MANAUS, BRAZIL—Paralyzed by the infinite possibilities involved in moving from his branch, a Menelaus blue morpho butterfly admitted Tuesday that he was uncomfortably aware of the potential to irrevocably damage our timeline with a single misplaced beat of his wings. “I’d really like to flit over to the fern, but the pressure on me is insane—one extra flap of my wings and, six months from now, some Cambodian village is destroyed in a typhoon,” said the three-week-old Morpho menelaus, whose debilitating fear of accidentally creating a chain of events irrevocably leading to ISIS ruling humanity while volcano ash blots out the sky has nearly destroyed his ability to make decisions. “To make matters worse, that fern is above a little freshwater rivulet, and if I dislodge even the tiniest leaf and it disrupts the flow of water to the sea, we could be looking at a global flu pandemic within a decade. On the other hand, if I don’t flap over there, unchecked airflow and hydrodynamic patterns might result in a rogue wave crashing ashore in Rio de Janeiro next week. I just hate this fucking job.” The butterfly eventually chose to play it safe and alight on a nearby fallen log where it was promptly crushed by a time traveler’s boot.
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