Thursday, January 26, 2012

"What If...?"

One day, physics and imagination got together to devise a prank on all of humanity. I call it the "What If...?" principle. You've heard of it before, but probably never like this.

However many times a day/week/month, each one of us finds ourselves in a situation that has a potentially fantastic (but very unlikely) ending. For example, you snag a Snickers bar, and the label lets you know that they're giving away a $500,000 cash prize to whoever is lucky enough to find the green-colored salmon hiding under the wrapper (or something like that). You then ask yourself, "What if I was the one with the salmon...?" You open the candy, and find instead a fuchsia-hued grizzly bear. Oh well...

You Lose.

 Or maybe you're walking around the mall, and you see the back of someone's head, and you're instantly reminded of that crush you had in 10th grade. "I wonder if, after so many years, I happen to bump into them? Wouldn't that be nuts?" Turns out, it's not that heart-throb from the hormone-laden years of high school, but rather a guy whose mullet looks just like your crush's curly locks from 50 yards. The only damage done: an awkward cringe.

But sometimes that salmon is hiding in that wrapper. That person is your old crush, who, turns out, had (and still has) a crush on you, too. It's those few times when the "What if...?" principle pulls through, and you're left dumbfounded at the intricate complexities of the Universe. Or at how pretty your ex (current?) crush's eyes are.

Why am I rambling on about all this? Because the "What If...?" complex has a nasty side, and y'all need to be warned. Story time:

Yesterday, I was making a Walmart run with my roommates, and I spotted one of the three sodas that I'll actually seek out: Sangria. I'm not really sure what it's flavored after (I'm not sure anyone is...), but it's fantastic nonetheless. I snagged two of them, and picked up a gallon of milk.

Beautiful, delicious Sangria.

While making my way to the check-out register, I had a random, from-out-in-left-field thought (most "What If...?" questions are). I mused to myself: "What if I dropped one of these? Would they break or survive the fall?"

About 2.58 seconds after that thought made its way through my brain, I felt one of the bottles slip between my fingers. I have to admit, it was kind of cool to see time slowing down while that thing fell to its doom. I'm 6'6", folks. When I drop glass, it's a goner.

After bashfully explaining what had happened to the Walmart lady, I checked out and we headed home. On the way up the stairs, I wondered what would happen if my bag gave out. I looked down, and noticed a gaping hole, through which one of my bottles was trying to escape. I snagged it in time, though. I thought, "Wouldn't it be ironic if I almost lost it again?" That's when I slipped on the ice, and nearly dropped my bag.

I'd caught on by then: don't tempt fate about your stupid drink! After getting inside, I set down my bags and started to unload them while telling some friends what had happened. Someone made the mistake of asking, "What if they broke?" That's when my other bottle slipped, and came down on the counter, barely surviving. Before I was jinxed again, I scurried to put into the fridge, after, of course, fixing the shelf that tried to fall off as soon as I put that bottle in there.

You see? Physics and your random thoughts can give you a few "Wow!" moments, but also a few other ones that I can't name, as this is a family-friendly site. The moral of the story? If a random "What If...?" thought invades your brain, don't discard it. Sure, 99% of them don't materialize, but when that 1% does... Stay on your toes. Nature herself just might be pranking you.

Oh, and the Sangria was delicious, by the way.


P.S. If y'all have any ideas of what needs to be voiced to the Universe on this blog, stick it in the comments section. Grazie!


  1. You should read Henri Bergson's Matter and Memory. Also, your bear kind of looks like a vagina.

  2. Write about vegans. That...or your people who have sex on there minds so much that they sexual organs in innocent pictures of fluffy pink bears then publish their disturbed thoughts for everyone to read. *cough cough*

  3. PLEASE don't let this turn into a blog war...