The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison

Surfing the Multiverse

Dr Amanda Henderson closed her eyes, took three deep breaths and reopened them. The crowd before her parted as she approached the tape that separated the public from the stars leaving the Academy Awards ceremony. Tom Cruise was moving towards her...

The existence of an infinite number of parallel universes had been accepted by theoreticians since the mid 90s. It was even known that crossover between universes occurred at sub-atomic level. Physicists remained confounded, however, by the mind-boggling consequence of an infinite number of copies of ourselves living in those other universes. It was on this point that Amanda made her first breakthrough.

She realised that, far from existing in one universe, we were all perpetually surfing from one to the next. Only our consciousness was continuous. Like channel hopping on TV - other channels continued, but without our awareness.

Her second breakthrough followed from wondering why some people always got to empty checkouts at supermarkets or frequently won money - why some people were so much ‘luckier’ than others. Amanda hypothesised that they were unconsciously surfing the multiverse to their own advantage - frequently switching to a universe in which they had the edge. ‘Feeling lucky’ or ‘Being on a roll’ were just two expressions used to described that sense of riding the ‘maximum gain wave’.

Together with her research into parallel universes, Amanda began intensive mind training, using biofeedback techniques, to enhance her awareness of the wave. She made rapid progress.

Her computer modelling of the multiverse led to her third breakthrough. The algorithm to program a quantum computer to calculate the number of universes in which a given favourable event would occur.

The results of this at first surprised and disappointed her as they showed some events would never occur in any universe, despite there being an infinite number. Amanda sleeping with Bruce Willis being one such example.

There was also an annoying lack of precision in her ability to surf to a favourable universe. If ten thousand universes contained the favourable outcome, then she could succeed nearly every time. With a number below one thousand, it became nearly impossible. Her mind training was helpful in getting served in restaurants, winning money and not having Jehovah’s Witnesses call on Sunday mornings, but for some events the number of favourable universes was just too low.

Sleeping with Tom Cruise after the Academy Awards occurred only in twenty-four universes and, as he walked past her without a glance, she concluded this was not one of them. Pearce Brosnan approached. She glanced at her hand-held computer - one hundred and twenty-six universes. She closed her eyes and focused her mind. She opened them again to see Pearce stepping into his limousine. A well-known actress descended the steps. The alarm on her hand-held beeped. The number ‘twenty-two thousand’ flashed.

Amanda rapidly decided to abandon the experiment for the evening, moved quickly through the parting crowd, and climbed into the empty taxi that just happened to stop where she stood.