November 7, 2016: A remote control device that can alter the course of history was stolen from an underground vault near Washington DC early Monday morning. Police found the facility vandalized, and the remote control missing from its case.
"We cannot emphasize how dangerous this device is if it falls into the wrong hands," said temporal physicist André Voprik. "It looks like a regular TV remote, but it can forever disrupt reality with the touch of a button. If anyone sees it lying around, please return it to us."
Less than 24 hours after the remote went missing, the fabric of space-time was ruptured when Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. America and the world were cast into an inside-out alternate reality. The ramifications are still unknown, but it bears the hallmark of a cheap science fiction-thriller paperback.
"We've exited the highway of history, onto a rutted dirt road, and the bridge is out ahead," explained alternate reality expert Dr. Hugo Jackson. "Whoever stole this remote intends to reshape the world. I would advise citizens to stock up on drinkable water and start growing their own vegetables."
Protection of the top-secret underground vault was thought to be fail-safe. "We thoroughly background-check everyone who passes through these doors", said Security Chief Jeff Togglesmith, "but it appears we had a mole in our midst." A full body count of the employees came up one person short: Braxton Shlemp, the late-night janitor. A manhunt for the vanished janitor was underway, but President Trump halted it on the grounds that it was a "waste of taxpayer dollars", and to "just get over it, lib-tard pussies."
There were no fingerprints at the crime scene. Security cam footage was erased. News headlines of the incident were retroactively deleted from the internet and from everyone's memories. "This janitor is on the loose with the keys to reality," said a visibly shaken Jeff Togglesmith. "Our only hope is to retrieve the remote and hit the "reset" button while we still have time."
Six months later, the remote was located. Seven year-old Matilda McGuire found the device wedged into the sofa in her family's Ohio living room. But it was too late. Genghis Khan had invented the atom bomb 900 years ago. Napoleon had formed an alliance with the Confederate States of America. And the Soviet Union successfully unleashed a tsunami of killer bees to wipe out Western Civilization - just before Matilda could hit the "reset" button.