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Down at the Museum of the Theoretical is the 202nd Subnormality comic.

Plot Summary Edit

Ethel enters the Museum of the Theoretical because she has arranged to meet alternate versions of herself. She finds three alternate versions waiting for her: one who is blonde, one who wears glasses, and one who has straight hair. They then prove that they're all her by revealing a number of personal secrets they all share. Ethel introduces herself, saying that she feels her career is going nowhere, and wants confirmation that she took a "wrong turn" somewhere in her life.

The Ethel with straightened hair explains that she diverged from Ethel while at university, where she accepted romantic advances for a boy and wound up in a long-term relationship with him. She lives in a small town, and doesn't write much horror any more, although she's been working on some indie film projects with her boyfriend and she knows she will return to horror eventually. Although she has had dark times, her boyfriend's presence has really helped her feel accepted, and when questioned she admits that she's in love with him.

The blonde Ethel explains that she is a published author, which upsets Ethel who accuses her of benefiting from random luck. However, blonde Ethel explains that the difference is that she got arrested when she was 16 and kicked out of high school. She spent a few years hating herself, but the experience gave her a strong drive to succeed, and the community service she received resulted in her involvement in volunteering. She then became a popular blogger and got a non-fiction book deal. Economic security has made her somewhat happier, but she admits she still feels like an outsider.

The three Ethels who have spoken then begin to talk about a terrible job interview they went to at a production company once, only to realise that the Ethel with glasses is the one who got that job. She still works there, has had a successful career, and met a lot of her friends there. She has recently begun writing stories again, although she feels she is a bit rusty.

When Ethel asks if she is meant to be at the production company, the others tell her that she isn't "meant" to do anything - none of them are more real than the others. They explain that she is a much better writer than any of them as she has devoted her life to practising writing. Although each of them have important aspects of their lives that the others don't, that doesn't mean one of them is the right answer. They then explain that they talked through all this before she arrived, which is why they seem to understand things better than her.

The Ethels all wish each other luck, then awkwardly hurry out before they give into the desire to try making out with themselves.

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