27. Hypothetical Impossibilities

Everyone knows that boys ask a billion questions.  They ask questions and then ask followup questions before you can even answer the first question.  Some questions are reasonable, many ridiculous.  But the craziest of boy questions are what I like to call the “hypothetical impossibilities.”

These are questions that are impossible to answer because they represent the most preposterous ideas boys are dreaming up in their minds, probably during spelling tests.  But you cannot ignore them.  Boys are demanding an answer.  Some examples of hypothetical impossibilities I have been asked:

  • What if the strongest man ever fought against a lion do you think he could beat a lion?
  • In every minute during all day long is there always at least one person in the world drinking Sprite?
  • Could the fastest car in the whole world go 3000 miles in one second?

Perhaps this is the mind of an engineer or statistician showing up early, who knows.  But I doubt it.  A more likely scenario is that boys just want to explore the limits of what can and cannot be done, and find out if some dude, somewhere in the entire history of mankind, was able to do it or not.

As boys grow older and take on specific interests, the hypothetical impossibility questions become more focused.  Connor is eight and obsessed with all things sports.  I think for his ninth birthday he’s gonna get a giant encyclopedia full of sports records, because I’m tired of trying to explain it all.  Recent inquiries:

  • What if every single baseball team in the playoffs hit four home runs in every single inning, what would happen?
  • Did Michael Jordan ever make a thousand shots in one game against a really bad team, like the worst team ever in the NBA?
  • Can the fastest guy ever in the whole world run a hundred miles an hour?

Do not fall for the temptation to attempt to offer logical explanations to these inquiries.  Boys will not appreciate your effort.  Just go with a simple yes or no answer, and wait for the next absurd question.  You’ll save yourself a lot of energy.  Once Connor asked me “If a giant fire truck crashed into a guy riding on a motorcycle, that would be pretty bad, wouldn’t it?”  As we continued to drive, I helpfully bestowed a dose of fatherly wisdom upon him, explaining the dangers of motorcycles, design factors that make certain cars safer, and the benefits of seat belts and helmets.

Long pause as he considered this information…

“But if the guy crash landed in somebody’s yard and there was a trampoline for him to land on, do you think he’d probably be okay?”

I rest my case.


9 thoughts on “27. Hypothetical Impossibilities

  1. Apparently, whoever writes math story problems must be a boy. “If a train leaves Calgary, Alberta at 4:17pm heading south at 65 kilometers/hour, and a train leaves Orlando, Florida, heading northwest at 47 miles per hour, where will they meet and when?”

  2. I can totally relate to this! I have wasted countless hours trying to answer the “what if’s” of my son. My husband always says, “Why do you even bother?” LOL! Great post! 🙂

  3. I cannot even attempt to top that story, I wouldnt attempt it anywya, but as a father of 2 boys I do know EXACTLY where you are coming from….only I have one that is a 4.0 student in the 7th grade, and he has been since Kindergarten. trust me with an intelligent mind such as his and the over analization of everything that enters his brain, the questions coming out of him are way way beyond my comprehension limits anyway. so I generally ( unless I know the answer ) send him forth the the all knowing internet for his answers. trust me this method although possibly the easy button way out, simplifies my life in this reguard 1000 fold. ONWARD AND UPWARDS!!! …..Loved this one Tony…Keep em comin.

    • Love it, man – so much easier now that we have the global library in our living room! We’d have had to trudge down to school or the library to look that junk up when we were boys asking dumb questions. 🙂

  4. I agree with Ryan, math word problems are most probably written by boys. Too cute! Again, I so love these anecdotes, I have two girls and so far, only a few of these questions from the 4-year-old, right now they are contented with pulling each other’s hair and scratching each other’s eyes out.

  5. Trampolines are like Super Heroes – they save people who fall out of the sky and make it look like a circus act! Your boys questions are worth Googling. Really, I’ll bet you’ll get some kind of crazy answer.

  6. Love it! My standard reply to those ‘ridonkulous’ questions…..”Go ask your Dad!”
    I figure he was a boy once, so he’ll be able to come up with something. 🙂

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