C. J. was lost in thought during his daily walk through Fairmount Park when a peculiar sound, like a large zipper being unzipped, jarred him from his reverie. Startled, he turned to investigate the noise and saw that the air was quivering in a way he'd never seen before. It was similar to the illusion generated by a hot blacktop, but the trouble was that it was freezing outside.
Things got more complicated when someone materialized in the hazy airwaves. C. J. squinted to make out who the person was, but it was soon obvious who was standing there.
"Hey, C. J.," said the person who came from thin air. "It's me, C. J. from another dimension."
C. J. was shocked. "What?"
"Yeah, it's me, or you, I guess, from the best version of Philadelphia that exists across all possible realities."
C. J. didn't know why, but he believed the apparition. The guy just looked trustworthy. "Oh."
"Yeah. I came for you. Do you know why?"
"Because you live in the worst version of Philadelphia that exists across all possible realities."
C. J. looked around, confused and a little hurt. "This one? The worst?"
C. J. from Good Philly nodded.
"But I like it here."
C. J. from Good Philly smiled sadly. "I know. But you have no idea how much better it can be."
"Well, it's still got this park, for instance, and it's still known as the cradle of American political thought, but pretty much everything else is better. For example, the Liberty Bell isn't cracked."
"But the crack is what makes it charming."
C. J. from Good Philly rolled his eyes. "Okay, well, what are some things you like about this Philadelphia?"
"Hmm. Rocky Balboa."
"In my world, Rocky beats Apollo and goes 64-0 over the course of his career. The first movie still wins Best Picture but no one gives it crap for beating out Taxi Driver."
"They only sell it whipped."
"Unchanged but always served with Cheez Whiz."
"Laverne & Shirley."
C. J. from Good Philly cocked his head. "That's Milwaukee."
"Oh. My bad." C. J. thought for a second. "But you can understand the confusion."
"Totally," said C. J. from Good Philly.
"The movie Philadelphia?"
"It's the exact same without the Springsteen theme song."
"Ooh, that is better. Are the Roots still on Fallon?"
"Nope, they're too big for that. They're actually the national band of the United States."
C. J. bit his lip nervously. Good Philly did sound pretty good. But there was still something he had to ask about.
"How ... how are the 76ers?"
C. J. from Good Philly broke into a huge grin. "I knew you were sitting on that one. Our starting five in my dimension: Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner with a quality jumpshot, happy Thad Young, Spencer Hawes, and a healthy, focused Andrew Bynum."
"Why are Hawes and Bynum on the floor together?"
"Trust me, it's devastating. Hawes has the high post figured out."
"Who comes off the bench?"
"To name one? Allen Iverson."
C. J. frowned in an effort to mask his excitement. "That doesn't sound like a good thing."
"Believe me, it is. We're the third seed out of the East right now."
"You'll never know unless you come see for yourself."
C. J. considered this for a moment. "Can I come back if I want?"
C. J. from Good Philly broke into a hearty laugh. "Sure, C. J., you can come back. If you want. But you won't want to."
C. J. closed his eyes and tried to calm himself. Good Philly, he thought to himself over and over again, Good Philly, Good Philly. He was so caught up in the idea that he barely noticed when the loud unzipping noise filled the air again.