I'm Not A Scientist, But I Play One In My Mind

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I'm not a scientist or anything, but I've seen a lot of movies and shows on the Discovery Science Channel, and I'm pretty sure my apartment is some sort of vortex or wormhole or portal to another dimension or parallel universe.

Hear me out.

Things in my apartment will suddenly disappear, and if they do, in fact, ever reappear they do so in a place where a) I've already looked for said thing, or b) thing could not possibly get to on its own.

For example.

My son has this weird "cookie" toy that involves taking a wooden mallet and pounding some plastic balls over and over again. I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to give an oversized sea monster a heavy wooden mallet, but when I saw an area mom selling hers for just $10, I had to get it.

Long story short, those little plastic balls are highly aerodynamic and we have wood floors in our apartment. Sure, we have a colorful rug in the living room, but it only covers about 2/3 of the floor area in our living room. Things that roll tend to roll forever in our apartment. Including rolling INTO A SPACE VORTEX OF BLACK HOLE INFINITY! Yes, that's an actual scientific term, look it up.

Anyway, things tend to roll around a lot here, but the other night I found not one, but two of the plastic cookie balls under our bookcase. The bottom of the bookcase is just high enough off the floor that I could see the two balls ("two balls"....heh) but was low enough to the floor that I couldn't roll them out that way. And the sides go all the way to the floor. And the back is covered by not-currently-in-use shelves.

As the kids say these days on the Facebook and whatnot: Dude, WTF?

How did those balls even GET under there?

I have no idea.

We've lost books and plastic blocks, and sometimes they reappear. Sometimes they don't. I've turned this pad upside-down and inside-out looking for my son's stupid crap, and I'm telling you: perfectly inanimate, seemingly non-sentient things just disappear. Or they reappear in impossible places. Where do they go???

I've read the first few chapters of The Elegant Universe, and I think I know what's up. According to certain episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," the mid-90s TV show "Sliders," and that one episode of "South Park," every possible outcome of every possible situation exists somewhere in a parallel universe. I'm oversimplifying, of course - it's actually much more complicated than that.

This being a given, that means there are an infinite number of Merediths out there, with an infinite number of Juban Princelings toddling around an infinite number of apartments. Since my apartment is CLEARLY a wormhole/vortex/space-time bendy portal, that means that sometimes my son's toys accidentally wind up in an alternate reality. Sometimes they return to us. Perhaps sometimes we get another reality's toys back. Perhaps I should start marking the Princeling's toys so I know whether our own stuff comes back to us or not. "Reality F.P." That stands for "Farty Party," which is something I say to the Princeling whenever he farts. He thinks it's hilarious.

Whatever the case, the real question is:

If it takes THIS Meredith an infinite amount of caffeine in order to keep up with the Princeling in THIS universe, then how much coffee would be needed to sustain all the Merediths in all the parallel universes? It blows your mind a little, doesn't it?

Long story short, I managed to get the two balls (...heh) out from under our bookcase using a complicated and highly scientific process involving a flashlight and the handle of a Swifter. I did find the missing book, but one of the plastic cookie balls IS STILL MISSING. Cue the theme from "The Twilight Zone."

(My mother is no doubt penning an angry letter to the Miami-Dade County Public School System right about now. "Twelve years plus kindergarten, and THIS is what my daughter has to show for it???")