After the initial euphoria of finally proving the existence of parallel universes, scientists at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, were today beginning to voice open disappointment that the alternative reality they had discovered was merely a slightly less exciting version of their own. The decades of talk about wanting to understand the mysteries of the wave-particle duality and instigating a ‘once-in-a-century paradigm shift’ have been quickly forgotten as scientists struggle to come to terms with the inexplicable absence of jet-packs and sexier, ‘evil-twin’ versions of themselves.
‘According to the theory that parallel universes are created each time a decision is taken,’ said lead researcher Dr. Georges Stoller today, ‘the chances of happening upon a drab municipal research facility more boring than our own must be infinitesimal. To be honest, it’s a bit of a let-down. Our calculations told us we were bound to find a resurgent Roman empire with all-in orgies and war, or a nuclear wasteland ruled by women who kept male scientists as sex slaves. Hell, we’d even have settled for an improved public transport infrastructure, but as it turns out things are pretty much the same over there as they are here, only less interesting.’
Dr. Stoller, who lives in a characterless suburban apartment with a mousy wife and ungrateful teenage children, was surprised to find that his parallel-world doppelganger was a bachelor of longstanding who liked nothing more after a long day of routine lab work than to settle down in front of a word-search or jigsaw puzzle. And although he is prepared to concede that his alter-ego sports a trendy little goatee and a snappy line in academic knitwear, it is a far cry from the adrenaline-fuelled, professional and romantic success-story that modern physics insists Dr. Stoller must be in at least one parallel universe.
With many disillusioned employees now threatening to walk away from the multi-billion pound research programme, critics are claiming that scientists’ interests were only ever limited to the discovery of worlds in which a different set of life choices hadn’t yielded them such empty, regrettable existences. But late this afternoon Dr Stoller both refuted this slur and averted a mass exodus of staff by producing a landmark paper proving beyond doubt the existence of a universe in which scientists endlessly celebrate the development of a unifying Theory of Everything by pushing their desks to the sides of their labs and researching exciting new ways to P-A-R-T-Y.