Tales of Imagination

The Secret of Zero

Everybody laughed at Carl Bickles as Mr Rogers was teaching us about space. The fourth grade class was filled with cool artifacts, including a large wooden dinosaur on Mr. Roger’s desk. I was always fascinated how the Brontosaurus trampled heavily upon the earth. I was saddened about their demise as the Ice Age froze their blood like lizards and wiped them out.

Carl always asked stupid questions. When Mr. Rogers explained how it was impossible to fly a rocket to the sun because of the unbearable heat, Carl raised his hand with a solution. “Why can’t we just go at night?” The class giggled.  Even I knew that there was no such thing as day or night when it came to the sun. It was Earth that revolved, or was it rotated? I always got the two mixed up.

Time for the math lesson.  I looked up and saw a handsome picture of Columbus on the wall. Every time I glanced at him I daydreamed that would be me one of these days.  A man whose only mission was to prove to his family and friends that earth was round.   He was an explorer and a hero. My mission, however, was to discover a new planet. As I became older, each of us would probably have space ships, but I was going to be known as the first person to land on Saturn.

“Twelve plus twelve equals twenty-four!” Mr. Rogers spoke louder to wake me from my slumber.” And no matter how many zeros you add together, the answer is still zero.”

Impossible, I thought. If someone added enough zeros together it would have to make a positive number. I raised my hand. “Mr. Rogers, if you added enough zeros together, wouldn’t that have to equal something?”

The classroom became silent. Mildred chuckled. Carl Bickles pondered the possibility. Mr. Rogers paused for a second, gave a slight smirk, and replied, “No, Marcus, I don’t think that is correct. Zero plus zero is always zero, no matter how many you add.”

My theory was shunned. I mean, sometimes scientists make mistakes. Yeah, maybe a hundred or even a thousand zeros would still equal zero. But what about adding ten thousand hundred magillion zeros?  Has anyone ever tried that?  One of these days the world will know. Maybe it will be only the tiniest fraction, but I know it will add to something. Mark my words. “Marcus Wilson discovers the Secret of Zero – Baffles World.”

Just wait. You’ll see.


Written by Diamond Mike Watson

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