The Odyssey of Medium Bob: The Blip

The Odyssey of Medium Bob: The Blip

BUMPED 7/26/2023

Have you ever thought about how hideously disastrous it would be to undo the Thanos Snap?

In this week’s episode, we see “Geraldine” (it’s actually Monica Rambeau) being reverse-dusted back into existence in a hospital room.  She looks around in confusion and then heads out into a corridor that is suddenly packed with frantic people running about aimlessly in shock and confusion.  

One man says, “I have to call my wife!”

And that is when it hit me.   Just how bad undoing The Snap would be. 

We next see Agent Monica, maybe a week or two later and her biggest problem is that a security guard won’t let her into the super ultra-high top-secret government agency she hasn’t been in for five years. He doesn’t recognize her and her ID has expired.  They have started calling the reverse Snap, The Blip.

I couldn’t help looking at this and thinking, this is ridiculous.

An expired ID is the least of anyone’s problems in this world.

Let’s look at Medium Bob. 

Five years ago: 

Medium Bob (SSHR: Delta) is an engineer who lives in the suburb of Pleasant View, with his wife Carrol and their two kids.  He is living a more or less ideal middle-class life (that really doesn’t happen anymore but work with me here).   

“The Snap” happens while he is at the office.  He hears a buzzing of commotion at first and then it rises to confused babble.  Medium Bob looks up from his work now in a growing concern.  Finally, he gets up when he hears a woman scream, “What is happening?”

An hour later he turns into his driveway on two wheels and slams on the brakes, bringing his car to a rocking halt on its springs.  He jumps out of the Corolla, running to his front door in a cold panic, crying, “CARROL? CARROL?! C-A-R-R-O-L!!” 

From the kitchen, he hears a tinny-sounding, “We Are the Champions.”  It’s the ringtone his wife assigned to his cell phone.  He had called it a dozen times when he was tearing his terrified way through the streets trying to get back to their home.  He had been calling it again when he hit the driveway.  He finds the phone lying on the kitchen floor.

He hears a knock on the sliding glass door in the living room.  Hope soaring in his heart, he rushes over to it. And feels that hope washed away like a bucket of cold water getting dumped over his head when he sees that it’s Janet From Next Door.

Janet’s eyes are wide, and she is white-faced, her breathing shallow.  Medium Bob slides the door and manages a reflexively polite tone when he asks, “Janet?”

“Have you seen Karl anywhere?” She prattles, “This was his day off,” as if she needed to explain why he was supposed to be home and with her. Before Medium Bob can answer, she presses on, “What about Emma?  Have you seen my daughter anywhere?”

The cell system crashes while Bob is calling the school.  Janet From Next Door is on the computer in his home office and yells that she just got an email from the school.  The school will be sending the kids home as soon as they find enough bus drivers.

And get an accurate roll call of the remaining children.

At Nine o’clock that night, Medium Bob heaves a cinder block through the sliding glass door of the Garcia family’s house.  Janet From Next Door enters the Garcia’s home and heads to the nursery, where their twins have been crying for hours. There has been no sign at all of Ramone and Maria since, It, happened. The house is dark, of course.  The electric grid failed two hours ago.

Medium Bob’s daughter, Autumn is looking after Janet From Next Door’s son, Ethan.  His own son Kevin is…gone.  Medium Bob is trying not to think about that or his wife as he forces himself to break every rule of his middle-class existence and start looking through the Garcia’s home for resources.

Medium Bob is an engineer. He knows how systems work.  And by nine o’clock he knows that half of everybody that makes the modern world’s barely working, get what’s needed to everywhere it’s supposed to go, and only just in time, life-support system is gone.   Half of the knowledge base that makes civilization run, has literally vanished in a puff of not quite smoke.  The fact that there were now only fifty percent as many mouths to feed wasn’t going to change the fact that there would be no way to feed them.

Medium Bob knows that Ramone is into off-roading and has a fifteen-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser that he customized for that hobby. He needs to find the keys.

Five years later: 

Medium Bob is sitting in the seat of his tractor. He wipes cool sweat off his forehead and takes a long satisfying drink of water.  He looks over his freshly plowed field with just a touch of pride.  He had mastered the art of the straight furrow years ago.  But he still felt a touch of ridiculous conceit while looking at his work. 

He frowns as he sees the figure of a man in the middle of his field.  The man is looking around in some confusion and then heads for Medium Bob’s tractor.  At first, he’s annoyed that some stranger felt he had the right to tramp through his field. He checks the gun in his pocket and then reaches for the mini binoculars.  It’s been years since there was that kind of trouble, but the habits learned in that first horrifying year were never going to be broken. He lifts the glasses to his eyes, and then Medium Bob feels cold fingers lace themselves around his heart because the man coming towards him does have the right to be there.  It’s Medium Bob’s cousin Dave.  And this was Dave’s farm before he and his wife vanished.

Medium Bob comes bursting through the front door of the farmhouse. Dave’s always angry wife Karen is back too and is angrier than usual.  His wife Janet is white-faced; he hasn’t seen her this frightened since The Snap.  

“It’s on the news,” she barely whispers.  “They’re all coming back.  Everyone is coming back. Everyone.”

Medium Bob looks over at his confused children.  Autumn his daughter by Carrol, his stepson Ethan.  The twins that he had been raising as his own. And the two youngest faces at the table.  Medium Bob looks over at his wife Janet who places protective hands over the bulge on her tummy.

“Look Bob,” Karen snaps.  “I don’t know what you people are doing here or what is going on, but this is my house! And you are going to have to leave!”

They had abandoned the houses in Pleasant View years ago.  They hadn’t paid mortgages on either of them because there was nothing to pay them with and no bank to be paid.  He had been informed that they had lost all rights to them under the Squatter Stead Holder Act.  Medium Bob had been offended at the time but then brushed it off because the houses weren’t worth more than $7,000 combined.

Now Carrol and his son Kevin were probably arguing with new owners about whose house this was.

“Karl. Emma,” Janet’s voice was a toneless, dead whisper.

“I said,” Karen said, “You have to leave!”

“Yes, of course, Karen,” Medium Bob murmured submissively.  He licked his dry lips before continuing. “But I have to tell you and Dave something.  I need to explain what is going on. And it can’t be in front of the kids.” He paused, “Please?” 

Karen screwed up her face shrewishly before snapping her head in a nod of agreement.  Dave shrugged in apology for his bitch of a wife as he always did and followed her out of the kitchen door.  

Medium Bob trudges after them gutted by what he is about to do.  His hand is in his coat pocket and is clenched around the pistol grip of the Smith & Wesson .38, he always carries there.  It wouldn’t be the first time he’d had to kill to protect his family, but it had never been like this before.  This was going to be so much worse than The Snap.

Medium Bob is now a farmer, but he used to be an engineer.  He still understands how systems work, plus he now understands how food works. He knows that the population of the Earth just increased by 100%.  

And for the last four years, there has only been enough food grown to feed half of that number.

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