Alternate Universe

WordPress has asked which fictional universe I would like to live in. Since just two suggestions earlier they asked whether I believed in UFOs you can see that this is a theme close to their hearts. Perhaps they dream of being the Nerdic race, from the planet Geek in the Getalife universe.

They list helpful examples, such as Star Wars, Mad Men, Hamlet. In Hamlet’s universe pretty well everyone dies, often by being stabbed in the arras (sorry, it made us giggle at school, and I’ve never really grown up) so I’d rather try some place where my life expectancy is a little longer.

I have never heard of Mad Men, but it doesn’t sound like the kind of place I’d like to live in (though hang on, given my mental history I might be made Emperor).

As regards Star Wars I have a terrible confession to make. I saw the first film, didn’t like it much and so, please don’t stone me for saying this, have never watched any of the other five. I realise that this is like admitting to never having listened to the Beatles (the Yellow Submarine universe looks like fun, by the way), or to not knowing who David Beckham is, but it’s true.

Anyway, from what little I can remember of a film I saw 35 years ago the Star Wars universe contains very crowded bars, women who think a danish-shaped hairstyle is quite fetching and extremely irritating robots. Oh, and there’s a really big war going on.

So I wouldn’t fancy living there. There are a couple of other choices of which I know slightly more, although each has their own drawbacks.

Narnia is covered in snow, and is ruled by an ice-cold woman, which simply makes it sound like Britain during any 1980s winter. And there’s a lion roaming about, which certainly wouldn’t make me sleep soundly in my bed.

As far as I can tell from Star Trek absolutely everyone on Earth is in Starfleet. You never see anyone who’s a milkman, or a Quantity Surveyor. There don’t appear to be Presidents of countries (indeed, there don’t seem to be countries) and there doesn’t even seem to be a President of the Planet, there just seem to be a binnacle of Admirals (yes, that’s the collective noun) who run everything. On the bright side, about half of these typically turn out to be corrupt, so politically their universe is very like ours.

The Harry Potter universe might seem to offer boundless excitement and fun (and a war) but it is important to remember that, just as you wouldn’t be an Ewok in the Star Wars universe, you wouldn’t be a wizard in Harry’s. We would all be Muggles and life would be very like it is here, apart from occasional unexplained thunderclaps and a railway platform that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.

Middle Earth isn’t a great place for humans, either, we seem to be there solely to populate the army in (yes, you guessed it) their war. It’s not much fun living in a universe where the trees have more power and influence than you do.

So if I’d to choose I’d pick one where I’d inherit an estate the size of Tipperary and a steady income from some distant relative, leaving me free to guest at country homes where I’d spend the evenings after dinner smoking cucumber-sized cigars and goutfuls of port, and the daytimes in the company of charmingly pretty ladies who would refer to me as “Mr Tinman” and who could put together perfectly constructed forty-five word sentences without dropping a single stitch in their incessant and unspecified sewing.

Elizabeth Barret-Tinman has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?


12 thoughts on “Alternate Universe

  1. bluebee

    “goutfuls of port” – ha, ha – excellent, Tinman – I like your suggestion.

    If you were a woman, you definitely wouldn’t want to inhabit the ‘Mad Men’ universe except for the clothes or unless you were a masochist; and as a man, only if you were an MCP who was trying to give himself lung cancer

  2. Janie Jones

    I like your version of a perfect universe, however, if you are referring to the particular Elizabeth I think you are, you should stipulate that your version of this universe occurs after she over comes her prejudice and you your pride (not that Tinman would ever have any improper pride, but ‘…where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.’).

    1. Tinman Post author

      That’s her, Janie. She looks like Keira Knightly according to the film, which is, I must admit, another bonus.

  3. viv blake

    I don’t think EVERYone has seen Starwars. I haven’t, despite having been involved in doing PR for the launch of The Empire Strikes Back. In fact Sci-fi anything leaves me cold. Though I did enjoy the John Wyndham books read during my youth.

    Given our mutual suspicion of the genre, I find your post is absolutely brilliant – how to make a profound and funny piece out of absolutely nothing.

    1. Tinman Post author

      When I read the topic suggestion I thought “oh, God”, so I’m quite surprised with what I managed to come up with, Viv.

  4. speccy

    Watch Mad Men- top notch drama from the days when ad men were mad and women were working out their places in the world. Fabulous. Horrifying. Brilliant. No, I don’t want to live there either.

    Did EBB (EBT now I suppose) not have consumption or something gross?

    Mind you, now I blog a bit and then take to my bed at the drop of a hat, maybe I’m already in her world. Without the poetic talent.

    1. Tinman Post author

      I’m starting to realise now what Mad Men actually is – I had thought it was some sort of Sci-fi, but now I think I actually remember the film you mean.

      I though it was Beth from Little Women who had something gross.

      And I’m not sure you fully thought through the phrase “take to my bed at the drop of a hat” before you sent it out onto the entire internet.

    1. Tinman Post author

      Thanks Nancy. I was also thinking about Jane Eyre, especially since the film is out now, but he’s married to a nutcase, whereas in our family it’s the other way around.


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