My 8-year-old The Fonz is a perpetual source of non-sequiturs, interrupting conversation with sound bytes varying from the funny, “Why go to Mount Everest when you can see the top from Google Earth? It’s the same thing,” to the philosophically bizarre, “Did you know if your shadow was three-dimensional, it would open a black hole?”
The latter comment has kept me up late at night. Why would your shadow being three-dimensional open a black hole? And how would your shadow ever become three-dimensional? Where would he have heard that? Did he hear that from some older kids on the bus? Is this a scientific theorem he discovered for himself? He’s too young to be testing scientific theorems without adult supervision.
Lately he’s developed an arsenal of space facts to throw out at his leisure. I’ll be hovering over my computer, typing furiously, when he swings open the door and says:
“Did you know Michael Jackson didn’t invent the Moonwalk?”
“Neil Armstrong did.”
The door closes and I’m left to ponder.
I suspect these comments are tailored specifically to break my concentration when he knows I’m only half-listening. I try and be a good listener, but when I’m concentrating on something I’m writing and he comes into my office to ask me a question, it’s hard to give him my full attention:
“Can I watch some TV?”
“You can do anything you set your mind to. You just have to believe in yourself.”
I think he understands the facts I find most difficult to tune out are the ones possessing the slight hint of a threat. The door swings open. He cocks his head to the side, raises an eyebrow, and states:
“Did you know if you lived in the middle of the Milky Way you’d be dead because there’s a black hole there?”
“Why would I live in the middle of the Milky Way? Things here on Earth are just fine.”
The door closes. I try to get back to writing but I found it impossible to concentrate. Why would I live in the middle of the Milky Way? How would I even get there? Has he invented a method of transporting me to the Milky Way? Is he threatening me?
The door swings open again. He cocks his head to the side, raises an eyebrow, and states:
“Did you know if space time was a sheet and a bowling ball was a black hole, it would almost break space-time?”
“What? It would almost break space-time or it would break space-time?”
“It would almost break space-time.”
“If it almost breaks but doesn’t, why even bring it up? New rule, you only have to tell Mom and Dad about an actual breakage of space-time. Anything that almost breaks space-time can wait until Dad comes out of his office.”
The door closes and I can’t help but spend the next fifteen minutes parsing his potentially ominous meaning. Does he know he’s gotten in my head? I decided two can play this game and it was time for me to give him something to think about:
“Did you know if we were both in a black hole we wouldn’t be able to have this conversation?”
He laughed and replied:
“I love how you’re always saying lame facts. It’s so funny.”
Not quite the psychological impact I was hoping for. I decided to up the ante. As he got into bed, I turned off the light and said:
“Did you know if there was a black hole under your bed, in the time it would take you to check, you’d already be sucked in?”
The door closes.
Can someone explain this three-dimensional shadow concept to me? Is this a real thing?
As long as you’re here, why not submit a caption in the caption contest for the picture below?