Friday’s Short Story

“I’m no scientist, right, but I believe E=mc means that if you go faster than light then you can travel back in time.

“So say you want to go visit your Gran’pa Benson, who lives in The Olden Days.

“You get a bus and an infinite amount of fuel. So far so easy. You start the bus and work slowly up the gears until you’ve ramped that baby up to light speed.

“If you want to check whether you are going at light speed, pop the headlight on. If it’s still dark out front, but you can see the headlights shining in your rear view mirror, you are.

“But according to Einstein’s special theory of relativity equation, mass will increase as an object goes faster. This means the faster you go, the fatter you get, and light speed is, by definition, awful fast.

“You hit light speed, and start to travel back in time to The Olden Days. But oh no! By the time you reach your destination you will be too fat to get off the bus. In fact, science says you will be infinitely fat, so even if you sit there a couple of days and don’t snack at all you will still be proper portly, and bus doors are not infinitely big. So you can’t get off and say “hi” to gramps. Wasted trip.

“Also, if Gran’pa Benson sees you wedged in the bus like a giant sweaty marshmallow, and instinctively recognises you as the eventual fruit of his loins, he will decide never to have sex again because nobody wants a chubby grandkid. That’s true, by the way. If you’re overweight, your grandparents are disappointed in you. Their smiles are fake and you have ruined their lives.

“Anyway, your Gran’pa Benson’s sudden lack of ardour will create a paradox, meaning you will never have existed. And, ceasing to exist, you will not travel back in time to visit your Grandpa, who will not be put off sex. And so you will exist once more. And you will travel back in time to visit your grandfather because you do not learn from your mistakes.

“The net result of this kerfuffle is you blinking in and out of existence, like the amber light on the traffic signals of quantum possibility. It is essentially the Schrödinger’s Cat experiment, only instead of a cat it is your grandparents humping.”

Gran’ma took her glasses off.

“Like I say, I’m no scientist,” she said, and breathed on the lenses.

Sometimes it was difficult to tell what the point of Gran’ma Benson’s stories might be.

“So… you think I should lose weight?” I said.

She didn’t look up, just carried on cleaning her glasses.

I’m No Scientist
by Harris
more tiny tales

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