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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Alternities


Nate and Supergirlfriend have recently explored what might be going on with 5 different alternate timeline versions of themselves. It's a cool idea, so let's rock with it.

Here are five probable Alternate Highlanders, although chances are, in their particular segments of spacetime, they never actually called themselves Highlander:

1. Standing on a street corner in Syracuse in a soiled institutional bathrobe and old, frayed bunny slippers singing 'O dem happy feet' tunelessly and endlessly, strumming a stringless ukelele as he regales the shuffling streams of passers-by, all of whom pull up their nearly identical top coats, reflexively making sure their WE LOVE PRESIDENT FOR LIFE RONNIE buttons are prominently displayed to the lamp post cameras. If you peer closely, beneath his greying, overgrown bangs, you can see the faint, dimpled scar from the lobotomy they did on him back in 1983, after one of his college roommates, a noted Young Reagublican, reported him to the NSA as a subversive. In this bleak alternate reality, he is one of the few living individuals who is truly happy.

2. Sitting behind an expensive Apple computer in a cluttered home office somewhere, wearily pecking out the last couple of script pages for ULTIMATE TEAM AMERICA #78, while ignoring the constantly ringing phone and the intermittent sounds of anguished editors recording messages on his answering machine that are all about deadlines and schedules and something to do with the great new artist they've found for the strip, a guy named William Hung who, swear to God, draws like a young Frank Miller crossed with a late era Bill Sinkiewicz, as inked by a drunken Howard Chaykin. This particular version of Highlander likes him some Jack Daniels; it's the only thing that gets him through his days lately. But at least his old buddy Jeff Webb is still alive in this reality; he lives in the house across the street, putting out a new issue of his massively popular indie comic NEW TOMORROW every six months or so, and reveling in a frankly hedonistic lifestyle with his groupies the rest of the time.

3. Rotting in a premature grave, after I broke through the ice and drowned at the age of 8. Every man on that transport died. I wasn't there to save them, because my older brother George wasn't there to save me. No, wait. I'm starting again.

3. Having been sent off to military school at an early age by my exasperated mum, I grow up strong, straight and disciplined and, still heavily influenced by the science fiction I was drawn to in childhood, I enter NASA's training program and become an astronaut. Eagle eyed, I spot the almost fatal flaw that would have led to the Challenger explosion, and as mission commander on the early 2003 Columbia mission, I do a perilous space walk during re-entry to jury rig a rough but workable tile-patch and get my ship down safely with all aboard alive and well. Lauded as an international hero, I bask in the admiration of millions, and perhaps foolishly, allow an old college buddy to talk me into running for President. After I win, I appoint him my Chief of Staff, and spend my entire two terms surfing porn on White House computers, doing interns and Prez groupies, and playing Magic: the Gathering with Vice President Jeff Webb, while my Chief of Staff Kurt Busiek surreptiously turns America into a corporate controlled police state.

4. Hey now, I'm a rock star. I can't sing, can't dance, and don't know how to play an instrument, but in this odd slice of alternity, a few monumentally lucky breaks have negated all of that and landed me repeatedly on the cover of the Rolling Stone. My band, Glowing Plastic Jesus, has won more Grammies and sold more albums than the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Huey Lewis and the News, and Elton John combined, mostly on the strength of my poignant, iconoclastic, and very nearly incoherent lyrics. Mariah Carey is one of my back up singers and my love bitch. I do a lot of coke, and am filled with existential despair, because, as you'd expect, Mariah just won't swallow no matter how much I beg. I hate this life.

5. I'm a very successful televangelist, having learned early to use my gift for gab and potential electronic charisma to exploit the gullibility of the ignorant Christian faithful. My carefully cultivated public persona as a 'reasonable fundamentalist' leads to frequent appearances on The O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, and Face The Nation, and I am in line for a high cabinet post, or perhaps the Vice Presidency, in the first Jeb Administration. I spend a lot of time behind bullet proof glass, surrounded by bodyguards, wondering if any of them have been bought off by Dick Cheney yet, who wants me dead so badly he can constantly taste it in the back of his mouth, like copper, or semen.

What can I say? The real, pathetic truth is, on every alternate reality, even if there are an infinity of them, I'm miserable and lonely, trapped in a tiny cinder block duplex with a lousy job in the hell that is Zephyrhills, FL, friendless and twitching on the edge of just giving up, hocking all my HeroClix, and using the proceeds to buy a cheap handgun so I can go on a homicidal rampage at work the next day, doing my best to take out the half dozen people I hate the most just before hopefully committing suicide by cop. The cops in Zephyrhills are so incompetent that I may well live through it, though, which is the only thought that keeps that last fraying cord of sanity from snapping... yet.

The fact is, only on this timeline, where SuperGirlfriend and the SuperKids have saved me from a hell on Earth worse than death, am I even remotely happy. This is, truly, the best of all possible worlds.

4 Comments:

At 10:18 AM , Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

These are hysterical. Though none really comes close to the timeline that I projected for you...;) All right, maybe a cross between #1 and #2, but I'd let you keep Mariah Carey.....maybe the pressure of deadlines and younger artists at your heels leads him to the JD and the raggedy bathrobe....

Maybe I'll give this a whirl...if it's not being too much of a copycat..

 
At 10:42 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

Hey, I stole it from Nate and SuperGirlfriend. Take a shot.

 
At 2:27 PM , Blogger SuperFiancee said...

I shouldn't get the credit. I totally stole it from Nate.

So many, if I only knew you thens....

I started to say it's impossible to pick my favorite one. They are all hysterical! I will say this, though, Saturday, after the kids go to their dad's, I'm pulling my blue dress out of the back of the closet. You can call me Monica, Mr. President...

 
At 1:21 AM , Anonymous Nate said...

Heh, only the title of the blog post it appeared in was written byme, and that rather heavily inspired by David Letterman. I saw it on somebody else's blog, not sure whose, probably the JS guy on my LJ friends list. He's a writer of some talent.

 

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