Thursday Night Bar Fight #10: The “Three Hour Tour”
Bad news, everyone!
NASA has just reported that a giant meteor is on a collision course with Earth. NASA has also confirmed there is no way to stop the moon-sized rock. Its arrival brings the end of all life on this planet. (Thanks a lot, Obama!)
There is good news for some, however. For years, government scientists have been working on a top secret project: the TV Reality Enablement Machine (TREM). While TREM cannot save all of mankind, it can save a very tiny handful of men and women. You have been chosen to be one of those lucky few.
While the quantum mechanics used by TREM are so complicated you could never hope to understand them, it’s function is simple: Enter the name of a television show that has a fictional plot, step into TREM, and you will be instantly transported to the universe of whatever television show you named.
And therein lies this Thursday Night Bar Fight quandary:
Which TV show will you choose to step into, and why?
However, before you choose know that there are some bugs in the system:
- Only one person can go into any TV universe. Not only can you not bring family and friends with you, you cannot bring doctors, scientists, engineers, etc. You will therefore be entirely dependent upon the knowledge and technology of whatever universe you have chosen.
- When you arrive you will be you, and will take on the role as an average person in that universe. You cannot “become” an existing character, nor should you reasonably expect to ever even meet the characters of the TV show you have chosen.
- Your new universe will have been created by a writer, but once you arrive it will continue without one. This means there will be no narrative causality; that universe may be prone to having happy endings on TV, but you should not assume it will necessarily do so when you arrive.
- Limitations that exist on the TV show will exist in your universe as well. So, for example, living on Sesame Street will mean you will give up sex, and living on Leave It to Beaver will mean you will be caucasian – even if you are currently African American or Korean. This does work both ways, however. Were you to choose Gilligan’s Island, you will find that the coconuts in that universe will defy our universe’s laws of physics and manufacturing.
And lastly, there is this most important stipulation:
The machine does not always work correctly. Sometimes it delivers people perfectly, but other times it rearranges their molecules and brings a messy and utterly gross death. For reasons that are too difficult to explain here, the farther in the past your television show’s plot occurs, the greater your chances of arriving intact. The farther in the future, the greater the chances that you arrive as a soupy mass of gloppy tissue. We don’t know the exact odds of, say, surviving in Star Trek or Dowton Abbey – we simply know that the latter has far greater chance of survival. We do know that travelling to shows set in 2013 have a 70% chance of survival, however, so you can feel free to extrapolate as you wish from that data point.
Oops, I’ve been talking way too long – the meteor’s almost here! Time to decide!