…it hadn’t turned out this way?
Most of us have at some point wondered how life would be if the Nazis had won World War II. It’s a recurring theme in movies, TV and literature; the most notable examples of the latter being Philip K Dick’s marvellous, Man in the High Castle and Fatherland by Robert Harris, which I have yet to read but am told is excellent. It’s an intriguing topic for many reasons, not least because of how close it came to going Hitler’s way, what a blessed relief it is that he was stopped, and of course because of the unbelievable sacrifices made by those who stopped him.
I ponder that age-old question too, but I also ponder other scenarios, by which I find myself surprisingly gripped. Here are some examples. Perhaps they’ve crossed your mind too. Let’s see…
What if TV Soaps had transfers like in football?
I know that actors switch shows but I’m talking about the characters themselves, complete with their back-stories. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen already really; transfer gossip is a big part of the attraction of Premiership footie and when a team makes an audacious bid for a high-profile player then it’s huge news. Soaps vie for column inches all the time, and rumours of a character making the jump from the Queen Vic to the Rovers Return would make a massive splash in the tabloids and glossy mags, bringing the show a huge amount of publicity.
Imagine Coronation Street making a big money offer for Alfie Moon, perhaps with Deidre Barlow heading south as a makeweight in the deal after a dressing room bust-up with the bosses? Or perhaps Eastenders, having been taken over by a Saudi tycoon of questionable repute, breaking the bank to bring in a bevy of Hollyoaks beauties to glam up the rather dreary looking Albert Square, along with Corrie bad boy, David Platt to give them something to swoon over. And maybe Hollyoaks themselves would import some foreign talent in the shape of Home & Away’s Donald Fisher to take over as Headmaster at the school and instil a bit of discipline in those out of control lotharios and slappers.
Because they would now own the rights to the character history, the new signings would be referred to in introductory terms by other characters in the show. For example after Emmerdale had acquired the out-of-contract Phil Mitchell on a free, Belle Dingle would be heard saying something like, “Ooh, have you seen that cockney they’ve got helping out with the muck-spreading on the farm? He’s come up from Walford, they reckon he was a gangster. At least he was sometimes. Face like a slapped arse.”
The whole things sounds like a ridiculous notion, but actually, maybe not.
In case the above is riddled with outdated references then I should point out that I haven’t watched a soap for longer than I can remember. But as long as Fisher’s still going strong then I’m happy.
What if crows grew massive and took over?
How would we cope if crows did indeed grow to giant size and targeted man as an adversary? How would it play out? I can’t possibly know but I can attempt a depiction in the shape of a message to mankind from the few survivors scraping out an existence under the yoke of the avian overlords.
To mankind, whatever’s left of it, from the few survivors scraping out an existence etc…
Nobody expected the final assault to come from the air but it did and when it came it was savage and relentless. The Black Death, we called it. Actually we didn’t call it that, but we should have done. That would have been quite clever. The crows mutated into the size of helicopters and went on the rampage. At first their raids were limited to bird tables, open bags of chips and the odd hamburger plucked from the palm of a terrified teenager.
But then they turned on the bakers.
Those poor floury fellows never stood a chance as screeching phalanxes of horror flocked to their premises like iron filings to a magnet. They took all the bread. THEY TOOK ALL THE FRESH LOAVES.
But it was the bombing raids that started the real war. And ended it. Entire fleets of the giant feathery bastards swept over our cities, dropping their payloads of sticky white death with all dark and yellowish streaks in. It was horrible. AND IT SMELT REALLY WEIRD.
That knocked out our communications and supplies and they knew they had us on the back foot. That’s when then they sent in the fighters; fast and low and all beaky, destroying everything. Killing everyone.
And now we do not live, we survive, just. The crows are in charge now.
Or is it the rooks? I’m not sure. They’ve got grey beaks, which ones are they?
A nightmare scenario I’m sure you’ll agree. But it’s okay, it’s just speculation.
What if we farted out of our mouths instead of our arses?
…and it made the same noise and the same range of smells, from the almost imperceptible tangy whiff to the full-on oh my dear lord something’s died not in my pants but under my tongue. A fart sound (according to www.fart-sounds.net – yes, there is such a website) is the result of vibrations of the anal opening as the gas passes through. That means that if we were cursed with aural guffing then our lips would have to involuntarily purse at the point of expulsion, restricting the gas flow and resulting in the parp, poof, pwap or bwaaaaaarp sound*. The reason I say ‘involuntarily’ is because if it was in any way controllable then we would simply choose not to purse our lips and thus stop ourselves from letting out a big fat stinky raspberry as the gas escaped – but then the verisimilitude of my ‘what if we farted out of our mouths’ scenario would be shattered.
So let’s imagine how that would be. It would probably be bloody hilarious at first, but very quickly it would become extremely boring and deeply unpleasant. But, as with many things that have lost their novelty value, there would be the odd moment where it would suddenly become very very funny again. Imagine dating a girl for the first time; she’s beautiful, sophisticated and interesting. You’ve had a lovely meal in a nice restaurant and you both know something special is happening. You sit quietly, waiting for the waiter to bring your coffees; yours a plain filter and hers a cappuccino. Your gazes lock in mutual connection and both sets of eyes display the same message:
“I’m really into you. This could be life-changing for both of us.”
Then the look of adoration and understanding in those wonderful eyes is replaced by one of pure unadulterated fear as her mouth bunches up, she goes a bit cross-eyed and a huge comedy trumpet sound bursts from between her rapidly quivering lips. This is swiftly followed by the coming into being of an invisible but very real cloud of pure evil.
You’d fall off your chair laughing wouldn’t you?
And we probably wouldn’t have kissing.
*other fart sounds are available.