Across some childhoods traipsed a cheerful family of bears with a Jewish-sounding last name, the Berenstein bears. They stopped in candy shops and at extended family members’ houses and taught important life lessons along the way. But somewhere in the timeline, the bears were interrupted: they became the BerenSTAIN bears, their stories now Chick-fil-A–friendly and corrosive to our happy memories of a sweet, furry family. The change revealed tears in the multiverse.
Or so the theory goes. It’s a Mandela Effect tale, based on the idea that “false” shared memories are actually evidence of parallel timelines, et cetera, et cetera.
Truth be told: I remember them as the Berenstein Bears. But then, I’m a nice Jewish girl, the name is more recognizable that way, and I 100% accept that our memories are permeable and malleable, heavily subject to suggestion. I’m sure they were always Berenstain, as Snopes promises. (In any case, if there are parallel universes and I’m stuck in the one in which 45 was elected, I demand a trade.)
Still, there’s something appealing about the notion of multiple universes in which the same stories play out in different ways. Maybe the sad and unhappy endings of the books that frustrate and puzzle us don’t end so everywhere.
Why not entertain the “what if?” for a bit?
Dear reader: how do you remember these titles resolving?