CRUNCH: Jack Bauer, hummingbirds, and the future of humanity.

Have you ever seen a dead hummingbird? Neither have I. That’s because hummingbirds don’t die. They’re like Benjamin Button. They just get smaller forever. Eventually they become so small they turn into dark matter.

If only this weren’t true. I have a hunch the big crunch will be precipitated by a ballooning in the population of hummingbirds. Some gene that affects libido or egg production would mutate. And then our backyards would be flooded with hummingbirds. Cool, right?

We’d all be happy for a while until all the hummingbird food were depleted too fast. (What do they eat anyway? Is it gluten free?) Like a self-destruct button, that aforementioned gene mutation would trigger a hummingbird genocide.

And then there would be a different kind of silent spring. One in which all the diminuated hummingbirds from yesteryear flood the universe with invisible, catastrophic force. NASA, which has been hunting for an actual purpose since John F. Kennedy, would detect the changes. Just like the movies, some general would go to an underground bunker and pull from the shelf OPLAN 24.

(Why can’t it ever be an admiral?)

OPLAN 24 is tailor made for these situations. It’s an early 21st-century update to OPLAN 12, which was the previous go-to protocol for such situations for the previous three decades: send Bruce Willis into space with nuclear weapons.

OPLAN 24 inherits all the features of its predecessor but with some added benefits: send Jack Bauer with Bruce Willis… with biological weapons.

So there’s no misunderstanding above, in all those episodes of 24 where Jack Bauer never goes to the bathroom or swings through In-n-Out for a Double-Double animal style, Jack Bauer was actually playing… himself.

The only risk with OPLAN 24 is that Jack insists on keeping the spacecraft’s interior lighting at a dim blue just like back at CTU. And he insists that everyone around him talk in hushed, raspy tones — except when the shit hits the fan.

Bruce, if you get tired of talking in hushed, raspy tones, don’t fret. When Jack’s around, you can be sure the shit will hit the fan every hour on every goddamned hour.

It would be cooler if, instead of dark matter, hummingbirds produced gray matter when they implode. Since more brainpower tends to be a good thing, we’d all hunt hummingbirds like kids hunt candy corn.

I bet all Jack Bauer eats is candy corn — and methamphetamines.

In any case, it’s a good thing Jack Bauer doesn’t have to go to the bathroom, ‘cause that shuttle flight to the edge of the universe is gonna be a bitch.

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash