Press Three for Unintended Consequences

An essay by Ander E. Welt, President, Alternative Services, Inc.
Brought to our attention by E. B. Fischadler
Art by Justine McGreevy

We at Alternative Services, Inc. (our motto: Life could be better–maybe), are pleased to offer the public a unique, life altering–dare we say it–life saving service: the ability to explore and take alternate life paths. The scientists at Alternative Services have managed to harness one of the most useful aspects of quantum physics: alternate universes. Now, no one is limited to their present dreary existence. If things get tough, should things go sour, when all hope is lost, Alternative Services can deliver you to another universe where you live like a King. Remarkably, such a sophisticated service has a simple title: Multipath®. With Multipath®, one can correct past blunders, answer the inexorable “what-ifs,” and gamble with the highest stakes imaginable. In the following, we describe each of these services separately.


Golfers already know the great relief offered by the ability to replay a bad shot. Now, with Mulligans®, everyone can undo past blunders, right past wrongs, and clean up the mess that is one’s life. Imagine you dropped the fishbowl as you tried to move your child’s beloved pet from the dining room to the living room of your fourth floor walkup. Your child’s copious tears and the knowledge that you have subjected her to a trauma that will forever haunt her are unbearable. With Mulligans®, you can change all that. Mulligans® will transport you to an alternate universe where the probability of that happening approaches zero. Instead, your child’s goldfish thrives, eventually occupying a Koi pond in front of your million dollar residence, and your daughter grows up to be the first female president of the United States.


Remember that cute number sitting next to you in algebra class? Wonder what life would be like if only you married her instead of that battle-axe who collects half your pay in alimony each week? Now with Ifonly®, you can leave all that behind as we transport you from your dismal excuse for a home life to a world of possibly wedded bliss. Or wouldn’t it be nice if you had taken that new job in Wausau? With Ifonly®, you might be the one issuing orders rather than the minion licking your boss’s shoes.

Press Three for Unintended Consequences

The scientists at Alternative Services have managed to harness one of the most useful aspects of quantum physics: alternate universes.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2016 collection.

Ander E. Welt is the president and CEO of Alternative Services, Inc. Depending on which universe you are in when reading this, he either has a Doctorate in Physics from Harvard, a certificate in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu, or he is a former used car salesman.

E. B. Fischadler has been writing short stories for several years, and has recently begun publishing.  His stories have appeared in Mad Scientist Journal, Bewildering Stories, eFiction, and Beyond Science Fiction.

In addition to fiction, Fischadler has published over 30 papers in refereed scientific journals, as well as a chapter of a textbook on satellite engineering.

When he is not writing, he pursues a career in engineering and serves his community as an EMT.

Fischadler continues to write short stories and is working on a novel about a naval surgeon.

You can learn more about Fischadler and access his other publications at:

Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.

“Press Three for Unintended Consequences” is © 2013 E. B. Fischadler.
Art accompanying story is © 2015 Justine McGreevy.

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