There’s nothing that wasted college kids, retired school teachers, and seven-year-olds love to talk about more than Harry Potter. The endless debates about the death of Dumbledore (sorry, that happens in book five), how hot Emma Watson is, and what house you would be sorted into if you attended Hogwarts will never end. And for good reason. J.K. Rowling has done more than write a handful of children’s novels about magic; she’s created a living, breathing world that exists in movies, merchandising, and now a theme park. The other day, as my mind wandered to the world of muggles, potions, and Butterbeer, I started thinking about what it would be like if the world of Harry Potter was set in the United States. It’s an important distinction that the Potter-verse resides on the other side of the Atlantic, where people have a long history of getting wasted at footy matches civilized behavior and unbridled, worldwide imperialism royal traditions.
People in the United States are lazy. Sure, people in the UK are lazy too, but not on the scale and depth Americans have achieved. As an avid reader of the Harry Potter series several years ago, I would always wonder what my life would be like if I had the ability to practice magic in the confines of my own home. Countless times I imagined saying “Accio Remote!” lying in a state of atrophy, surrounded by Cheetos to no avail. Or shouted “Expecto Patronum!” at a party in hopes of impressing the hot girl in the room with your Elk/Bear/manly animal patronus. This is when I realized that as Americans, we would inevitably use spells and magic solely to make our lives easier than they already are.
Imagine a college campus for magically inclined American students. A minute before a class started, all 100 kids would apparate into their seats, pull out their iPhones and start playing Angry Birds while their pens started taking notes for them. The professor at the head of the class would give life to a radio that would read the lecture for him while he browsed Etsy.com for handmade wind chimes (read as: college Professors are sensitive and shit). This would be a sorry state of affairs but completely believable in today’s current collegiate climate. Instead of disapparating to save their lives in a moment of magical struggle, kids would look forward to the day when they could show up at McDonald’s for a McFlurry at 2AM and immediately return to their couch to resume watching a Doctor Who marathon on SyFy. Overweight wizards would be an unsightly group.
Some characters in the Harry Potter universe show signs of what a magical America would look like. Horace Slughorn clearly disapparates and apparates at the local pub for fish and chips a little too frequently. We’d all have the same cholesterol problems as Slughorn if we had access to magic, there’s no way we wouldn’t. Save me the speech about how you’d only use your magic in life or death situations; when you can open and lock doors from your La-Z-Boy chair, you’ll be doing it non-stop. NO MORE WALKING NECESSARY.
As you can tell, I don’t have a lot of faith in the American community when it comes to responsibility and weight problems. I’m glad the Harry Potter universe exists in a place where people sound smarter than they actually are and don’t have hot dog eating competitions aired on national TV on the anniversary of the birth of its nation. I have no problem with this kind of eat first, ask questions later mentality (I’ve already had two Tastykakes today) but the magical world is better left with the Brits.