Last night as I was saying good night to Nigel, I noticed that all of his fingernails were edged in black, as if he had taken a Sharpie and drawn under the nail tips and around the cuticles. “Is that paint on your fingernails?” I asked. He breathed in sharply and froze, alarmed because I had noticed. “It’s from the Magic 8-Ball,” he said.
Then I froze. “You took it apart?”
“I tried to get the fortune thingy out.”
I did not respond because I was wondering what happened to the inky, chemical-filled liquid inside the Magic 8-Ball. I was also remembering other things Nigel has taken apart. Finally I decided that since I didn’t see any stained towels or patches of carpet anywhere, he must have dumped the liquid down the drain and must not have ingested any or else he’d be very sick. So I decided not to stress about it.
Nigel: I wanted to know if it was a simple pyramid or a more complex thing.
Me: So which was it?
Nigel: It was not a pyramid. It was like a prism-pentagon.
So there we have it. I, for one, have always wondered about those things. Mystery solved, and in such a metaphorical way. It had to be a more complex shape. How else could it have answered so many of life’s big questions?