"William E. Emba"|
In this peculiar and humorous story, a complete stranger
shows up at physicist Benjamin's door, with an imaginary
tale of their childhood friendship, marriage to twin sisters,
and his deed to certain property from before the war and
Israeli statehood, and he asks Benjamin's help to locate it.
Confronted with reality, the imaginary takes a beating and
the stranger becomes depressed, while Benjamin and his wife
take greater and greater interest in the stanger's imaginary
past. With a long historical and philosophical appeal to
the mathematical and physical meaning of sqrt(-1), Benjamin
convinces a clerk in the appropriate bureaucracy to use
imaginary numbers to identify the stranger's imaginary deed,
and so make everyone happy.
Everyone, that is, except the higher bureaucrats. Apparently,
they have no imagination.