Sometimes we like to imagine what life would be like if everything had turned out differently—if everything we’d wished for this week had actually come true. We like to imagine, for instance, that we’d be in line for the new iPhone 5 and that it would be so shiny and magical that it wouldn’t matter that we still get no reception anywhere in Manhattan where you’d actually need to make a phone call. We like to imagine that Chris Christie is running for President because we like outsized… personalities. (We’ve sprained all of our extraocular muscles rolling our eyes at Michelle Bachmann but she seems to have more staying power than Mitt Romney’s hair gel.) We like to imagine Derek Jeter hammering some of Justin Verlander’s 100 mph fastballs into the nosebleed seats at Comerica Park. We like to imagine that Girl Scout Council employees are paragons of public service and would never, ever embezzle $310,000 of organizational cookie money for cosmetic laser procedures and cruises.
But, alas, none of it’s true. The iPhone 5 is really the iPhone 4S; New Jersey is, in his own words, “stuck with” Governor Christie; the Yankees lost ALDS game 3 and Yaasmin Hooey, the former finance director of Girl Scout Council of Greater New York pocketed what the New York Post characterized as “88,000 boxes” of Thin Mints’ worth of, among other things—you guessed it—cosmetic laser procedures and a cruise. (A cruise! Have we really learned nothing from David Foster Wallace?)
Other surprises this week: A helicopter crashed into the East River (bad surprise), but there were survivors (good surprise). Hank Williams Jr., a country singer not especially known for his intelligence and erudition, compared the President to Hitler (bad surprise), which prompted ESPN to drop his magnum opus “All My Rowdy Friends” as its theme song for Monday Night Football thereby ensuring that no one ever has to hear that godawful song again (good surprise). Andy Rooney finally decided to retire (bad sur…good surprise?)
Sigh… It’s all just so unexpected. Next thing you know, Amanda Knox’ll be on a jetliner back to Seattle, Blake Lively and Leonardo di Caprio will break up and people will be taking Occupy Wall Street seriously. Wait. What’s that you say? Really? Huh. We didn’t see that coming.
Maybe we’ll just imagine what it would be like if everything had turned out differently.