Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Q & No A

"Why is there a world?" T1 asks.

"I don't know," I say. "But I'm glad there is. If there were no world, then we'd have nothing to do. We'd just be sitting here in the dark."

"We are part of the world," T1 says. "If there was no world, there would be no us either."

"If there 'were,'" I say. "Subjunctive."

"Why is there life, then?" T2 asks. "That is the question."

"That certainly is the question," I say.

"But why?" T2 persists.

"No one knows," I say.

"Maybe we could ask the man," T1 says.

"What man?" I ask.

"The restaurant man, on the computer," T1 explains.

"Oh," I say, "that man. "He's dressed up as a butler, not a waiter."

"What's a butler?" T2 asks.

"Can we just ask him?" T1 complains.

"He doesn't know," T2 says. "No one knows."

"I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask," I say. "Maybe there's some new information that I've missed."

"He won't know," T2 states once again.

"Here's what I've got," I say. "The first two answers deal with the meaning of life. That's not what we want, is it?"

They shake their heads.

"The next two tell what life is, but we already have a handle on that, don't we?"

They shake their heads.

"Meaning of life, meaning of life, irrelevant, irrelevant, meaning of life, irrelevant."

I shake my head.

"Wait a second," I say. "Let me click on this one. This guy may have something."


"Oh, never mind," I say. "It's just a long posting refuting some crackpot creationist lecture."

They look at me blankly.

"Time for bed?" I hazard.

"I knew he wouldn't tell us," T2 says. She turns and stomps up the stairs to bed.

"What's a crackpot?" T1 asks.

"One who holds eccentric or lunatic notions," I say.

"Like Eli, at school," T1 says. "Yesterday he wore a pajama top to school instead of a shirt."

"He certainly sounds eccentric," I say. "He just may be a crackpot."

"Why do I always have to go to bed and she doesn't?" T2 calls from the top of the steps.

"To bed with you," I say to T1. "Tell your sister we'll continue our inquiries tomorrow."


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