Ask again later

A couple of weeks ago I went out in the cold to my storage unit to hunt down Christmas decorations. I got the old fake Christmas tree out, lights, and a whole lot of red and gold balls (Ha ha I said “balls”). In my rummaging I came across my “Magic 8-Ball”. I haven’t thought of or looked at that thing in years but for some reason a bit of nostalgia washed over me and I rescued it from its currently frigid home.

But since I rescued it I have been, I won’t say obsessed, let’s say taken with it. It sits on the coffee table and whenever I am near it I have a yen to ask it a question. I ask it anything that pops into my head really. Crap like “Should I eat a turkey sandwich?” or “Is Avatar going to be good?” (BTW it said “it is decidedly so”. W00t!) I also asked it some interesting questions and I found out some things about myself.

For example I asked, “Will I die before I am 40?” I know I shouldn’t take the answers seriously but when I saw “You may rely on it” pop up I was taken aback for a second. And then I had to ask more questions like “Will I be rich when I die?” and “Don’t count on it” was a very discouraging answer.

I know I didn’t buy the “Magic 8-ball” but I can’t remember who gave it to me. It was a gift during one of those years where its popularity seemed to resurface for a while. I was glad to get it cuz it is one of those things a person never buys for themselves. It is an entertaining camp item that is just fun to have around. After playing with it for a while I was interested in finding out about where the “Magic 8-ball” comes from.

Apparently it has been around since 1946. I had always thought it was invented in the 80’s with popularity of the “Ouiji Board” but then I looked into that and that has been around since the 20’s so as you see I was wrong all over the place. Anyways, it was invented by Albert Carter who was the son of a clairvoyant. The ball is hollow but not the whole thing is filled. There is a cylinder inside that is filled with alcohol (not for drinking) that has had dark blue die dissolved in it. And floating around in the solution is the icosahedral die.

I always thought there were 10 or so sides to the die. I never really kept track to check how many different answers I was ever given. But I was surprised how many sides the die had. I gave you a hint by calling it an “icosahedral die”. How many sides does an icosahedron have? 20. Yes there are that many answers in that ball. There are 10 positive, 5 negative, and 5 neutral responses.

Positive Responses

As I see it yes
It is certain
It is decidedly so
Most likely
Outlook good
Signs point to yes
Without a doubt
Yes – Definitely
You may rely on it

Negative Responses

Don’t Count on it
My reply is no
My sources say no
Outlook not so good
Very doubtful

Neutral Responses

Reply hazy, try again
Ask again later
Better not tell you now
Cannot predict now
Concentrate and ask again

There have been a number of incarnations of the “Magic 8-Ball” over the years. They changed its colour, the answers, and even the shape. There has been a Simpsons 8-Ball that was yellow with catchphrases from the show, a Sarcastic 8-ball that gave sarcastic responses, and even a SpongeBob Squarepants on that was a cube that looked like SpongeBob.

Hopefully the fortune-telling abilities of the “Magic 8-Ball” are of things that can be instead of will be. I can change my path and maybe the next time I ask a question about my future its answer will be different (for the better).


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