Meeting of the Minds

Leaf Barret sits down with Einstein — Feb. 14, 1940

In my many years and many adventures living through modern chemistry, I never once had the opportunity to sit down with Albert Einstein, until now … with the help of one magic mushroom.

Leaf: Mr. Stein, did you ever partake in the sacred flower?

Einstein: Pussy? … (He flashes a half-crooked smile and weird, glassy-eyed look.) Weed? Oh yes, many times, but only on odd days of the week, and only after 4 p.m. in the Jupiter moon.

Leaf: (I’m puzzled.) HUH?

Einstein: That’s what Keith Richards said! (laughing out loud) … I joke, you silly, little man with a 1920s porn-star mustache. Of course I smoke weed, which comes from the Earth and makes me smarter than I think I was!

Leaf: Just out of curiosity, who do you feel is the greatest mind other than your own to walk the planet?

Einstein: That’s a very good question, Leaf, and so far I can’t think of anyone else with whom I can hold an intelligent conversation … other than my wife, Mileva. She is always there to challenge me, but I hope that in the future, one of my children will surpass my intellect and answer the question: Where did we really come from?

Leaf: Interesting. What do you think you would invent if you were alive in the year 2018?

Einstein: That’s easy — space travel.

Leaf: It already exists. What would be your second invention?

Einstein: OK, a device that warms food with radiant heat? It takes over an hour to heat my chicken potpie, and that’s just annoying.

Leaf: Yep! We have that, too; it’s called a microwave, and it will be invented in five more years by Percy Spencer, an American physicist.

Einstein: Damn you, Percy Spencer! Hmmmm … How about a battery-powered device that reminds you of all of your notes and appointments?

Leaf: (puzzled, blank-faced) … Tell me about your childhood and how you became interested in science? Was this something that your parents pushed on you, or was this something you did all on your own?

Einstein: Well, when I was just 5 years old, my father gave me a compass and my curiosity got the best of me as I puzzled over how it actually worked. Ever since that day, my quest to gain knowledge has been more like an obsession. I’m really not as smart as you people make me out to be — more determined than smart. In fact, during my adolescent years, I struggled with many subjects, including French and chemistry. I like to say that I have failed more times than I ever succeeded. I didn’t learn to speak English until 1954!

Leaf: It’s rumored that at the age of 74, you were asked to be president of Israel. Is there any merit to this story?

Einstein: Yes. I turned down that generous offer so I may focus on a groundbreaking culinary development: ‘turducken’ — It’s a chicken stuffed inside of a duck, stuffed inside of a turkey! Unfortunately, this theory never took shape for me. Maybe someday people will enjoy this amalgam of delicious flavors.