April, 1927. Copenhagen, Denmark: Some say that Redd had a sixth sense for being in the right place at the right time, often as the movers and shakers of the day were making history around him. Surely he couldn’t have known that this conference, attended by leading physicists and thinkers from around the world, was part of a series of debates that would lay the foundations for a new science of quantum mechanics.
“Maybe,” Redd answered coolly.
The other man seemed to think this was hilarious. “Tell me,” he said to Robert on their way to the table, carrying a robin’s egg blue coffee cup in one hand and a tray of sugar cubes in the other, “what exactly is it that you do?”
“I’m a man who wears many hats,” said Redd. “Here and there so often, you’d think I was everywhere at once.”
“Just like me,” the man said, taking a seat. “I, too, find myself engaged with a little bit of everything. I used to work at a patent office, believe it or not.”
“Is that so?” Redd asked. “Then perhaps, based on your experience, you can verify a certain universal axiom about all Invention: namely, that Necessity is its mother?”
“That’s quite the truth,” the old man said. “But I can also divulge, based on personal experience,” he continued, leaning in conspiratorially, “that Invention’s father is none other than Ingenuity.”
“Necessity and Ingenuity,” Redd repeated. “What an odd couple. One wonders what the relatives think.”
“Well, you know,” said the old man, “It very well might all be relative.”
The two of them laughed heartily. “What a terrifying idea,” said Redd.
“Then banish the thought,” the old man replied. “Say,” he added, taking a pair of white sugar cubes from the bowl and rattling them around in his palm, “do you play dice?”
Redd smiled broadly. “Absolutely,” he said.