Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Episode 65: The Worst that Could Happen...

I realized today that people are not overly creative when they ask the question, "Well, what's the worst that could happen?" They always seem to have their own answer to their own question, but it very often reveals a very optimistic and naive lack of cerebral effort. Usually, the worst thing that could happen is assumed to be directly related to the topic of conversation at the time.

For instance, two people are standing on a rock only 10 feet above a body of water that is plenty deep enough for diving. "Well, what's the worst that could happen? You might accidentally do a belly flop and that would probably sting a bit, so go ahead and jump."

Good heavens! What sort of modern education system churns out such blathering idiots? That is not even close to the worst thing that could happen in that particular situation, let alone the worst thing in general at that given moment in time for those two people.

The water could be infested with goldfish that have evolved into giant man-eating terrors after being heartlessly flushed down toilets somewhere in New Jersey. The rock itself could suddenly open its mouth (having just sprouted one due to instantaneous evolutionary processes set in motion, quite accidentally, by toddler aliens playing with their toys many light years away) and swallow them whole, or chew them up first, depending on the size of its mouth and whether it had teeth. Gravity could suddenly reverse itself just as they jumped and they could end up hopelessly floating around the dark and fathomless void of infinite space. Those are just a few things that could be worse than "the worst that could happen" to those poor dimwitted divers.

I think you see my point, which is great, because I've gone off and left and can no longer see it myself, so I'm glad to know someone is looking after it. Our education system has failed us and is failing us, and we lack the creative prowess even to speculate on the worst thing that could happen if our education system failed us.

Also, you should not have such discussions with 8-year-olds who already have numerous irrational fears.

One more thing, if you write when you are hungry, you will invariably include bits about things eating other things, so if you would rather avoid such references, it is probably best to write on a full stomach.