The Day the Worlds Collided

Those who saw it had nightmares; nightmares about drowning in jelly or other thick, viscous liquids. Reaching, gasping for the surface only to have their lungs filled with sweet, port wine-flavoured death.

Those who saw it prayed to unsee it; they prayed to all religious beings, even some that no one had thought about for eons who had sparked back into existence at the sound of their names.

Those who saw it begged astrophysicists to reverse the laws of nature; to annul Einstein’s Theory of Relativity; for E to not equal MC2. For velocity, inertia, gravitational pull to be rescinded—except for entropy, a body at rest does indeed want to stay at rest, especially when a new season of The Crown has just been released on Netflix.

Those who saw it would never, ever forget the last match in the Sumo Wrestling World Championship of 2019. It was a novelty match; the former champion, Mr Tenchi, would select his opponent and wrestle for charity. Which charity? Those details have been lost and frankly, how could you ask such a thing after such a traumatic incident?

One of the details that has not been lost (in fact, it has been seared into the minds of all of those who saw it) was which rikishi, or wrestler, Mr Tenchi chose—it was his wife, a fellow wrestler.

Weighing in at over three hundred kilograms each, Mr and Mrs Tenchi entered the dohyo and crouched deep. Then, with the force of ten thousand hippopotami, Mr and Mrs Tenchi—I should probably mention now, for comedic effect, that tenchi means “world” in Japanese—collided.

A slap louder than the Krak from Krakatoa.

A squelch like a thousand farmers pulling two thousand gumboots out of the sloppiest mud.

The crowd’s collective gasp almost created a vacuum.

What was left of Mr and Mrs World, post-collision, was a large, round mass, much like an octopus with eight limbs, but much unlike an octopus when it came to that part of the body where a head should be. Each other’s head was sucked/forced/I am not a scientist nor a doctor into the other’s body around about where the left shoulder is/used to be. Limbs flailed accordingly.

People scrambled into the dohyo and tried to pull them apart, but this was no Excalibur—no one would be crowned King of England for this extraction.

As others rushed for the exits, one brave soul held his ear up to the octo-person’s chests and heard the sound of muffled panic slowly diminishing into silence. The Worlds collapsed with a thud. He took a few steps backward, turned on his heel, and ran away.

One of the audience members was in construction and the next day he got a bulldozer and a cement truck and dug a cavernous hole in the earth. Mr and Mrs World were plopped in the hole. Like Chernobyl, this fault of physics was cemented over.

That week, dozens of psychologists saw dozens of new patients.