Ever had the feeling that you were important, that if the end of the world was going to happen, you would be involved? Rightly or wrongly, probably in childhood...
But no, seriously, I am important. I will have a role to play in averting the coming apocalypse - and the whole world will be watching.
Look at the evidence:
If I plan carefully to catch a bus, from five minutes before it is due, up to an hour later, all buses fail to arrive. But, if I run out to catch a bus without knowing when one is due, cursing myself for my lack of preparation and predicting that I will be waiting for ages, one will arrive.
I wrote a blog entry about how much I love travelling by train, even if the trains stop for no reason in the middle of nowhere. On the way back from Southampton to London, the train was replaced by a bus for most of the route.
But, when I arrived to make my connection in Kings Cross Station to find the timetable boards blank and off, I turned to a sighing stranger and said, with a wry grin, “I expect I’ll be waiting for an hour anyway.” This was the cue for the boards to return to life, informing me that my train was due to leave in three minutes.
Once, on a night out, I walked to the cashpoint machines for a little extra moolah. My bank’s cashpoint machines were out of order, so I walked to the next bank. They were out of order as well. ‘Just my luck for them all to be out of order,’ I think, walking to the last local bank anyway. This machine had a queue. It was working. The person in front of me withdrew the last money in the machine just before I smiled at them and said “Finally!” whilst moving towards the slot, card in hand.
All of this is bundled up inside the natural laws of the universe, the one rule of them all that cannot be expressed through any kind of maths. It is almost worshipped. Believers recite the mantra from day to day, under their breath, out loud, shouting, screaming even, that the irrevocable, nay, inevitable order of the universe is unbeatable.
Yet it would appear that in some circumstances I have power. I can invoke Sod’s Law. When something can go wrong, I can make it go wrong, but only as long as it applies to making it all go wrong for me.
Picture the scene, thirty years from now. As one of the first true global celebrities, my punditry on the impending meteoric impact is the internet and television viewing of choice for every one of the twelve billion inhabitants of this future world.
All contact is lost with the NASA ‘Tractor Beam’ team led by Bruce Willis’ grandson, and the earth waits with bated breath to hear what my last words to the planet will be.
“Well, ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls, Artificial Intelligences and other sentient beings, this would look to be the final moments of our planet. A time for farewells. To those of you who will survive the coming onslaught, we give our heartfelt wishes of luck and goodwill, that you will be able to continue the progeny of the human race beyond this most tragic of days.”
Indian kids in Bollywood cinemas retuned for the event begin to cry, the President of the United States of Europe, as well as the recently deposed President of North America, both give me a thumbs up from behind the camera as they embrace their families in tears. In Paris, a little girl tucks her Barbie into bed, and a lone dog runs through the abandoned streets of London.
The cameras show the surface of the meteor as it hurtles towards Earth.
“Nothing can stop it now,” I say. “It is inevitable. Impossible that anything could stop it. I knew this would happen. It was impossible that that NASA Team led by Bruce Willis’ grandson could stop that meteor. I was right. You were all wrong. Ha.”
<*colossal skidding sound, as if the meteor is braking in a Warner Brothers Cartoon*>
A rising note of derisive laughter will shake the planet as I am proved totally and utterly wrong. I will become a desperate Z-List celebrity, longing for gigs like Celebrity Dog Training School or Lunar Survivor. I will end my days in a small hut, watching the sunset on a migratory sandbank ten miles south-west of the Pacific Island of Tuvalu; alone, forgotten, but knowing that my amazing power to make a complete and utter twat of myself has saved the world.