Bob took a deep breath and dialed the number. "You only get to call once,
Bob, so don't blow it," he muttered, trying to keep the shudder out of his
voice. He brought the receiver to his ear and sweated for what seemed an
eternity waiting for the line to connect.
Finally, he heard the other end ring.
Ring. Ring. Ring. Click.
"Hello, Bob," a deep, rich voice said. "What can I do for you?"
Bob swallowed hard. "Uh...um...Is this really God?"
"Yes, it really is. Now get to the point, Bob, I'm a very busy deity." There
was just the slightest hint of irony in God's voice.
"Well...uh....You see, I just wanted to know, uh, what's the meaning
of... uh... you know... life."
"The Answer," intoned God over the phone, "is the Question, and the
Question is the Answer."
"Er," began Bob, sorely perplexed, "Er, how so?"
"Well, Bob, I've been around for a long time. A really, really amazingly
huge amount of time. So long that even I do not remember my own origin,
or whether I even have one. Because of this, I have spent countless
eternities pondering my own purpose in life. I could never come up with
a satisfactory reason for my own existence, and I have therefore concluded
that I cannot find such an answer due to my paradoxical nature. So I
created the Universe and all of the Life in it to find out the answer for
me. Do you understand now, Bob?"
"Eh," Bob replied, hoping he didn't appear too dim in the eyes of God.
"Not quite," he said.
God gave forth a truly cosmic sigh. "It is my hope, Bob, that somewhere
within Life's infinite diversity in infinite combinations there will arise
a final, conclusive solution to the meaning to it all."
"Uh," spake Bob, "could you maybe put it in, uh, simpler terms?"
Again, God sighed. "I'll put it as simply as possible for you, Bob: The
Meaning of Life is to discover the Meaning of Life."
"But," Bob sputtered, "but that's recursive - it keeps addressing itself
in its own definition! How will we ever know when we've found it?"
"I'm sorry, Bob, but your two minutes are up."