Now you’ve done it. You came into the room for…something, you don’t remember what. It may have been your keys, or your phone, or even that limited edition Star Wars lunchbox sitting on the shelf – it doesn’t matter anymore.
Because you’ve accidentally walked through a rip in space and time.
The most important thing now is to keep calm. There is no going back. You’re stuck in this parallel universe, and you have to learn to navigate the strange new waters of your existence. Luckily, I travel the multiverse regularly, so I’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help get you through these crucial first steps in your new life.
First things first; establish WHAT you are
“Hang on, Ryan, I’m still human!” you’re probably thinking to yourself. A classic, rookie mistake. There is every possibility you’ve landed yourself in a universe where physical matter doesn’t exist in a state you recognize, or even understand. You may simply be a collection of neurons floating in a puddle of urine (I’ve been there…don’t drink the water).
The first step towards self-indentification is to raise your hands in front of your face. This, of course, is to determine whether or not you have hands and a face. For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume you passed this test…if not, you’ll have to wait for my next guide to verse-jumping. Sorry.
Now, give the rest of your body a thorough pat down with your sweet new hands, and look closely for any signs of deformity. There are some obvious questions you should be asking yourself as you do this;
- Do I have skin?
- Are my bones and organs where they should be?
- Do I have a vestigial tail where my legs used to be?
For the sake of brevity, I have to assume everything is working out great for you thus far in your new life. My apologies if you’ve become mired in a cosmic soup of possibility that just got poured down a celestial poop-chute. Again, I’ve been there; take the first right and you’ll be better. Not fine. Better.
Now it’s time to establish WHEN you are (see what I did there?)
Figuring out what point you’ve entered into a particular verse’s evolutionary timeline is crucial. What you consider advanced may seem barbaric in some timelines, while in others it will appear as nothing but magic. Here are a few methods I’ve developed that surreptitiously lay bare the truths of any chronology:
- Pee into the wind (yes, you too ladies). If it sprays back onto your pants, you’re doing great! The timeline you’re in closely resembles what you’re already used to in 2016, Earth. However, if your robot overlords send a clean-up crew to terminate the urine (and by default, you), do not run! You can’t escape anyway.
- Step on a bug, any bug. If you fade from existence, you’ve entered a timeline that precedes your own. Oops! However, if the bug grows exponentially in size, turns about, and stares at you incredulously – don’t worry! You’re about to be enslaved for the rest of your miserable existence, forced to push around balls of your own feces for the amusement of your new insect masters. Not a bad option, all things considered.
- Sing a few lines from any New Kids on the Block song (you do know one, right?). If nothing untoward happens – awesome! However, if an armoured figure approaches, a cloud of plague and pestilence cloaking its form from view, congratulations! You’ve just met Jordan Death-Knight, your new undead king. He was cast from our own plane of existence at the beginning of the 90’s, and hasn’t been very happy about it since. I suggest you bow at the waist. Now.
Next up; establish WHERE you are
Now that you’ve rediscovered your (apparent) humanity, and (maybe) established a timeline, we need to find out where you’ve ended up. If you were lucky enough to have crossed over with a smart phone, just Google “where am I”, and you’ll get a fairly accurate answer (because Google exists in every universe). If you’re phoneless, proceed with the following numbered list.
- Let loose a high-pitched shriek, and count to thirty Mississippi. If you finish counting, and haven’t been scooped up by a strange, bird-like creature, and dropped to your death as food for its young – great! Move on to the next step.
- Check your right buttocks for a strange birthmark that may or may not herald the end of existence. If it’s not there, great! You’re well on your way to surviving your first day in your new life. If it is there…well, you’re about to enrage a pantheon of god-like beings, who obliterate all of space and time. Nice one.
If you’ve reached this point in the survival guide, I feel obligated to point out that you’re already doing better than most people that travel the verse. The following diagram shows roughly how many universes contain the possibility that you will either be eaten by bird-like creatures, or represent the end of all time as we know it.
So there you have it. I hope this guide will help you to survive those crucial first steps in your journey through the verse. Should you find yourself at the crossroads of somewhere and nowhere, look me up! I’m in the green house.
Stay g33ky friends.