It was a rainy Sunday morning as I sat with a cup of coffee waiting for my mind to start. I intended to add to a story I was posting on line. My wife interrupted me with a question, "Did you find my calculator and put it back in the basket?"
"No I haven't seen it, touched it or had anything to do with it."
"Then how did it get there?"
I gave her my stock answer, "It must have been returned by the parallel universe which borrowed it." This had been my explanation for many years when I couldn't find things and then my wife discovered them in plain sight exactly where I had last seen them.
Since all husbands suffered from this phenomena I didn't really believe my theory, but it sounded good. This time was different. It had occurred to my wife. She always knew where things were, unless of course she hid them for safekeeping, but that is a different story.
That got me to thinking, if items were borrowed from a parallel universe how would that work. Was there some god like entity keeping balance? That didn't work for me. See any definition of god like. Gods don't lose calculators or safety pins or coat hangers.
Whatever it was, it was totally random. There had to be some limitations in size. The Empire State building for example had never been borrowed to my knowledge. Oh, not only was it big but more than one person would be aware of its existence. So besides size, the number of people involved became important. As matter of fact it looked like one person was the limit.
More than one and the universe wouldn't or couldn't let it go. So it was one person borrowing something from another universe. Now the question was how they could do this? It couldn't be a conscious effort, which would have been discovered ages ago. It had to be an unconscious effort like not looking, expecting something to be in place, and then picking it up.
Thus in one of the parallel universes, two of one item would exist, and in the other none. Since the item usually was discovered, in the universe missing one, that meant that something would cause it to snap back. Was that time dependent? Where was the original item in the universe which temporarily held two?
I had to up the ante in brain power so switched from coffee to diet coke and threw in a couple of sugar cookies for good measure.
So if there were two of one item in the universe then the original missing item must have been somewhere else. I'm calling that the Zero universe, my universe. In Zero my wife couldn't find her calculator because in Alpha universe my wife had misplaced hers around the house, but had expected it to be in its usual place. Without thinking or looking she reached into the basket where it normally resided along with our bills and picked up the calculator. Alpha had just borrowed Zeros calculator. In Zero my wife would look for her calculator and not find it until all of a sudden it appeared back where it was supposed to be.
It probably came back when my wife in Alpha found her misplaced calculator. This gave me the thought that while parallel the two universes were slightly elastic. They were not in rigid lock step but heading in the same direction. The universes didn't sweat the small stuff but ended up in the same place.
With this as a working theory I had to come up with a way to test it. In the end it was a simple test. I took a shoe box and cut a hole for my hand in one end. My wife would place an item in the shoe box leave the area and I would reach in and pull it out. Except on a random schedule she would not place the item in the box. If my theory was correct I would reach in and grasp the item since I expected it to be there.
As my test item I went to our safe and selected a fifty dollar gold eagle coin. If you are going to borrow something make it worthwhile. At the computer I developed a simple form. It listed trials one through one hundred. At the top would be the date and our names. My wife would fill hers out putting a check mark where she had placed a coin and N/A where she didn't. I would do the same for where I found a coin or its lack.
My handy Excel spreadsheet allowed me to print out random yes/no's for the presences of a coin. My wife would use this as her guide to placing a coin in the box. To keep it totally honest while I set the spreadsheet formula in place, I had her hit enter to populate the sheet and print it. That way I had no chance of knowing when there would or would not be a coin present.
We agreed to run this experiment for ten days, one hundred trials a day. The limit was that I only had one hundred of the coins. If my theory was correct at the end of a run she would have one coin left and I would have one hundred.