The Day I Altered The Future -or- Leave The Worms Be
Over the past several months I’ve had a recurring memory of a day last year when I went out for a run. It could be nothing. It could mean the end of the Universe!!
I was out for a run in the spring of 2017, like I do every other day. Little did I know that day would be different. I was running past our local community centre adjacent to a field vacant of any greenery. A direct result of the ongoing construction and birth of a new neighbourhood. I bounced along the bike path with ACDC’s “Back In Black” blaring in through my wireless headphones ($30 on Amazon). I pass many things along my morning runs but that day would forever change me… and THE FUTURE!!!!
As I ran past the new housing development I happened across a small worm inching his (her?) was across the hot asphalt bike path. Of course like a million other human beings, I thought nothing of it and continued on my way. But as I put distance between us I struggled with an overwhelming feeling that I had to go back. It occurred to me that the worm was inching his way toward the road. A road that he would surely NEVER make it across. I could save him. I thought to myself how ridiculous it was that I was even considering turning back. I kept jogging onward trying to suppress the thought of going back. But I’ll be damned if the feeling didn’t get stronger and stronger the further and further away I ran. JESUS, I thought to myself, what the hell am I doing?? It was almost like someone else was in the driver seat of my body. I stopped, pushed “pause” on my Nike running app and I turned around and ran back the 200 meters to where I left the tiny worm to die.
When I arrived at the part of the bike path where I’d seen the worm, I was surprised to find that he’d nearly made it onto the road and a most assured death. I carefully picked him (her?) up and carried him (her?) to a nearby bulldozed piece of moist dirt. What more could a worm wish for I thought. Without thanks (from the worm), I continued with my run, bearing a feeling a pride and self-satisfaction for helping out one of Mother Nature’s most misunderstood, and slimy, creatures.
I was a couple of kilometres into my run when it occurred to me that on one side I just saved a worm from an untimely death (he/she appeared to be a young worm). But on the other side, what if that worm was SUPPOSED to die? Did I just inadvertently start a chain reaction of events that would ultimately lead to the demise of all man kind? A few scenarios began running through my mind like a TV theme show you just can’t stop humming.
The worm I saved was supposed to make it to the street and end up in the path of a female cyclist who, out of respect for all living things, would change lanes to avoid squishing one of Mother Nature’s most mis… ok ok we went there already. Instead, she continues on her way and narrowly misses a moving truck on the side of which is spray painted a witty limerick. A limerick that had momentarily distracted the driver of a Dodge Caravan who was engaged in a laughing fit due to reading it and not keeping his eyes on the road. The woman collided with the Caravan and was pronounced dead at the scene by two paramedics who arrived late, delayed by a botched Starbucks order after the barista wrote Stephen on the cup when the paramedic’s name was Shawn. Little did anyone at the scene know that this woman was to be future neurosurgeon, responsible for saving the life of Edward Broughton, the future bureaucrat and philanthropist who would single handedly convince North Korea to give up their nuclear program by showing Kim Jong Un how he can magically remove his thumb and return it to its proper position.
The worm I saved was supposed to make it to the street where he would be plucked up by a passing rare Henslow’s Sparrow. The sparrow would have flown to the top of a nearby fence where he’d devour his wormy breakfast. Instead the sparrow saw no worm (because I moved it) and continued on his way, over the neighbourhood and in a cruel twist of fate, suffered a heart attack, startled by a police car briefly blasting its siren in an attempt to pull over a vehicle that had not come to a full and complete stop at an intersection below. The dead sparrow fell onto the breast of a woman named Helen Bodenheimer who was resting on an inflatable white and pink unicorn in her swimming pool at the time of the incident. The fallen bird hitting her breast resulted in Helen having a major conniption which caused her to roll off of the inflatable white and pink unicorn and smack her head on the humorously oversized penis on a fountain statue of the lesser known Greek God, Dionysus, God of Booze. Helen Bodenheimer was to be the great grandmother of Ronaldo Mastrofrancesco. He was to be the first man to walk on the surface of Mars. Helen’s demise meant that her great grandson would not only NOT go to Mars, but he wouldn’t be born at all. Thus, he will not be able to warn folks back on Earth about his discovery of a large asteroid that narrowly misses Mars and is headed on a cataclysmic trajectory toward our big blue planet, undoubtedly killing us all.
This one is a bit of a stretch but assuming worms live similar lives to those of humans, the worm I saved had been unemployed for nearly the past eight months and life for him and his family had been growing increasingly difficult. It was his first day at a new job and after waking up late due to not hearing his alarm going off, he was rushing (as fast as a worm can rush) to get to work at a nearby mud pile. When I picked him up and placed him in a piece of fresh dirt at a new housing development, little did I realize that worms are VERY territorial. Within minutes of me placing him there, a group of about twenty unionized worm contractors advanced on the poor hapless invertebrate and beat him to a bloody pulp. They placed his lifeless body in a Diamond brand match box and buried it in a shallow grave that, come winter, protruded slightly out of the frozen ground tripping Hendrik Van Dijk, sending him to the ground hard enough to cause a cerebral embolism. Hendrik was to be the future Operations Manager at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. He would have been responsible for stopping a Proton collision that would see the end of the universe as we know it.
Well, there you have it. The moral of the story? The future’ll be fine. I put way too much thought into things.