Aliens abducted Ted when he was 13. Only Ted never knew he’d been abducted because the aliens immediately placed him in a replica of the world he left behind. They abducted him in his sleep. When he awoke, everything seemed to be exactly the same. The aliens then continued his life-story within the simulated world.
The aliens wanted to study human behavior. So they created an artificial environment in which everything Ted did was in response to a series of meticulously prearranged nonevents.
In his simulated reality, Ted became an atheist because his parents didn’t take him to church. He married Jennifer instead of Genevieve because Genevieve didn’t ask him to be her prom date. He attended Texas Tech instead of Caltech because Texas Tech offered him a scholarship while Caltech did not. He bought a Welsh Corgi because he and Jennifer couldn’t have a child. He had pancakes instead of scrambled eggs for breakfast because the supermarket was out of brown eggs the day he went shopping. He bought the blue model rather than the red model because the dealer was out of stock the day he took a stroll around the car lot. He went to work by an alternate route yesterday because there was a pile up on the main drag. He had one roofer reroof the house rather than another roofer because the lower bid by the other roofer was lost in the mail.