Sunday, 13 January 2013


This is a short piece I read at an event in Worcester earlier this week. It got a good laugh, so I thought I'd share it. It's an imaginary conversation with a child; I should add that my children are now very much older that the child imagined here.

'How deep is the Ocean?'
'That’s a trick question.'
'Because there is more than one ocean, if you don’t say which one, then no one could answer.'
'How deep is the biggest ocean?'
'That’s better, but it still won’t do.'
'Because you didn’t say what you mean by biggest. Do you mean the widest? Or the deepest? Or the one with the biggest volume of water? Or the one with the longest name?  There are many ways of being the biggest.'
'The deepest. How deep is the deepest ocean?'
'That’s not really a fair question either.'
'Because to answer it I’d have to know how deep all the oceans were, in order to know which one was deepest, so really you are asking five questions.'
'Because most people think there are five oceans'.
'When you look at a globe it looks like one ocean.'
'Yes but no one knew that when they got their names.'
'What are their names?'
'The Atlantic, The Pacific, The Indian, The Arctic and The Antarctic, but now they call that one The Southern Ocean.'
'Which is the biggest?'
'The Pacific.'
'And which is the deepest.'
'The Mariana Trench in the Pacific, is the deepest part, it's 35800 feet deep. If you stood mount Everst, the highest mountain in the world, in it, the whole thing would be so far underwater that you couldn't see any of it.'
'Why do you answer all my questions?'
'Because I’m your Dad.'
'Ask your Mother.'

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