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?