Big Ideas

The other day I went to a diner with my friend Lorne and we discussed the meaning of it all. “I just don’t understand,” he said, and took a sip of his coffee, winced, and added another creamer. I told him I didn’t either. I hadn’t the slightest clue, actually. There was something really confusing about our breakfast, our powwow, so to speak, but I admired Lorne and valued his opinions. We talked about history. Where to begin? There was, of course, the War. Neither of us had served. In fact, neither of us had even lived through a war. That was all in a distant, sacred past. I pondered an interesting theory about the human race shuffling along an impenetrable spectrum of zeros and ones, but I dared not utter a word of it. “And we shouldn’t forget about our parents,” Lorne said. “No,” I said, “no, we shouldn’t. You’re totally right. They’ve been through many things. They would know.” “If only they were with us,” he said. Just then a little bird flew inside and perched on top of the cash register. I had an idea and said, “Maybe I’ll give my psychic a call. He's Ukrainian, but he has travelled far and wide, to different dimensions, to different states of mind...” We waited for our waitress. After she refilled our coffees and took our orders, I asked if I could use the telephone. "Sorry, sir, but the last time we let a guy use our phone he dialed China, Algeria, and Russia in the span of three minutes," she said. "You should have seen our bill." "Well imagine that," I said. Lorne picked his head up from the table and said, "Imagine what?" "That," I said. "Imagine that." He said, "Isn't that what we've been trying to do?" "Exactly, and we've been going about it the wrong way," I said. "We have to start over. We need to rethink everything." "Well, what about the Vatican?" He asked. "Too obvious." "And the Magna Carta?" "Never heard of it. Do you mean Encarta?" "The dinosaurs. It's got to be the dinosaurs." "Gosh darn it, Lorne," I said, slamming my fist on the table and spilling our coffees everywhere, "it scares me how smart you are."