For as long as I can remember I’ve participated in something I’ve now decided to call the “Wawohap” game.
Unfamiliar? Maybe that’s because it’s never had a name until exactly one sentence ago. Wawohap as in “what would happen” is a distant cousin of the “what if” game. You know, that daydreamy game of regret where you reconsider all of your life’s important choices like, “what if I would have said yes to that job at the pizza shack 10 years ago”, or “what if I would have majored in insect topography.” I think we’re all wired to play that game because we all (or at least a good portion of us) are born with a conscience and it tends to question our decisions, even those with only one, seemingly obvious answer. This game will be played over and over again in our minds forevermore until the sun don’t shine and pigs fly and all that. We will question everything and regret things and then regret regretting things and then realize it all turned out the way it was supposed to in the end.
The Wawohap game is a little different. Unlike What if, the players will always be different, the setting can change by the second, and the outcome will consistently produce laughter, discomfort, and hand sweat.
Let’s start with an easy one: School.
Throughout grade school and high school, it is common to be assigned a seat in a creaky desk that you hate that is nowhere near your friends and has one leg shorter than the other three. The teacher will ignore your request for a new spot because they’re under a lot of pressure as it is and cannot do anything about the budget the school has them under, and so your well written request to swap desks will be torn up, thrown into the recycle bin and be reborn into a water cup at a dentist’s office. That being said, whilst you sit in agony in this chair trying to listen to the teacher, simultaneously fighting the clutches of sleep, you will slip into a state of delirium and begin to play the aforementioned game.
You’ll catch sight of the guy in front of you, the one whose head you’ve grown weary of looking at over the last 4 months, and you’ll have a thought to yourself, “what would happen if I slapped him in the ear?”
You’ll notice how quiet the room is, bubbling with boredom and summertime countdowns, and you’ll think to yourself, “what would happen if I just started screaming?”
You’ll notice the projector screen and demands of the teacher’s PowerPoint being shown, and you’ll think to yourself, “what would happen if I hulk smashed the screen and then ran out of the room and never returned?”
I could go on for days with examples. Like the time in the grocery store when I wondered what would happen if I filled my entire cart up with Coco Puffs and then walked around the store, throwing them into adjacent aisles like grenades yelling “GET DOWN GET DOWN, INCOMING COCO!”
Maybe I’m the only one who thinks like this, or maybe we all just needed a name for it. No matter the case, all I want to know is: what would happen?