Family and some friends may have noticed I’m not on Facebook often nowadays. Or maybe they haven’t noticed because so many other people aren’t on Facebook often nowadays, including said family and friends. Naturally I have a long list of reasons for this, because having long lists is this thing I do, but one of the more benign reasons in the middle of that list is I begin to have issues whenever I’m around memes, Photoshop jokes, partisan pie charts, Buzzfeed quizzes, and fake Morgan Freeman quotes. Since this is now 90% of what Facebook is, abstinence becomes a sort of self-defense.
Sometimes I can keep to myself while I’m catching up on recent events. Sometimes I lose control and make things worse. This most recent example was shared by a friend today:
Whoever made this doesn’t understand how lucky we were.
Quick explanation of this three-fandom joke to kill the joke for those missing some puzzle pieces: David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, has a small but crucial role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as an undercover villain named Barty Crouch, Jr., whose covert actions contribute to the death of heroic Hufflepuff student Cedric Diggory, played by Robert Pattinson, who went on to be rebranded as the fabulously wealthy but perpetually morose costar of the Twilight series. So…yeah, I’ll let you finish solving that joke puzzle.
But if we play along, we note this fiendish plan didn’t work out so well for the Doctor, did it? Thanks to Barty Crouch Jr.’s machinations, Harry and Cedric wound up taking the Portkey to the graveyard where Cedric was murdered, thus freeing Pattinson to exit the series and go find his own moneymaking franchise machine. Meanwhile, the Doctor/Crouch is hauled off to Azkaban and we never see him again, because David Tennant was too much awesomeness for Harry Potter to contain and he would’ve made the Dementors cry.
Suppose Doctor Crouch hadn’t done all that, though. Imagine a world where the Doctor’s plans went differently wrong, the Tri-Wizard Tournament had a satisfying ending instead of becoming thoroughly irrelevant several hundred pages after it began, Peter Pettigrew found some other way to resurrect Voldemort anyway, and Cedric lived to fight the Dark Lord and the Death-Eaters alongside Our Heroes to the bitter end. Robert Pattinson would’ve been contractually tied up in the next four Potter movies and wouldn’t have been available for other projects. To this day he’d be known for that distinctive red-and-yellow Hufflepuffer’s Quidditch uniform and probably pervade Tumblr under very different circumstances.
Meanwhile, the Twilight series moves forward with Edward Cullen played by Matt Smith, because this is the kind of disaster that happens when you cross the streams. Following that unchecked line of thought cursed me with the worrisome mental image of Edward Cullen smiling and yelling “Geronimo!” and wearing a fez because he thinks fezzes are cool, and in that same timeline the fez is why Belle, or Billie or Britta or Ebola or whatever the female lead’s name is, chooses Jacob over Edward. The ripples continue outward and so now Jacob is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mustache Dad is Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead, and Peter Dinklage is a Volturi who’s too busy to be Tyrion Lannister, because this is the timeline where all the internet’s favorite TV shows are caught in the shockwave and ruined and canceled after one season, leaving us in a post-apocalyptic present-day where every long-lasting TV show begins with the prefix “NCIS”.
Lucky for us, that’s not what happened. So let’s count our blessings, shall we? Three lessons learned from this:
1. There’s always a darker timeline.
2. The Twilight series is a fixed point in time.
3. This is what happens when you put Photoshopped jokes in front of me without thinking through the consequences.
…and so that’s why I have to hide from Facebook a lot. For the sake of my brain and everyone else’s.