“Daddy, you’re not even looking!”
“He’ll be so mad at you if you don’t look!”
“Mmm, sorry – who will?”
“Mister Rex of course!”
“Ah, yes, Mister Rex, of course. But – er – he’s not here is he?”
“See, I knew you weren’t listening!”
“No you weren’t daddy – if you were, you’d know Mister Rex is waiting in your office upstairs. He wants to meet you.”
“Ahh of course, I knew that – I – er – of course I did.”
Putting the laptop aside, and avoiding the accusatory eyes of his small interrogator, he padded up the stairs, the thick-pile carpet feeling springy under his feet.
As he reached the top of the stairs, his thoughts were still on the paper he’d been writing only minutes before.
“Ladeeeez and genulmeeen, welcome to tonight’s exhibition of scientific wonder!” he thought to himself with a gentle sarcasm.
“Tonight, we bring you Schrodinger’s Office Door – behind this door there is either an adorable cuddly dinosaur or the gen-yooo-ine article, a bloodthirsty monster ready to terrorise you out of your minds!
“Which is it, ladies and gentlemen? We shall only know, says Mr Schrodinger, when we open the door, collapse the wave function, and see with our very own eyes. Until that precise moment, ladeeez and genulmeeen, the rex is both a toy – and not a toy – all at the same time!”
His hand was on the handle, down it went and the door swung open.
And there was a cheeky-looking plush toy dinosaur, sitting in his high-back chair behind the desk, sticking out its tongue at him.
The expression on its face said ‘yeah, I’ve taken over your office – what are you going to do about it?’
He burst out laughing. It was adorable.
In a parallel universe, his hand was on the handle, down it went and the door swung open.
Inside was a juvenile tyrannosaurus rex. It wasn’t that big, but it was big enough. Before he could do anything, the monster gave a throaty growl and devoured him in one greedy gulp.
It wobbled out the room, down the stairs and burst through the front door, roaring triumphantly, leaving a large dinosaur-shaped hole.
Back in our universe, things were simpler. He poured himself a coffee from the pot, moved the toy dinosaur from his chair and sat down.
“Sorry Mister Rex,” he said smilingly, knowing full well his kid was listening in from outside, “No squatter’s rights.”