me there wouldn't be less headaches in Vancouver today... and over the past few years. Only eleven months 'til it's behind us... sigh.

1) "What if the Steve Moore never cheap-shotted Naslund?" This one plays out quite easily. For starters Naslund would have been in better condition for the remainder of the 2003 season and NHL playoffs. But more than that, the other half of that the truly talented two thirds of the Westcoast Express, Todd Bertuzzi almost certainly wouldn't have mugged Steve Moore (and I'm not going to get into that moral mine-field right now – it's enough to say it would not have happened) and thus would have been playing for the Canucks for the same period. Canucks lost game seven of the first round to the Flames – in overtime. Bertuzzi and Naslund WOULD have made the difference. The Flames went on to barely lose game seven of the final round of the Stanley Cup to Tampa. Do I need to make the implications of this any more clear? "

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