Worst Case Scenario Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today? Now, what about the best?
Disclaimer: The writer is NOT responsible for views held by any of the characters in this play which is a re-enactment of real life and stuff which is not sanitized or predictable. In fact, the writer wouldn’t even write this because she thinks imagining a worst case scenario is asking for trouble.
The last time we were hit by a meteorite me and my buddy, Dude, had to run like hell to get out of its path. It wasn’t funny — well, I take that back, it was funny — to watch all the others forget to kill-or-be-killed because they were –we were — all about to be killed. And then what? Godnose, there was this period when I was a rock, I was an island and then suddenly I felt like a chicken. Well, I’m here to talk about how to survive disasters. Actually, disaster or not you won’t survive anyway so it’s kind of a moot point, isn’t it? So I’ll just take questions from the audience. Yeah, you, in the hoody in the back looking like the President’s son?
(Whispers in the third row) Can you believe he said that? Unreal, unreal, so off target, so WRONG!!!
— Hi! So, what was the best bit, overall, would you say?
Good question, young man? Right?
Personally, I liked this bit best, you know, being a human TV star. It’s hard to beat. You travel around for free, get anything you want any time you want it. Toadies at your beck and call, but if I couldn’t repeat this iteration — and you need to know you can’t. The world constantly changes and once something happens it’s over. It doesn’t come back. That moving finger and what not. I liked being a tiger. Of course, when I was a tiger, I was the worst case scenario for many other creatures.
— How did that end, your tiger iteration?
Sex. I was a female tiger. It’s risky thing being a female tiger. I suppose it is evolution’s method for controlling the tiger population and keeping the gene pool clean, but it was a terrible, terrible betrayal.
Yeah, you know how back in the Renaissance there was this romantic “confusion” about sex and death? Poets called sex the “little death?”
— What? I didn’t know that.
(Whispers) “Did you know that?”
“I knew that.”
As it happens, with tigers, the two get into it, you know? Well tigers are big, fierce, beautiful, noble and intelligent animals, but the operative terms here are big and fierce and it can happen that in the throes of love, when the male tiger is giving passionate love bites to the back of the female’s neck, he might bite too hard or too deep and BAM! She’s dead, spinal cord severed or more like chewed. That’s what happened to me.
— Was it worth it?
I liked being a tiger. But it had to end sooner or later. Another question? Yeah you dressed like a blueberry muffin! What’s up with that?
(Whispers) “Oh my god, now he’s picking on fat people.”
“We don’t say ‘fat.’ We say curvy. Have you no human feeling?”
“Would you two PLEASE shut up?”
— I’d like to know what it was like being a dinosaur.
Keep up the way you’re going and you’ll find out.
(Outraged gasps fill the studio audience. People shake in horror.)
— Sir, I have to ask you to be more sensitive to people’s feelings. That’s not how we treat people any more.
Seriously? So in this world where people are starving and others are being blown to bits for the sake of resources, religion, ideology, and territory you are worried about my calling someone pudgy when she clearly IS? You think she doesn’t know?
— You shouldn’t marginalize her over that.
I’m not, I’m trying to answer her question. That’s as inclusive as I can be from up here. So, sweet-cheeks, what’s your question again?
— What was it like being a dinosaur?
I don’t remember well, actually. You see, as a dinosaur I had a little tiny brain and a great big body. My life was consumed – ha ha, consumed — with finding food and mating. That was pretty much all that little brain could contend with. Thank goodness I was a carnivore so all I had to do was find a nice, fat herbivore and kill it. Easy peazy. Basically, all we did was roam around looking for food, mating, laying eggs and so on and so on and so on. It was a simple life, true. Easy to know when you were ‘getting it right’, that’s for sure. No ambiguity.
— Would you do it again?
Sometimes I miss a nice apatosaurus filet, but pork is a pretty good substitute. Other than that, no. And then there was that meteorite. That was dramatic, sure, but fun? Hardly. Terrible experience. It got very dark, then very darker and then I was a rock. I was an island. I didn’t need anyone and yeah. It was good being liberated from desire, but…
Wow. Now he’s mocking religion. He’s mocking Buddhism. I don’t believe.
Is he for real?
Yeah, I guess. I read about him on Facebook. He’s got a lot of fans. It’s amazing he can remember exactly what various of his molecules were doing through the ages, that is incredible.
One more question, you, in the fourth row, wearing women’s clothes.
— I AM a woman.
Whoa. Coulda’ fooled me.
Wow. Now he’s mocking ugly people.
SHUT UP BACK THERE FOR THE LAST TIME OR I’M CALLING THE USHER!!!
I’m sure your mother loved you and probably your husband does, too. Don’t worry about being ugly, lady. There are worse things such as being a rock. What’s your question?
— Do you believe in God?
What do you mean by “God”?
— You know, a divine intelligence that created the world and controls what happens in it.
No. That’s crazy. What you’re describing? Those things cannot exist in one being. It goes against nature for a being to have a creative intelligence AND be a micro-managing mid-level administrator. You can believe that if it makes your day better, of course. Godnose all this stuff seems pretty random and we’re all so small it’s difficult to understand the laws behind events. I mean, when I was a dinosaur every day was a completely new experience. I didn’t have the brain power to devise theories. Of course later, when I’d been busted up by the forces of erosion, frost-cracking and so on – and it was pretty fast as I was one of your large particle bits of post-meteorite igneous fluff – I finally escaped rock-dom and parts of me entered the world as a chicken it wasn’t a LOT better, but honestly, it’s tremendously convenient to be warm-blooded. After I was eaten by a fox life got a lot more interesting and the iterations came more quickly, of course. I wasn’t reduced to a mineral state ever again (but who knows?), and I’m grateful for that, though for a while I was a tree. It’s usually good to be a tree, overall pretty calm for a long time, depending on the type, but I was chomped down by a beaver when I was only a few years old. I lay in a cold stream for a while, but as I began to decay I re-entered the microbe state. I met up with some of myself in the stream, the parts that had been accidentally eaten by the beaver. We hung around sometimes mating with ourselves and sometimes just fucking around with cell division. Not for long, though. No one is a single-cell animal long. It’s a lot like a steep slide at a water park. It’s scary, wet and doesn’t last, unless you have the bad luck to become a rock. I loved the period of being a trout, but as it seems always to happen, I was eaten by something, this time an osprey. Even osprey’s don’t live forever, so in a hard wind storm over the river my bird crashed to earth. He rotted and after a while I found myself a tree again, this time a nice big oak in the middle of a field. Good times, good times with my pals. Dude even showed up and it was nice reliving all our old lives. You’d think in an infinite universe there’d be more variety, but no. Amazingly we had similar stories. Great period, I’ll tell you that.
— And then you became human
Hell no. After many years, I fell in a windstorm. I was old, brittle. Most of my pals had fallen long before so I was fine with the whole thing. The next thing I remember, though, I was a squirrel. Awful. Avoid that. Avoid returning as a squirrel because then you’re PREY. Naturally, I was eaten by a fox. I swear. Foxes have it in for me. Well, I could go on FOREVER, but maybe you can see how this works? Did I answer your question?
— You’re saying things just happen?
I don’t know, but that’s how it seems to me.
— For no reason?
Reason? Are you sure you don’t mean CAUSE? Things happen because the thing before happened and, if there’s a purpose it’s so the next thing can happen. Often what happens is someone’s worst case scenario.
— But WHY?
The laws of nature, babe. That’s all I know and what I’m trying to say is THAT’S ALL I KNOW.
Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with in 2014. This is their second adventure. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.