Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Up Ganymede Without A Paddle

Eli 9.4 has created the most elaborate fortune teller I've ever seen.

In this instance, a fortune teller is a series of questions asked to the fortune tellee ("tellee" is invented, but useful), followed by an arcane and difficult process to eliminate possible answers until the future emerges. In this particular fortune teller, four of each of the following are required before the divination process can begin: cars, locations, best friends, possible spouses, cash amounts, number of children, and house types.

Then, a spiral is drawn until the tellee says "stop," at which point, a complicated mathematical procedure is used to determine how many "points" exist between the outer and inner edges of the spiral. This number is then used iteratively to cross out entries until only one for each category remains.

Eli enjoys this so much that after he told my fortune yesterday, he decided to do his own (for about the fifth time). We will now skip the 10-15 minute process and get to the (hopefully) interesting bits.

"Yes!" he said. "I married Genevieve--she has an excellent sense of humor. I'm living on Jupiter. And only you and Ethan are left as possible best friends."

"Excellent," I said. "I'm tired of living in this seven billion person burg. My bags are packed."

He started tapping entries with his pencil, then crossed out my name. "Ooh, sorry, Dad," he said, laughing. "It's Ethan. Burn."

"Burn?" I said. "Burn doesn't even begin to describe it. This is an intergalactic burn. I am outraged." He laughed again, then resumed working.

"Uh-oh. I have one hundred children," he said.

"Good luck trying to find reliable child care on Jupiter, my friend," I said. "Jupiterians have three noses and flippers for arms."

"Dad," he said, laughing. He continued working, hunched over his paper, then looked up. "I have one cent and I'm driving a Cobra."

"Ha!" I said. "You'll be driving that Cobra for a week before it breaks down. Then you'll have to sell it to get money for diapers and baby food. Livin' the high life on Jupiter, baby! Here we go!"

At this point, he started laughing and couldn't stop. Neither could I.

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