This past Friday, I was driving with friends up from Southern California. We had just passed a road sign that said
"INTERSTATE 'THE 5' ENDS 2 MI - BEGIN INTERSTATE '5'"
when my friend Alice leaned forward, offered my some potato chips, and mentioned, "Hey, my friend Abe just told me that all rumors have a grain of truth to them. Have you heard that?"
I sort of shrugged, when John, in the front seat, said, "That's funny. Abe mentioned to me yesterday that if someone cannot tolerate a behavior in others which they constantly do themselves, it's because that person is in constant need and competition for some kind of social resource - attention, or control, or esteem, or freedom, something like that."
"Weird. Abe didn't mention it to me, I wonder why."
We drove on in silence.
Then, yesterday, I got a call from Chet. "I heard the weirdest rumor," he said.
"Here's what I heard: 'This rumor is false.' "
"Huh. Where'd you hear that?"
Last night, I was hanging out on the porch with some friends and my friend Hank said, "Brenda said the weirdest thing to me."
"What'd she say?" I asked.
"She said, 'This rumor is equal to itself plus one.'"
"Why would she say a thing like that?"
"She heard it from Alice, and was so confused about it she had to ask me."
Then, this morning, I got an email from a friend.
"When quined, yields a nasty rumor."
Earlier this afternoon, all my friends canceled themselves out, except the lucky few who are true but unprovable.