When I was ten years old, my friend Tom Kelly was the king of the What If. He was the Michael Jordan of the hypothetical – so good at it that his tongue flapping in mid-dunk only made him that much cooler.
I cannot remember even one of Tom’s What Ifs, but the sort of thing he’d say is:
“What if shoes had retractable ball bearings so you could fly downhill and cruise around whenever you wanted?” (This was before Heelys, you understand.)
“What if you made a robot that looked just like yourself so it could go to school for you?”
“What if all of the adults in the world suddenly started talking baby talk?”
I marveled at Tom’s prolific facility with the What If. My mind just doesn’t work like that. Still, I try. I am a high concept kind of guy, only much more slow-witted than Tom. If I hear of a book or a movie that is rooted in a strong What If, I am all over it.
Divergent: what if each person were forced by society to choose a faction advocating only one positive quality as its driving philosophy?
The Lightning Thief: what if the Greek gods had children with latent supernatural powers and who lived among us?
Liar, Liar: what if a lying attorney, by the magic power of his son’s birthday wish, was for 24 hours incapable of telling a lie?
Writer, reader, runner, teacher, father, infp, huffleclaw.