Groundhog Day

Last week was Groundhog Day, and almost inevitably, Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day movie was showing on TV. It reminded me of articles I’d read last year, where the author attempted to work out how long Mr Murray spent repeating the same day over and over, by estimating the time required to learn to play a piano, speak French, etc. Opinions differ, ranging from 8 to 40 years. Either way, this is a seriously long time.

Even at the low end of the scale, I imagine 8 years would be enough time to get over the horror of the situation and accept the new lifestyle. It has it’s advantages for sure. Most importantly, you’re presented with potentially unlimited free time to spend doing whatever you want. Although you can’t take anything physical along with you day to day, knowledge and skills persist, so you can learn to play instruments, speak new languages, learn how to paint. I guess if you can get to an airport, you could learn to fly, too – especially as any fatal crashes are resolved at 6am the following morning.

There’s a ton of things you no longer have to worry about. You don’t have to worry about going to work any more. You don’t have to worry about money – your bank account replenishes every morning and you can always rack up credit cards without worrying about repayments. You don’t have to worry about mortgage payments or utilities. You can eat or drink whatever you want, seeing as your body also resets every morning – yay, no hangovers! You don’t have to worry about illnesses or crime, and you can be secure in the knowledge that everyone you care about is safe because the world resets every morning.

Sounds appealing* when you think of it like that.

Now imagine you’ve spent 8, 10, 20, or 40 years like that, and suddenly you get snapped out of it into a normal timeline. All those worries come back in a flash, and you’re not ready for it. Suddenly, you have no idea what’s going to happen that day, and now your actions have consequences.

I think that’d scare the life out of me. I picture Bill Murray wandering out into the snow covered street after the end of the movie and suddenly realizing, potentially for the first time in decades, that he has no idea what it going on in the town around him.

“Aaaaaaaaaargh!”

* Ok, the downsides might balance this out a bit. It must get pretty lonely after a while when no-one remembers the previous day’s interactions and you can’t talk about anything you’ve been doing without them thinking you’re crazy.

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