The Butterfly Effect…

Papersurfer junior, a few days before his eleventh birthday, was in a reflective mood. He asked myself and Tango (grrr) if we had any thoughts on what happens after death. ‘Did we believe in Heaven?’ or ‘reincarnation?’ or ‘are we just worm food?’

Not one to shy away from a theological discussion I answered him with the full weight of my mighty intellect. ‘I dunno really…’ was my opening gambit. A reverant hush swept across the room as my mind began to open before bright, inquisitive eyes.

I then explained to my enthralled audience the ‘Butterfly Effect‘ and hyphothesised that every living thing that had ever been born, moved and breathed had created an infinite number of timeless ripples that pervaded the entirety of the universe. That the simple act of being would have an exquisitely profound effect on the intrinsic fabric of existence and that, in itself, was a form of afterlife that transcends the mere mortality of our souls.

As the sheer depth of this concept began to filter through the spectacularly receptive mind that only a child can possess a question began to form on his young lips…

‘Whatever Dad. Can I have the last fishfinger…?’

I didn’t surf today but I did throw myself down the side of a snowy mountain several times this week. And it was good…

(Happy Birthday Marky Bish – rest in peace you old scrote)


  1. best advice i ever got, or passed along, to a young mind enquiring about the afterlife also started with “I dunno…”. Followed by “perhaps it’s best to simultaneously live as if there IS and ISN’T some continuation to ourselves after our bodies quit.”

    no fish fingers involved, however.

    1. Ah – the dichotomy distraction technique. Very nice. I also use the ‘what’s that over there?’ point and run method…

  2. This is when you should just make shit up. Your son will delight in remembering your preposterous stories much more than your reasoned arguments.

    And in its own way, a preposterous story may reveal much more about your belief in the afterlife than a serious explanation. In these matters, a serious explanation is impossible, anyway.

    1. Wise words Mr Husband and welcome. On the surface this may seem like sage advice but this is the tack my Father (God rest his soul) has been sailing on for many a year.

      As much as I’d like to say that despite his teachings I have grown up as a sane and wholesome man I am, unfortunately, deeply troubled to this day…

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