I love you

Man: You know how sometimes people have, like, secret signs they make across crowded rooms or whatever to say, ‘I love you?’

Girl: [Does something with phone.] Wut?

Man: You know, secret signs, like, for example somebody tugs their earlobe like this and the other persons sees it and it’s like they’re saying, ‘I love you’ in secret sign language.

Girl: [Blink]

Man: We should do something like that.

Girl: [Gives man the finger with both hands]

Man: [Grimaces and balls fists] Oh, man, I was going to suggest that!

Girl: [Does something with phone]

Careers in Science: Skeptology

Upgrade tower?


Insufficient resources to upgrade. You require gold. Attack kitten?


You were slain by kitten. Restart?


Welcome, Level One Mage. Choose a direction: North, South, East, West.


The kitten (assuming it is a kitten, assuming that there even is such a thing as a ‘kitten’) has advanced from shredding leather furniture (assuming leather furniture exists) to removing art (what is ‘art’?) from the walls. Not that it was the skeptologist’s favorite painting, but still it is unacceptable behavior.

Assuming there is such a thing as behavior in this universe, if this universe is real (what is real?) and that it matters.

Although it is April, it is snowing. The skeptologist writes his daughter a note instructing her to shovel the sidewalk in his absence and drives his other daughter to the train station. On a snowy day such as this, it is good to take the train rather than drive into town.

The skeptologist’s daughter is not wearing a hat so he stands between her and the wind and examines the snow in her hair while making wind-breaking jokes.

Muskoxen do this, he tells her.


Yeah. Up in the mountains in India, Nepal, Mongolia, someplace cold. The herd stands around their young, horns pointed in, asses out to the elements to protect the young and keep them warm. I guess their asses are the least-important part to them, and the young the most. Maybe when a wolf comes or a yeti, they turn around and point their horns outward.

Snow has melted and the skeptologist’s daughter’s head is sparkling with thousands of small water droplets, assuming this is even real, their surface tension holding them into their droplet-shapes, surface tension stronger than the capillary action that would cause the water to flow along the hairs to which they adhere. She has her hair up in a bun against the elements and with her pale skin and long eyelashes briefly has the skeptologist wondering how he ended up with such beautiful daughters.

Assuming beauty is a real thing, and beautiful a real category.

The skeptologist buys a monthly train pass at the station when he arrives, having lost his daughter in the crowd somewhere.

How do you know everyone else in the crowd has a mind such as yours? You do not. Applying an analogy, you can figure since they act roughly as you do, they have roughly similar minds, but in fact they do not. You are the only one with a mind, the rest are zombies.

Except me. I have a mind.

The woman at the rail pass counter is friendly. The skeptologist is in a good mood, if a mood is a real thing.

The skeptologist is excited by the thought that the class of things that must be perceived whole, such as the idea of a “sphere” or “darkness” or “light” can extend to more “complicated” phenomena such as “remembering what you had for dinner” or “droplets of snow on your daughter’s hair” and life bursts into a whirling chaos of poetry, becoming relatively less similar to a game in which he suffers from a chronic shortage of resources.

The skeptologist’s subway comes almost immediately, as does his bus after that. He has to stand but that’s alright.

The skeptologist walks in the snow for a little bit. He is careful not to fall down. He has slipped on ice twice this winter and fallen on his hip. It makes him think about his father’s aunt who went to the doctor for sore knees and left the hospital with a new hip she didn’t know she had broken. This makes him think about Game of Thrones, and how, although people beyond The Wall sometimes fall in the snow, they do so only because they are running away from something, such as a White Walker, or trip on a root, and never just slip on ice. The skeptologist figures it’s probably just as well he doesn’t direct Game of Thrones, and he also figures George RR Martin probably lives somewhere warm and has little ice-walking experience because if he did there’d be more slapstick in his books.

The skeptologist, aware that no one won the main prize in the lotto yesterday, still checks the lotto website to verify that he was not among those who won the second-tier prize. After that he works, in order to eventually upgrade a tower or two.