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What If Thanos Snapped the Wrong People?

Avengers: Endgame” is about to soar into theaters nationwide. We know this because a new trailer drops almost weekly and we all are about to lose our nerdy minds.

Based on the events of last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” we surmise that the perished half of the universe Thanos, the Mad Titan, wiped out with a snap of his Infinity Gauntlet-clad hand will be restored. Heroes, villains, and others neither heroic nor particularly villainous who were lost in his act of extreme interplanetary makeover will live again. Or so goes the theory from the geek brigade of which I am proudly a member.

Since I first saw “Infinity War,” I’ve been nagged by a singular question: What if Thanos snapped the wrong people?

Put another way: What if the son of Saturn’s moon got a little out over his skis? What if he had been more calculated about it, more discerning, and less willy-nilly, at dusting half of the living beings in the whole cosmos?

What if Thanos had taken a more nuanced approach? Would we be viewing the most diabolical villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an all new light? Dare I say, a positive one?

Last we saw Thanos he was enjoying a sunrise post-obliteration, reading the newspaper, sipping coffee, and perhaps having a morning constitutional. Just a regular Joe doing his morning routine. So have we misunderstood him? Thanos seems like a reasonable guy, so why didn’t he just get rid of all the murderers, rapists, and IRS auditors in the galaxy? I can think of no single objection that could possibly be raised against this proposal. He could have snapped the world into a better place.

Why get rid of Peter Parker, T’Challa, and Groot when you could instantly evaporate all the Justin Bieber fans? Wouldn’t that make the galaxy great again?

Why not just get rid of all front-runner sports fans who only root for their team when they are winning? Like people living in Connecticut and rooting for the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Lakers.

Thanos could have snapped the always obnoxious actor Chris Evans without snapping the actual Captain America character. Evans recently said that was willing to alienate half of the MCU’s audience in order to trash President Donald Trump and his supporters. With Evans’ contract now up with Marvel, I have a hunch that Thanos may handle this problem for us in “Endgame.”

Thanos showed us tears when his daughter Gamora had to go, giving us a glimpse of an alienated father who is carrying a terrible burden. It’s not a job that I envy. At the very least we can agree that the snap should never have been random, the Infinity Stones should have been used more strategically. More scalpel and less slapdash intergalactic paintball of death.

Like why not start with MSNBC, Jar Jar Binks, the Teletubbies, and ISIS?

Then maybe move on to the people who think there should have been an all-women Ghostbusters . . . snap! Or how about all the people at the gym who annoy you? The selfie zombies, the bro-herd who-high five for no reason, anyone swinging a Kettlebell, people without deodorant, and all the creepers hitting on women who just want to be left alone . . . snap!

How about Little Rocketman? Or bearded hipsters? Or grown men wearing sandals with socks? Where is Thanos when you need him? Snap, snap!

How about that guy who posts stupid, unoriginal, unfunny memes on Instagram all day? That coworker who always says, “This ain’t my first rodeo!” right before screwing up everything he touches. How about every human participating in the rapid proliferation of electric pay-per-minute scooters and then leaving them uncharged littered across America’s cities? Snap, snap, snap!

A case definitely could be made that the only flaw of the snap was the randomness of it all. Thanos is vilified because his techniques don’t poll well with media. The right ideas but the wrong approach. Had he just snapped Phish, Abba, and Hamas, he would be hailed as a hero.

Thanos even tried to reason with the Avengers but they just wouldn’t listen. Couldn’t they all have compromised on snapping something together? A true statement of bipartisanship. Like eradicating nearly all the DC Extended Universe characters (except for Wonder Woman, of course).

How about we snap those tedious sports reporters who always asks the most obvious questions—“What’s it gonna take to win tonight, coach?” Snap. How about the NFL refs that blew the Saints-Rams NFC Championship game? Could we do something with the monochromatic late night hosts? All of them. Snap. The SJWs who see Twitter as their woke mafia hunting ground? That guy who keeps telling you “You’d love soccer if you’d only give it a chance.” Triple snap.

Mooches, welchers, bad-tippers, and that ignoramus who thinks his electric car is morally superior to your gas car—even though the electric car depends on fossil fuels for charging.

What about the guy who microwaves fish at the office? I think you get the point.

Maybe with “Endgame,” the Avengers can find it in their hearts to give Thanos a mulligan? A do-over. After all, Doctor Strange even said there’s only one scenario out of 14,000,605 possible future outcomes in which the Avengers defeat Thanos. But in this scenario, maybe they don’t have to?

Maybe they can let Thanos re-snap the universe is a less haphazard way, perhaps beginning with people who have “Coexist” bumper-stickers on their car but ruthlessly cut you off in traffic.

Or even simpler, just snap all the people who can’t take a joke.

Photo Credit: Art by Jim Starlin from a photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images