"1-800-Universe, how may I direct your call?"
"Uh, travel department please?"
[less than one moment later...]
"Travel, how may I help you?"
"Uh, traffic is way heavy right now, and um, I'm totally gonna miss my flight, ya know?"
"Ah... yep. I see it right here. Yeah, no way you're gonna make that flight with the traffic as it now stands. Literally, from the looks of it."
"Can you do anything?"
"We're the Universe. Of course we can do anything."
"Let me rephrase the question. How should we proceed?"
"Well, that all depends. Which universe do you wanna move to?"
"What are my top, say, 3 options?"
"There's the universe where the dude who broke down on the highway in front of you, causing the traffic jam you're stuck in, decides to stay home and play video-games instead. You make it to your existing flight. There's one where traffic remains lousy, but a mechanic accidentally drops a wrench into a part of the plane your flight's on that should never have a wrench rattling around in it, and it takes long enough to remove it to delay the flight until you're safely on it. You make it to your destination just fine, only a couple hours late. Next we have a semi-wacky universe in which a hot-air balloon filled with rodeo clowns gets blown off course and makes an unexpected landing right next to your car so you jump out and impulsively ask if they'll give you a lift to the airport. They check the wind conditions and agree. Up you go, but it turns out they are dastardly rodeo clowns who intend to kidnap you and enslave you to the balloon-traveling rodeo show they're part of. Now, before I continue, if you pick this universe, there will be a question of whether you decide to join the rodeo clowns or actually get to your flight. And even if you do opt for the flight, there will still be a 40% chance or better that you will one day join the rodeo clowns, for they are highly persuasive rodeo clowns. Sorry, I just like saying 'rodeo clowns' for some reason."
"Oh, and of course, you could always just opt to stay in this universe, miss your flight, spend an evening in the hotel airport, fly out the next morning and get to your destination a day late."
"What are the various ramifications I should consider for each choice?"
"Well, if you go with the video game guy staying home, nothing bad happens to you, nothing especially amazing either. The guy who stays home loses his job though. He's on his couch, smokes some pot, gets into 'Halo' or whatever, forgets to call in sick, and they just can him. Ah, but there's a slim chance this motivates the guy to get his shit together. Or possibly try to reform his band. Ooh. Not good. Um, also, several of the other people on the road make it to respective flights which they wouldn't otherwise, and one of those leads to a marriage proposal. Ah, but it gets shot down and the would-be suitor goes into a terrible depression for years. When he comes out of it, he has an idea for an invention that he thinks could make him rich (makes it possible to get toothpaste back into a tube... huh...) um, but if he pursues it he will lose his shirt because as it turns out, nobody gives a crap about getting toothpaste back into the tube. That, and the invention is the size of a small filing cabinet."
"So, wait... is that a good choice universe or not?"
"Hmm... really not sure. Let's see how it compares to the other choices."
"Good. Hit me."
"In the dropped-wrench universe, you make it to your destination a bit late, so you avoid traffic heading to where you're staying, which gets you there very quickly and in precise timing to catch a cat-burglar, making you a hero to the community. But your car takes a turn fast enough to startle a pedestrian into dropping his cel-phone leading to a chain of events too long to list but which ends with a very old man getting crushed by a falling refrigerator."
"What, out on the sidewalk?"
"In a stairwell. It's okay though, he lived a full life."
"Well, next is you join rodeo clowns who travel from show to show via hot-air balloon and often miss their targets leading them off on crazy adventures full of wacky hijinks. Also, the possibility exists that you visit NYC briefly in the middle there."
"What kind of wacky hijinks?"
"You mean, precisely? You want an itemized list? Well, many of them appear to be falling-out-of-balloon-and-landing-on-something-wacky-related. Can we maybe group those together and--"
"I think I get the idea. What's next?"
"You chillax at the airport hotel for an overnight. The room is adequate but you can't sleep, so you go to the lounge for a drink in the middle of the night and are mistaken for a spy. A waiter mysteriously slips you a check before you've even ordered. When you open the black leatherette check-folio thingy, the slip says 'Room 404, under the bed, 649' and there's a key to the room taped to it."
"You go to the room, crawl under the bed and find a small box taped to the underside. You pull it free, and see it is combination-locked. You slide the numbers to read '649' and it opens. A voice instructs you to--
"Maybe just cut to the chase?"
"You survive your attackers, foil the evil plot of a genocidal madman, defuse a bomb with mere seconds left, and are then recruited by a super-elite secret strike force. But during a shootout with evil henchmen, one of your bullets ricochets off a fire-escape, through an opposite window and kills a young boy's pet lizard. He swears revenge and one day grows up to be your arch-nemesis, Doctor Iguana!"
"Oh, I am TOTALLY doing that one!"
"You sure you wouldn't rather do the wrench one, or the universe with the--"
"This is between me, and the lizard man."