Determinism

Title Card from Batman, the 1960 live action TV series

Jerg and Jeff were walking home from Charles Coll  Elementary.  Jeff had a black eye from deciding to stand up to the school bully.  He didn’t have lunch money that day because he lost it while trying to learn the game cups from Jerg. The sun was setting and this disturbed Jeff since it reminded him of how little he accomplished that day and that the next day would be the same.

“I heard time travel is possible.” said Jeff.

“How’s that.”

“Einstein.”

“I thought he said it was impossible.”

“We’ll he said that if you sent something past the speed of light it would go backward in time.”

“Whatever.” said Jerg. He didn’t like listening to Jeff talk about things he didn’t know about.  They had reached Jerg’s home anyway so they parted ways.

Jerg went to the fridge to get some orange juice and watch Batman.  He then had a bright idea.  He went to his neighbor Susie McGee’s house and gave her his Batman cape and the lunch money Jerg had gotten from playing cups.  Susie and Jerg sychronized watches and parted ways.  He returned home and watched the rest of Batman.  As soon as the first end-credit appeared he ran to his phone and dialed Jeff’s house.

Jeff picked up. “Miller residence.  May I ask who is calling?”

“Hi Jeff.  This is Jerg.  From the future.”

“No.”

“Yeah it is.”

“Stop it Jerg.  I know you’re not from the future.”

“Yes I am.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Okay I can prove it.”

“How?”

“In 10 seconds Susie is going to run by your house singing the Batman theme song wearing a Batman cape.”

Silence.  Jerg waited 10 seconds before he could hear the faint sound of Susie McGee singing “Nanananana Batman!” a great distance from Jeff’s end of the phone.

“Oh.  Uh.  I don’t know how you did that.  But I still don’t believe you.”

“Why not.  I sent this phone message faster than the speed of light.  I saw Susie run by your house then I changed some wires on my phone so that the signal would go faster than light.”

“What wires?”

Jerg didn’t plan to get this far with his prank. “Uh…  What is the name of your phone?”

“Mine says AT & T on it.” replied Jeff.

“Oh.  I don’t think those phones can do it.  You need to have a…” Jerg looked at the label on his phone, it was AT & T also. “uh…”, he looked at his fridge “it needs to be a General Electric phone like mine.”

“I didn’t know General Electric made phones.”

“Yeah.  Not a lot.  My family really likes General Electric though.”

“Oh.  Could you predict something else.”

“Sure.  Let me think.”  Jerg was momentarily in over his head.  He wished he had planned more with Susie.  “I can’t think of anything Jeff.  But believe me.  I’m talking from the future.”

“I always knew it was possible.  I always felt like I didn’t really control what happens to me.”

Then Jerg hung up the phone.  The show after Batman was The Flinstones.  He didn’t like that show as much but he watched it anyway.

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