On Sunday H9 showed me something that I did not know. We were standing on the subway platform and he decided to perform one of his rituals, namely where he checks the returned money slot on a vending machine in the hopes of increasing his investments and helping to provide for me when the pension system collapses.
Anyway, he found a coin. And he asked me to feel the coin. It was warm, and coiny. Then he said “Watch!” and put the coin into the slot and pressed the return button.
The coin re-emerged at the bottom and he popped it into my hand. It was now very cold. Hmmm, I though, interesting. I started to check out the machine, wondering how it happened.
The coin slide must be close to the cooling system, I reasoned. Maybe too close. Maybe there was a leak. But it must have been a very efficient system to cool down a metal coin that quickly. Or a very big leak. Hmmm…
And then the kid stared at me funny and said, “But it’s not the same coin, of course.”
“What?” I said.
“It’s not the same coin. They don’t return the same one that you put in.”
A light came on in my head, and so we performed a quick experiment. We marked the coin, popped it back in and pressed the return button. And out popped an entirely different coin, nice and cold, with no marks.
So the kid was correct, and taught his old man a lesson in the art of being skeptical, of not accepting things on face value, of questioning your long-held beliefs in the light of new evidence, and looking for the most obvious solution to a problem.
That’s my boy.