As he balanced precariously atop a stray basketball, Jack had a revelation. Because he could walk on the basketball and spin it backward, he could also spin the Earth.
Jack tapped Jill’s shoulder and told her to watch. He ran from the playground to the edge of the basketball courts then thrust his arms skyward in triumph. He had spun the Earth backward.
“I can spin the Earth even faster!” Jill insisted.
“No you can’t.”
“Yes I can. I’m faster than you!”
To prove the truth of her assertion, Jill sprinted away, causing Jack, who stood watching, to recede like the rest of the planet’s surface behind her.
“Let’s race!” Jack challenged.
The two crouched behind a straight shadow cast by the swings, just the way real racers do, getting ready . . . set . . . GO!
The Earth spun beneath their feet faster than ever.
“But what happens if I run one way and you run the other?” wondered Jill. “The Earth would have to spin in two different directions.”
“Maybe we can rip it in half!” Jack said enthusiastically.
Ready . . . set . . . GO!
Two pairs of unstoppable feet raced in opposite directions, but there was no earthquake, no splitting of granite, no cataclysm of any kind, except that two people had drawn far apart.
Jill shouted: “Let’s run toward each other and see what happens!”
They nearly collided.
And lo and behold, the Earth remained solid, and steady, and in orbit around the bright distant sun, and reliably beneath their feet.
They stood eye to eye grinning.