Logic Bomb

Two soldiers wearing pith helmets stare up at a slowly unfolding mushroom cloud: “He instinctively knew that the only way to avoid his son being involved in a fatal car accident once the boy turned sixteen was to constantly tell his son that when he turned sixteen he was going to be involved in a fatal car accident. At least once a day he would remind his son that soon he would be driving and that soon after that – or maybe much, much later, who knew – he would be involved in a fatal car accident. He talked about it so much that at some point his son himself became convinced he would be involved in a fatal car accident, which didn’t stop his son from wanting to drive, per se, but which did have the effect of making his son extra precautious when he did drive. As the years passed his son had still not been involved in a fatal car accident, and even though his son was now a man and a father himself, once a day he would call his son and remind him that he would be, at some point, involved in a fatal car accident. That his son had never been involved in a fatal car accident he chalked up to the fact that he had never once stopped mentioning it. He knew that the day he stopped telling his son he was going to be involved in a fatal car accident was the day his son would be involved in a fatal car accident. All he was trying to do was postpone the inevitable, at least until he was dead and gone, and he didn’t have to worry about it anymore. He figured that if his son could skate through life without being involved in a fatal car accident then he had done his job as a father. After that his son was on his own. Hopefully, he thought, his son would perpetuate the ritual and mention it to himself on a daily basis (“You will soon be involved in a fatal car accident”), and this would be enough to stop it from happening. He didn’t quite understand how these things worked.”

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